Special Constable - Coventry

Police Officer
200000HU Requisition #

Grade: Volunteer

Salary: Volunteer

Closing Date: 30th November 2020

About the Role:

In 2021 Coventry will be the UK City of Culture, with hundreds of events across the city from large-scale spectacles, exhibitions, music, dance, theatre and poetry. It’s predicted that the programme of events will bring more than 2.5m additional visitors to Coventry!


West Midlands Police will be playing a key part during the year and the events. Working with the organisers, council and partners to ensure the city is ready for the title year and providing operation support and policing the events throughout. However, the force is also taking the opportunity to look at new and innovative ways we can work with our communities to use art to change behaviour, build relationships and prevent crime.


We will use the projects and events over the City of Culture year to bring us closer to the public and our partners to change how we work, how we talk and listen to our communities, and what we do as a result.

We will deliver a policing operation that supports a positive community experience, one that is delivered with warmth and friendship at its heart, and in line with the West Midlands Police values.


What is a special constable?


Special constables are volunteer police officers. You’ll have the same powers as a regular police constable. Taking part in frontline work, the role can be what you make of it from ensuring public safety to preventing, tackling and investigating incidents, all while building positive relationships in the area you work in.


The list is endless from where our current specials come from! From a pilot, doctors, students, stay at home parents, bank workers and even other West Midlands Police staff. There are many ways to make a special constable role work with your lifestyle.


To become a special constable you need to be prepared to commit to training hard in your own time during evening and weekends, and after completing your training we ask for you to give a minimum of 16 hours a month to West Midlands Police.


In return for your dedication we offer full training and support to make sure you are prepared and fully equipped for your role. This includes providing you with your uniform, and you will be entitled to be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses incurred in the course of your duties.


Who are we looking for?


We are looking for people who share our values and have a real passion for people and communities, with a desire to make a difference through policing. We want good communicators with a calm, confident personality. People who are problem solvers, team players and can easily build relationships with other people. We welcome applications from all members of our local communities as we continue to promote diversity across the whole of our workforce.



We want specials and volunteers from across Coventry and surrounding areas to help support the city throughout this opportunity, so this is a great chance to give back and share your experience.


Successful applicants will be joining the second largest police force in England, covering an area of 348 square miles and serving a population of almost 2.8 million.

What happens after I apply?


It’s important for us to be transparent with you, as the application process can take some months to complete. Applying to become a special constable isn’t as simple as applying for other voluntary roles.


As the role gives you full police powers, the application process is similar to that of a regular pc role. There are a few additional steps such as an assessment, vetting and medical. Therefore, the process could take some months to complete before you get allocated your training programme, but we are committed to keeping you updated at every stage.


Am I eligible?


Below is a summary of the basic eligibility criteria - a more detailed breakdown can be found on the College of Policing website:



There is no formal educational requirement, but you will be required to pass written tests.



To apply to the Police Service you must be at least 18 years old. There is no upper limit.



You must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and other foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions. If you have recently resided abroad we need to be able to check your previous three years (including employment, education and/or residency).


Membership of British National Party and similar

The Police Service has a policy prohibiting any of their officers, staff or volunteers from becoming members of the British National Party (BNP). Combat 18 or the National Front, whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality. If you are a member of the BNP or similar, your application will be rejected.


Criminal convictions

Convictions or cautions will not necessarily prevent you from appointment. It will depend on their nature and the circumstances of the offence. However, failure to disclose convictions or cautions will result in your application being refused.


Business interests

Certain occupations may stop applicants from being special constables. For example neighbourhood and street wardens, and those involved in the administration of the law. Other roles which are precluded include security occupations which hold a security industry association (SIA) licence.


Health, fitness, eyesight and disability


Being a Special Constable can often be tough and demanding and therefore it is important all new recruits are fit and healthy. All medical criteria will be checked – including eyesight, hearing and Body Mass Index (BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30 – to calculate yours, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/).


This part of the process will be managed by the force’s occupational health team. You need to be able to manage day-to-day life without a problem and it is expected you won’t be regularly having sick days off work. However, if you need regular medication to stay healthy, you may still be accepted, as long as you can provide evidence of being able to manage this yourself. Every candidate receives a detailed individual assessment and we can accept candidates with many common health conditions, as long as they are under control.


However, if you can’t carry out the role safely without putting your own health at risk, or you can’t meet some of the core requirements, you will not be found fit for the job.

No one is rejected because of a medical label. The Equality Act 2010 covers all police forces we recruit for and if you have a disability, adjustments will be made if it is reasonable to do so. If you have a health problem, or you’ve recently had a lot of time off, try to bring a copy of your medical records or a note from your doctor with you to your medical assessment.


The fitness test, also known as the bleep test, is a continuous series of shuttle runs between the two lines, 15 metres apart. You will need to complete this as part of the selection process. The time allowed to run the distance is indicated by an audible “bleep”, and the interval reduces over time, so that the runs have to become progressively faster. There is a standard national achievement level required of a minimum of four shuttles at level 5 to pass.

Eyesight Standards

Having a good standard of vision is important as a Special Constable. The standard you need to meet either with or without glasses or contact lenses is listed below.

Distance vision

6/12 or better with either your right or left eye

6/6 with both eyes together

If you wear glasses or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your glasses or lenses.

Near vision                     

6/9 with both eyes together (aided).

If you are unsure what this means for you, visit your optician and check your current prescription.



 Tattoos and Piercings

We know some people like to express themselves with body art, however anyone who has a tattoo and / or piercing which could be reasonably interpreted as offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted. In line with the College of Policing’s national guidance we will carefully consider the size, nature and prominence of visible tattoos and piercings to determine if they are acceptable


If you have a tattoo on your arms, face, hands or neck you will be required to submit photos with your application.


Financial position

Special constables are in a privileged position with regard to access to information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants to the Police Service should not therefore be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. Most applicants have debts, such as mortgages, undischarged student or other loans, and credit/store cards. Debts which are within your means and are manageable are not a bar to appointment.


Applicants who have existing County Court judgements outstanding against then or have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have not been discharged will not be considered.

Applicants who have discharged County Court judgements may be considered.

Applicants who have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have been discharged will only be considered after three years from discharge of the debt.

Applicants who are the subject of a current individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) may not be considered.


You will need to pass all Force security and medical checks.


If you do not meet these eligibility criteria – you can still check out other opportunities https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/


West Midlands Police is a Disability Confident Leader - the highest level an organisation can achieve under the scheme run by the Department of Work and Pensions.  As part of our commitment we operate a Guaranteed Interview Scheme - all candidates who declare a disability and meet the essential criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview.


Diversity and Inclusion Vision:  Maximise the potential of people from all backgrounds through a culture of fairness and inclusion to deliver the best service for our communities.


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