From responding to 999 calls to raising awareness of knife and drug crime in schools, the Metropolitan Police volunteer officers always go above and beyond, and do it all for the love of keeping London safe.
During National Volunteers week, that runs from Friday, 1 to Thursday, 7 June, the Met is shining a light on all its volunteers while hoping to recruit Special Constables (volunteer police officers) otherwise known as ‘specials’.
The Met’s Special Constabulary (MSC) play a pivotal role in the service. Specials have all the responsibilities and powers of a full-time officer and therefore carry out a huge range of operational police work but on a part-time, voluntary basis alongside their regular day job.
The role of the Specials began in 1837 and has since grown to a current strength of 2,145 officers. What few people realise is the Met had its origins in the Specials with its first regular officers being volunteers.
Last year they contributed 517,000 hours, which is the equivalent to £18 million of policing hours.
Among the current Met workforce, there are 87 separate languages spoken with 32 per cent of a black and minority ethnic background, and 28 per cent are women. They are from a cross-section of society, from students, plumbers and teachers, to air crew, barristers and doctors.
The Met is ambitious to recruit those wanting to do something ‘special’ with their time, in order to reach a target of 3,200 by 2021.
Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, said: “Our Specials are a commendable group of people who enhance our service to London, through their diverse cultural knowledge and specialist skills they bring from their day jobs through to what they do for policing.
“Being a Special Constable is a unique role and one that is filled with great reward and self-satisfaction of doing something that really matters to the lives of Londoners.”
Becoming a Special provides the opportunity to work alongside police officers in various roles including specialist commands, allowing the Specials to bring exceptional skills and experiences from their day job into the situations and problem-solving challenges they may face on the streets of London. In return, applicants gain unique experiences volunteers receive skills that benefit their personal and professional life.
Special Constables make a real difference to London by reducing crime, and the fear of crime, whilst gaining unique experiences that simply cannot be found anywhere else, such as helping with public order events, ceremonial policing, supporting emergency response and neighbourhood policing.
For more information or details on how to apply, please follow our @MPSSpecial Twitter account and visit the Met's website