I saw the advert for the Special Constabulary about a year ago, and when I looked into it a bit more I decided it was something I could do. I have three young children and I think now is a good time for me to see if this is something I want to do longer term.
I wanted to volunteer as a Special Constable because I love people; working with them, helping them and being around them. I didn’t want to wake up when I was older and regret not trying it.
I also love adventure and not knowing what to expect and having to think on my feet.
Career wise I’ve always worked with young people; I was a youth worker, then a teaching assistant and then I co-ran a behavioural unit in a school, and I feel like all those experiences have naturally led to this.
I definitely think the skills mums have can transfer to other areas – for example I think I’m a very compassionate person, and with three kids I’ve had the challenge of teaching them all to get along! Most parents would agree that a massive part of being a parent is the constant negotiation with your children, so I’m sure those skills will be very useful.
I’ve talked about the Specials to my kids and they are excited for me. I have a really supportive husband and family, so I’ll make sure when I’m on a shift my husband or my mum are with the kids.
It’s important to show them that you can achieve things, and that giving something back to your community is important. It will also give them an opportunity to learn more about the world, and I hope rather than seeing people as ‘baddies’ they will see them as people that mummy and her colleagues are trying to help.
The training course is 16 weeks – two nights a week for the first eight weeks and one night a week for the last eight weeks. You also do two full days of personal safety training during the first four weeks. It was intense but it’s not insurmountable.
There is a lot of work to do, but it’s proportionate to what we were trying to achieve. A tip I would give to others is that it is important to keep on top of the workload and manage your time well.
You have to study in your spare time, but as long as you don’t miss any days it’s manageable.
We covered so much in the training, including human rights, law, police officer powers and various policies. The overall experience was amazing, and the two sergeants who deliver the training are phenomenal.
The other Specials on my course were amazing. By the third week I felt like friendships were developing, that’s down to the trainers who created a great environment for us – they don’t make it feel stressful because they are so encouraging.
Now that I’ve attested I’ll be starting soon – I will go into it wholeheartedly and it will be a real change for me to be able to have a single focus, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the communities of Bedfordshire.
As a Special there are lots of opportunities to volunteer in different departments, and there are areas I think I’d like to go into; maybe the drugs or investigating complex crimes like modern day slavery.
I thought this experience would be good, although I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I can safely say it’s been much better than I ever expected, and I’m looking forward to getting started!
Mickey Peacock is one of 30 new Special Constables who attested in October, and will soon start volunteering across the county, providing vital support to their regular colleagues. To find out more about joining the Specials, email BeSpecial@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk or visit our website.