Police bang the drum for specials to recruit new faces to the ranks across Herts

Special constables on duty in Hertfordshire

Special constables on duty in Hertfordshire - Credit: Archant

If you’re determined to make a difference in 2016, here’s your chance – Herts police are recruiting more members of the special constabulary who play a vital role in maintaining law and order in the county.

Chief Inspector Steve O'Keeffe is the new head of special constabulary in Herts

Chief Inspector Steve O'Keeffe is the new head of special constabulary in Herts - Credit: Andy Batur()

Becoming a volunteer police officer gives you the chance to do something rewarding and exciting which gives you a chance to develop a wide range of skills.

And the new man in charge of the county’s special squad should know – he started his own career as a volunteer.

Chief Insp Stephen O’Keefe, who took over the role at the beginning of last month after the retirement of Chief Inspc Damien Kennedy, spent a year as a special before joining the force full-time in 1995.

He said: “Special constables and rural special constables are an incredibly valuable resource to the constabulary.

“They receive comprehensive training to ensure they can fully play their part and get involved in various aspects of policing.

“Special constables also have the chance to support specialist operations and even work on dedicated teams such as the Beds, Cambs and Herts Roads Policing Unit and the rural operation support team.

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“If you are 18 or over, can multi-task, have great interpersonal skills and want to give something back to the community for at least 16 hours a month in your free time, why don’t you make a positive change for 2016 that will make a real difference?”

The force is keen to recruit from all areas of the county.

All special constable have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside the regular force.

As volunteers, specials are not paid but expenses are reimbursed.

Regular specials can get involved in a range of policing activities from high visibility patrols around pubs and clubs and tackling anti-social behaviour to being called to assist at the scenes of incidents such as road traffic collisions, burglaries or assaults.

Those with an interest in the countryside and rural issues could be perfect as a rural special constable, dedicated to the needs of rural communities and getting special training to understand the issues of the community they serve.

They can be involved in everything from investigating heritage crime and hare coursing, to tackling poaching and investigating wildlife offences.

Some patrol local areas on horseback using their own horses or on all-terrain vehicles.

The county’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “Specials play a vital role in keeping the county safe and I am keen to welcome as many as possible into the force.

“My policing plan is for more people to get involved and to play their part in helping to keep crime low.”

To find out more about how you can get involved, visit www.hertspolicecareers.co.uk.