Arrests, hostages and swans… a day on duty as a Special

Special Constable Martin White joined in 2009 and volunteers around 60 hours a month for the force. In this blog post he tells us about an eventful day on duty shortly after becoming independent…

Before I joined the Specials I thought that they did little more than police village fetes. How wrong I was!

Today I start duty at 5:30am with another Special. He is 19 and I’m 60 but we get on well. It’s an early start as we are aiming to arrest someone who’s wanted under a court warrant.

At 6.30am we arrive at the address of our man. He has moved but we are given a phone number and call him to ask him to come to the police station. To our surprise he agrees so we head back to the station to be there when he arrives.

15 minutes later we’re despatched to deal with an injured, and very angry, swan causing traffic mayhem at rush hour. We shoo it behind a fence to await someone from the swan sanctuary to collect it. While we’re waiting we get a call to say that our chap turned up at the police station and was arrested.

At 9 am we arrive back at the station for a CID briefing. We are required at the execution of drugs warrants at two properties, and an hour later we’re at the locations. One had been used as a factory but was abandoned, leaving just the remnants behind. But at the other, we find Class A drugs and the occupant is arrested. We head back to the station to book in our evidence and type up our statements.

Off then to grab some food and take it back to the station to eat while I continue my paperwork. But I’ve only had one bite when a call comes in – there’s a hostage situation in town and the firearms units are despatched. I drop the food and off we go.

We arrive seconds after a regular officer, who is talking to a chap with a knife at the entrance to a building. The force control room calls me to give an assessment of the location and situation over the radio so I can prepare the firearms officers before they arrive. Fortunately the regular officer manages to talk the hostage taker into a position where an arrest can take place.

On the way back to the station we see someone who we suspect is wanted for a serious crime. He runs but we catch up with him and although it turns out he is no longer wanted, he smells strongly of cannabis. Before I can search him, he puts his hand into his pants, pulls out a couple of deal bags and slaps them into my hand! He gets cautioned.

Finally we head back to the station for more statements and to clock off. I throw away my uneaten lunch and go home for dinner after 13 hours of duty. What a day!

Being part of a hostage situation was the last thing I expected when I turned up for duty. Not every day is this action packed, but the beauty of being a Special is that you really have no idea what is going to happen when you arrive in the morning, and doing this as a volunteer makes it all the more rewarding.

To find out more about becoming a Special Constable, come along to one of our information evenings.

The next Special Constabulary Information Evening is at Police Heqadquarters in Kempston on Wednesday 6 June. To register, click here.


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