DO you think you could protect your community?

That is the question being asked by Essex Police as they search for people to sign up to become a Special Constable.

The police force is asking residents across Essex to consider giving their time in order to support their fellow man.

While regular police officers are paid and work full-time, a police special is a volunteer officer, generally working weekends purely to give something back to others.

Essex Police says it realises a full-time position isn’t for everyone but some will still want to protect and serve their community.

Now Essex Police’s drive to recruit more Special Constables is in full swing.

The campaign aims to highlight the many types of people who volunteer for the role.

Essex Police says it values difference and knows that different experiences – whether that’s your background, family life or your job – can provide valuable skills to protect and serve the community.

It added there is strength in difference, and its knows the policing team needs to be representative of many life experiences and backgrounds.

Volunteers could range from full-time parents, retirees or someone who simply had free time away from working or studying.

Special Constables have the same police powers, uniform and equipment as regular police officers but sacrifice their free time on a voluntary basis organising their busy personal lives, day jobs and other commitments around police duties.

Superintendent Shaun Kane, a former Colchester district commander who is the police officer who oversees Essex Police’s Special Constabulary, said 2021 had been an ‘amazing’ year for police specials and he hoped to build on that success.

He said: “Since New Year’s Day (2021), our Specials have volunteered 186, 943 hours of their spare time to protect and serve the county.

“Their amazing dedication has been recognised at the highest level by the Queen who deemed our volunteers were worthy recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“At Essex Police, we value difference, and we know that different life experiences only make our policing family stronger.

“Our Specials are no different. As a Special Constable in Essex, you are valued, supported, and integrated into the wider policing family.

“Making new friends throughout, our Special Constables also see life from a very different perspective and, of course, helping people, keeping people safe and upholding the law.

“We know that many Specials have busy family lives or high-pressured day jobs – they volunteer to give something back to the community.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen an unbelievable commitment from our Specials.

“When many were placed on furlough – or when some lost their jobs – they didn’t hesitate to fill their time with protecting and serving the county.

“I know that the impact of the pandemic has caused many to re-evaluate their relationship with their communities and focus on what’s closer to home.

“If you’re someone who would like to get involved in protecting and serving the people around you, then volunteering a Special Constable could be the answer.”

Essex Police currently has more than 500 specials who volunteer at least 16 hours of their time every month.

Specials can perform the same duties as regular police officers and in 2020, they made 1,163 arrests, submitted 6,417 traffic reports and conducted 755 breath tests.

They also spent 2,559 hours searching for missing people and another 2,779 dealing with mental health incidents and carried out 820 licensing checks.

Essex Police has the fastest-growing and second-largest Special Constabulary in the country.

Visit to find out more and to find out how to become a Special Constable.