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Biggest-ever cohort of new Special Constables join the City as force is chosen to pilot national 'gold standard' scheme

14 newly trained Special Constables have officially joined the City of London Police including what the force hope will be their first ever mounted volunteer officer.

Special Constables are trained volunteers who work with and support their local police force and have the same powers as regular police constables. City of London Specials have been assisting their regular colleagues in policing the Square Mile for over 100 years.

During a passing out ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company, City Road on Tuesday (13 March 2018), the new cohort were all officially given the legal power to act as a Constable by a Magistrate and presented with their warrant cards.

City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson attended the event to celebrate the commencement of their duties in policing and supporting the community of the City of London.

Mounted Special

In a force first, Vicky Smith will train to become a Mounted Special Constable after two years working as a City of London Police horse trainer at their Bushy site. She said of the decision:

 

“Prior to joining the City of London of Police as an equine trainer, I had worked for 12 years in the equine industry and I had always had an interest in joining the police force.

“Before I saw my current job advertised I was considering leaving the industry and applying to become a full-time officer. I was lucky enough to get the job, and therefore it was the perfect opportunity to continue working with horses at the same time as getting an insight into how the police work.

“I thoroughly enjoy my job as a trainer, so becoming a Special will give me the opportunity to develop a new skill set alongside giving me an extra insight into the role that I do as a trainer. I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

The work of a Special

 

Specials in the City are active in every part of the force. In 2017, our 53 Specials undertook 16,800 duties, with more than 4,500 hours spent on response duties. They also played a vital role in the protection of the public during, and in the aftermath of, the London Bridge terror attack. Two of our Specials were on duty that evening and were some of the first officers to attend the scene. Others arrived in minutes to help in the control room and a further 28 were on duty by 9am the following morning. 

Following their passing out ceremony, the new group of Specials will join the City’s Uniform Policing Directorate (UPD) where they will each be allocated to a Sergeant who will be directly responsible for their development. 

Special Commander James Phipson, who is the chief officer of the Special Constabulary in the City of London Police and also responsible for wider volunteering in the force, addressed his new troops at the ceremony, saying:

“This will be the most challenging period in your police career, launching yourselves into new and difficult experiences, trying to remember what you learned in training whilst under the harsh and expecting glare of the general public. 

 

“It will not always be exciting, and will not always go smoothly, but we will support and encourage you in everything you do, and you will fast discover a confidence and assertiveness you never knew you had. 

“Whatever you do in your police career, it will be one of the most exciting, diverse and fulfilling careers imaginable. The only advice I can give you is that no two shifts will ever be the same, and the more you put into this, the more rewarding it will be.”


Gold standard for recruitment


Because of the expertise and support the Specials bring, the City has been selected to host a national pilot scheme to establish a new ‘gold standard’ for the recruitment, training, development, and deployment of volunteers. This will see the numbers of Specials in the City double from 53 to over 100 with support being provided to regular constables but also in specialist areas such as cyber and economic crime.

 

For more information about Special Constables and our recruiting procedure, please visit our website.


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