The Gwent Police Special Constabulary is a valuable team of volunteer police officers who support Gwent Police in protecting and reassuring our communities.
Special constables are volunteer police officers who play a pivotal role in Gwent Police. Becoming one gives you the chance to work alongside regular police officers, bring skills and experiences from your day job and give something back to your community.
It’s pretty demanding. The training program is challenging with our new training program which comprises of 12 weeks initial theory training followed by 4 operational and classroom based modules spread over 9 months. You’ll have to give up at least 16 hours of your spare time each month. But helping protect and support Gwent and the people who call it home is really satisfying too.
Same uniform, same powers
Based across the whole of Gwent, Specials wear the same uniform and carry the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers. They’re involved in all aspects of policing, enjoying a variety of roles and carrying out duties such as:
* Foot and vehicle patrols
* Anti-Robbery initiatives
* Assisting in the event of accidents, fights and fires
* Road safety initiatives
* House-to-house enquiries
* Helping ensure public safety and security at events
* Presenting evidence in court
* Taking part in 'Hotspot' operations to tackle underage drinking, criminal damage and nuisance/public disorder
* Offering crime prevention advice and promoting property marking initiatives
There’s nothing quite like it.
As a Special, you’ll make a real difference by reducing crime - and the fear of crime – across the Force Area, whilst gaining unique experiences you simply can’t get anywhere else. If you have the spare time, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.
We welcome applications from people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, gender and sexual orientation. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants will need to meet, so you need to check that you meet our requirements before submitting an application.
You need to be 18 or over to apply, and applicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you’re a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain. All applicants must have a minimum of three years UK residency.
If you have a criminal record, this doesn’t mean you’re automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form, failure to do so will result in failing vetting due to integrity issues.
Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application.
If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding county court judgments or you are an un-discharged bankrupt, then you are automatically ineligible.
Special constables do not get paid as they work on a voluntary basis. You will however be able to claim back out of pocket expenses.
Gwent Police offer an Occupational Health and Welfare Unit to help maintain both your physical and psychosocial health while you are at work. The Service is totally confidential, and also includes a counselling service.
To pass this stage, you’ll need to fill out a competency-based application form. If you pass the basic eligibility criteria already discussed, we’ll assess your answers to the competency-based questions. Try to answer the questions as carefully and as fully as you can. Please check your spelling and grammar too: applications with more than ten spelling and grammar mistakes will be rejected.
Police Initial Recruitment Test
If you pass the application form stage, the next step is to attend a Police Initial Recruitment Test. The session will consist of a verbal logical reasoning test.
• In the verbal logical reasoning test, you must answer 31 multiple choice questions in 25 minutes, that will measure your ability to reason logically when given facts about events
Competency Based Interview
You will be asked four or five questions on how you have dealt with specific situations. The questions will relate to the key competencies needed to be a Police Officer.
Before appointment, you’ll be required to pass
• Fitness test
The fitness test is comprised of:
Shuttle run to level 5/4 (Bleep test)
Upper body strength test using a machine called a Concept2 Dynometer,
Minimum average 34kg push, 35kg pull over 5 attempts each.
• Drugs test
This will be in the form of a hair sample.
Full health check which involve; height/weight, BMI, lung function, ears & eyes
testing, blood pressure and urine sample.
• Three-year reference history
• Security vetting process
We will carry out background security checks to see if you are eligible to become a Special Constable. This will verify your identity. Please update us if there are any changes to this information. As part of the vetting process, candidates are required to give a DNA sample (mouth swab) and fingerprints, which will be checked against a national database.
These pre-appointment checks can sometimes take between three and six months. Please be aware that you must attend any appointments in your own time, including your uniform fitting appointment.
Once you have completed all pre-employment checks, you’ll be allocated a place on the next available training course.
If you are successful in the recruitment process you will be asked to attend a modular training program. This will start with a period of weeks in training to learn the basics, once you have passed the first exam you will be sworn in as a Special Constable. You will then leave training for a few weeks to perform duty alongside a mentor, completing a personal development plan as you go before repeating this process until you have passed all necessary elements required to become a Special Constable.
Training usually takes place on a weekday evening and a Saturday. With a requirement to attend a few full weekends.
We would be looking for a commitment to attend all training.
Can I apply if I have a tattoo?
On the whole, yes. Some tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous may result in the rejection of your application. If you are concerned, please email a picture of your tattoo to our recruitment team at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
I have a criminal record. Does this mean I can't apply?
You may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, but there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible. This includes anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. When making our decisions we are guided by National Policing Improvement Agency Circular 01/2010. You can view this document on the NPIA website.
Do I need to have a driving licence at the point of application?
This is not a requirement for the role of Special Constable. As you could be posted anywhere in the Force Area it would be desirable if you have access to transport.
Will I live and work in the same area?
Not necessarily. You could be posted anywhere within the Force Area.
Where will the training take place?
The initial classroom based training will take place at Vantage Point House, Ty Coch Way, Cwmbran.
Can special constables drive police vehicles?
Once Special Constables have completed the appropriate training, they are able to drive unmarked (plain) police cars. The driving of marked cars is permitted after further advanced training is completed.
What do you get out of being a Special?
• Give something back to your local community and learn more about the area.
• Learn new and useful skills and develop your character.
• Provide valuable support to regular police officers and police staff.
• Discover first-hand what it's like to work with the police.
• Meet new people and build lasting friendships.
• Enjoy the outdoors by going out on patrol.
• Develop self-respect and self-confidence.
• Embark on a fresh, exciting and varied challenge.
• Gain experience in preparation for applying to become a regular police officer.
• Claim out of pocket expenses including travel.
Are there any occupations a Special Constable cannot hold?
Members of some occupations are excluded, such as:
• Armed forces
• Security officers
• Traffic wardens / Parking attendants
• Some roles within the Legal profession
• Private detectives
• Highway Agency Traffic Officers/WAG Traffic Officers
Should I tell my Employer?
Yes. The Working Time Directive is applicable to voluntary work as well as your employment. There are benefits for your employer which includes supporting their local community. Call us for information if you're an employer who wants to know more
Do Special Constables have to attend court?
Yes. This may be in normal work time. The majority of employers are flexible in accommodating this. Your employers will complete a form outlining your loss of earnings and this will ensure that Gwent Police pay for any time spent in court.
Our recruitment campaign has now closed, good luck to all who have applied. Please review this site for further updates regarding future recruitment.