Ever wondered what it takes to be a Special Constable?

Meet Special Constable Olly Gore. He has volunteered with Hertfordshire Constabulary since he was 18 years old.

He said: “Being a Special has really opened my eyes to the world we live in and how much of a positive impact I can actually have on other people’s lives.”

Olly initially joined the Special Constabulary wanting to gain an insight to aid him in becoming a regular police officer.

However, having trained as a Special Constable alongside his day job, Olly came to realise that he has the best of both worlds.

He said: “I love my day job and I have the opportunity to be a police officer at the same time. I have full police powers; I can drive police cars and help give back to the community.

The training opportunities and the huge amount of life experience being a Special has given me is unmatchable. The other benefit is that I can pick my hours to suit my lifestyle, ensuring I volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a month, which equates to two shifts.”

A Special Constable is a part-time, voluntary police officer with all the same powers as regular police officers.

Specials come from all walks of life and volunteer their spare time for a minimum of 16 hours a month.

They are highly trained and play an essential role in preventing, reducing and tackling crime and keeping the communities of Hertfordshire safe.

For more on careers and volunteering as a Special Constable with Hertfordshire Constabulary, visit www.herts.police.uk/police-forces/hertfordshire-constabulary/areas/careers/careers/

Speaking about why he picked Hertfordshire Constabulary, Olly said: “It’s the best constabulary in a commutable distance, with some of the best training opportunities for Specials.

"I’ve been able to train in method of entry, use of a stinger, driving police vehicles, roadside drug and alcohol testing, and there are more opportunities to come.”

A typical shift as a Special varies, just like any regular police officer. Reflecting on the types of jobs he could be sent to, Olly said: “We could attend jobs such as a road traffic collision with serious injury or sadly sometimes a death, a domestic abuse situation or an altercation outside a pub.

"However, we also patrol the local area, talking with people and making children laugh at community events. All of this could occur in a single shift.

“I currently work in the Operational Support Team (OST) which is a new team. A typical shift in OST is also just as varied.

I could be performing wide open area searches for a high-risk missing person, forcing entry to properties with suspected cannabis factories inside, executing arrest warrants, working in plain clothes on drug operations, attending large scale disorders or shutting down raves. In the mix of all of this, we also go out in the community and speak with the locals.”

Although initial training to become a Special has changed slightly since Olly first joined the constabulary 16 years ago, he added: “The skills you learn are skills you can use in all aspects of life — it’s like a little switch that gets flicked and enables you to adapt and deal with anything!

“The one thing I’ve really come away with as a Special is a sense of worth. Responding to sometimes life or death situations and being able to have an impact on an individual which means their families get to spend another Christmas with them is where I feel being a Special provides real value.

"However, there are occasions where unfortunately you may attend sad situations and have to comfort family members during the first moments of the worst day of their lives. You will experience a wide range of different circumstances, but that is the nature of the job.

“My family are extremely proud of my achievements throughout my Specials career, and I like to think my children look up to me as an inspiration for what they might be able to achieve in the future.

“I would highly recommend becoming a Special to anyone! It’s an extremely rewarding role.

"It’s not all about arresting people or driving fast cars, it’s the whole package that comes with it. You will feel a sense of achievement knowing the positive impact you’ve made on people’s lives."