Throughout the month of June we’re shining a light on our Special Constabulary to find out a bit more about what they do.
Special officers are volunteers that choose to give their spare time to helping make the streets across the region safer.
They have the same powers as a police officer, wear the same uniform and carry the same equipment, the only difference is that they do it in a voluntary role.
We have special officers working in all different departments across the force, from helping keep revellers safe to policing the area’s roads.
Last week we heard from Corey, one of our volunteer police cadets who is now training to be a special constable.
This week we spoke to Special Chief Inspector Stu who has been with the force for 10 years. Here’s what he said.
Q: Hi Stu, first tell me a bit about your life outside of being a special. What do you do for a living?
A: “I work in education, I’m actually the Headteacher at a local primary school.”
Q: What else do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “I love travelling and have visited many countries, my favourite places to go are in the Far East.
“When I’m not jetting off to far-away lands I enjoy going to the gym, playing tennis and socialising with friends and family.”
Q: So, on to your career as a special officer, when did you join?
A: “I joined back in 2008 but sadly had to take the first year out due to a football injury, so I have been serving with the force for 10 years.
Q: What made you want to become a special officer?
A: “When I left University, I wanted to join the force as a police officer however Humberside Police were not recruiting at that time.
“This continued for the next 5 years by which time I had already established a successful career in education.
“Therefore, I decided to look at what other opportunities there were and came across the Special Constabulary.
“Scrolling through the website it looked perfect for me so I decided to apply and, 11 years later, here I still am.”
Q: Wow, eleven years, you must enjoy it. What do you like most about being a special officer?
A: “I would have to say the variety it brings each and every time I work. As the cliché goes, no two shifts are ever the same.
“There is also a great sense of pride in knowing you are ‘giving something back’ to the communities in this area and helping to make them safer.
“In my time, I have also had the opportunity to develop some cross-transferable skills which have assisted me in my day job too.”
Q: What sort of things do you do when you’re on shift as a special officer?
A: “There are very few restrictions on what specials can do when they finish training and become independent.
“I attend almost all of the same incidents that our police officer colleagues do, including 999 emergency calls.
“I work a lot of what we call Night Time Economy shifts policing the busy Friday and Saturday nights in the city centre, helping keep people safe when they’re out having a good time.
“The force is really good at supporting specials in getting involved in whatever area interests them.”
Q: Sounds like you’re very busy, how do you fit being a special officer in with your work and family life?
A: “It’s not that difficult to fit in the 16hours per month, expected of a Special Constable.
“I generally manage this by completing two shifts per month, usually on a weekend, to fit in with my day job.
“In addition, I manage to get a lot more duties in during the school holiday periods which works really well for me. This still leaves time for me to do all of the things I enjoy outside of work.”
Q: So finally, what would you say to someone thinking about joining the special constabulary?
A: “I would say get applying now! The experience you will develop as a Special Constable will give you lots of transferrable skills, which you can utilise outside of the job.
“That being said, I would say consider it carefully – this is not a job for the faint-hearted - make sure you are able to commit to the minimum hours before applying.
“This is the type of job where you get out what you put in – if you are enthusiastic, energetic and get involved when attending incidents, you will gain valuable experience and feel that your contribution is worthwhile.”
If you are interested in becoming a special constable and feel it could add something extra to your life visit: https://www.wearehumbersidespecials.co.uk/home