Since being a special constable I’ve been able to see what I’m capable of

Kirsty is a mum of two and joined Bedfordshire Police as a special constable to help make Bedfordshire safe for her young children.

I have lived in Bedfordshire my whole life. I have had some difficult personal life experiences and wanted to be able to turn those negative experiences into something positive through volunteering as an officer. To be able to help others who might have experienced something similar to me and those who are in need of support is important to me.

I wanted to help make Bedfordshire a safer place for my children to grow up in and for fellow residents

I work part time for my husband’s electrical contracting company doing general admin duties and he is very supportive of my volunteering, I am very lucky! To become a special constable I enrolled on the three week intensive course which consisted of theory, practical elements, personal safety training and first aid training. There was a lot to learn but it was exciting, engaging and enjoyable. It included everything I needed to become fully operational.

Since attesting there have been ongoing opportunities for further training, some optional and some mandatory.

I chose to go on the three week intense training course because it was run during the summer holidays. I took annual leave and booked my children in to holiday clubs.

It was a challenge to juggle everything but I just had to ensure I was highly organised.

I also made sure that at the end of each day I had a couple hours of down time to spend with my family to keep a healthy work/life balance.

The home preparation was challenging. I had to force myself to have a disciplined approach to completing evening studies. It was very tempting to get home and put my feet up for the rest of the night!

I really loved doing the training and found that if I focused on studying in the evening I absorbed all the information I needed, which put me at an advantage for the next training day.

In uniform

I soon got into a good routine and was so passionate on achieving my end goal that nothing was going to phase me!

I’m not going to lie, it was very intensive!! But it was honestly one of my best times of my life. I loved going back through the learning process and with it being three solid weeks I made some amazing friends.

We all felt the intensity of the course at times but we all came together and spurred one another on. We developed good relationships with the trainers and because we were in that environment every day we were constantly absorbing information which we were then able to test each other on over the following days.

Personally, I found it more convenient. With it being three solid weeks it means you get consistency and you fall into a good learning routine.

Being able to make a difference to a person’s life is what I really thrive upon

I absolutely love being a special constable. Putting on the uniform and going out to support people, fight crime and make Bedfordshire a safer place gives me a huge sense of fulfilment and pride.

I have really enjoyed everything so far, from the training to becoming part of a supportive and friendly team where we combat crime together.

A couple of my most memorable moments have been locating a missing child and helping a suicidal person get the immediate help and support they needed.

I love being a special and working with the local community

I have been involved in multiple warrants, policing for the night time economy and events like football matches, Remembrance Day and the Christmas lights switch on.

It’s a great feeling when people come up to you to thank you for the job you do and the feeling you get when you get home and know that you have made a real difference to somebody today.

I have been able to see what I’m really capable of

I have increased my self-confidence through the difference challenges I have pushed myself to do.

I have found that being a special constable is effective at rebalancing your sense of perspective. It’s helped me step back in certain situations and re-evaluate my approach to things in life.

One of my favourite things I’ve been involved in was the Millwall vs Luton football match! I also love going out with response because of the variety of jobs we have to deal with.

Take the plunge and apply to be a special constable!

You won’t have any regrets. I am very happy with the choice I made. Being a special is rewarding, exciting and fulfilling.

It will change your life and others, for the better.

Selfie 1

31-year-old Kirsty Allen joined Bedfordshire Police as a special in August 2019 after completing the three week intensive training course.

If you would like to gain new skills, grow as a person and see a side of yourself you didn’t know you had, apply at www.bedfordshire.police.uk/careers.

 

 

How a major enquiry shaped the future of victim care in Bedfordshire


A new sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for Bedfordshire has been heralded as a centre of excellence in the provision of facilities for victims of rape and sexual assault.

A standalone, purpose-designed facility, it contains two state-of-the art, fully equipped forensic examination suites which, while being technically compliant, are designed to put victims at ease by having a less clinical ambience than a hospital or medical centre. The centre also boasts tailored facilities for adults, teens and children, and working spaces for SARC staff and police officers.

But roll the clock back three decades and you’d see a very different landscape in the investigation of such cases, and in victim care.

Continue reading

Responding to your call

Over the Christmas period we often forget about those working in emergency services who spend Christmas day responding to calls of help.

Inspector John Nichols and Acting Sergeant Louise Durkin are both working over the Christmas period for the north of the county. They will be on the team that responds to 999 calls.

Christmas will be a little different this year for Louise and her partner, also a response officer, especially with their 20 month old baby.

Louise says: “This year will be particularly challenging because both my partner and I are working during the whole festive period. We also have a 20 month old baby who will be spending a large amount of Christmas with family due to our work commitments.

“To offset this, we are planning to do our own early Christmas Day, but this will not be the same as celebrating with the rest of our loved ones.

“Instead, our Christmas day will be spent with colleagues, who are like a second family.”

John Nichols has been working for Bedfordshire Police for 24 years and has spent a few years working over the festive period.

“This Christmas Day, I will be running the Response team for the north of the county, which covers about two thirds of Bedfordshire. I will lead the team who will attend all of the emergency call-outs during the day,” he explains.

“Over my 24 year policing career, I have worked many a Christmas Day, but this year will be my first on response. Even after all this time, it is never a great feeling to leave your family on Christmas Day.

“As my children are now grown up, they are used to Dad not being there every Christmas. But this year I will be finished by 7pm and get to share some of the celebrations with them.

“These days, I feel sorry for those younger in service. For some of my section, it will be their first ever Christmas not with their loved ones and that can be a bit of a culture shock for them.”

Morale can get low when spending Christmas at work but the close knit teams are always there to support each other.

Louise says: “To keep spirits high amongst the team, who will no doubt be missing their families, we are going to indulge in a few extra treats in between attending incidents and patrolling Bedfordshire.”

John Says: “During times we are in the office, we will be bringing in some food to eat together, but it will no doubt be long before we are dispersed as we each attend different incidents.”

The Christmas period is a busier period for officers because we see an increase in public order offences, drink drivers and domestic incidents.

Louise finishes with some advice to Bedfordshire residents this Christmas: “Be safe, enjoy yourself over the festive period with those you love, because you never know what the future may hold.”

Follow the hashtag #keepingbedssafe to see what Bedfordshire Police has been doing to protect the public this festive season on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.