West Midlands Police is opening the door to new volunteer police officers, from today (23 April).

Recruitment into the force’s Special Constabulary has opened for the first time in four years as we seek to boost our number to support both day to day policing as well as major events coming to our region in the next few years.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is backing the recruitment drive. He said: “Special constables support our police service and play a valuable role supporting full time officers and staff.

“It is an exciting time to join West Midlands Police ahead of the City of Culture celebrations in Coventry in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022.

“I hope as many people put themselves forward to support policing in the West Midlands.

“Becoming a special constable is a rewarding role that allows people from all walks of life to help their communities.”

Chris Thurley, Assistant Director in People and Organisation Development, said: “Our special constables are a huge part of the West Midlands Police family. Last year they volunteered over 30,000 hours to support the service we offer the public.

“They are integral members of our neighbourhood teams, our front line response teams, helping to support our most vulnerable victims in Public Protection, Force CID, Operations, Motorway Policing − the opportunities are endless.

“Now we are looking to increase our number as we gear up for some of the biggest events to be seen in the West Midlands, like Coventry becoming City of Culture in 2021 and, of course, Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“We need to get ready and we need people who want to volunteer their time to support us with both day to day policing and large scale operations.”

It’s the force’s first step towards getting ready for the Commonwealth Games in four years’ time and volunteers − in various roles − will play a huge part in a delivering safe, secure and enjoyable event.

We want specials and volunteers from all of the diverse communities across the West Midlands, this is a great chance to give back and share your experience.

Our current specials come from all walks of life − we have a pilot, a doctor, students, stay at home parents, teachers, bank workers, other WMP staff…the list is endless!

Head of WMP’s Special Constabulary, Mike Rogers, a lawyer and property developer, said: “When I signed-up the specials operated pretty much as a separate police force doing their own patrols and working on their own projects but we’ve come a long way since then and now the Special Constabulary works side-by-side with regular officers, supporting the force as part of the mainstream policing mix.

“It sounds clichéd but no two shifts are the same: you never know what you’ll encounter, there’s a chance to get involved in operations, it looks good on the CV, and helps expand and develop your skills.

“The Special Constabulary attracts people from a wide cross section of the community with different attributes, views, and experiences…people who can potentially influence policing and bring fresh thinking.

“Last time we opened our doors, in 2014, we could have filled our 50 places many times over with the number of people who got in touch, and we expect a similar level of interest this time around.

“It’s both a great opportunity and a fantastic way to spend your time.”

To become a special constable you should be prepared to train hard in your own time during evenings and weekends and be willing to offer a minimum of 16 hours per month to perform the role. In return we offer full training and support to ensure you are prepared and fully equipped.

Specials have the same powers as regular officers and wear the same uniform; hours are flexible but they are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours each week, or more if they can spare the time.

For more information about becoming a special − or the many other opportunities to work or volunteer with West Midlands Police –  visit our careers portal: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/

Closing date for applications to join the Special Constabulary is Sunday 6 May 2018.

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