Wednesday, 02 September 2015

Cumbria university urges staff and students to become special constables

A recruitment drive has been launched at the University of Cumbria to attract more special constables.

Rob Ewin photo
Rob Ewin

Students and staff at the university are being urged to volunteer as part-time officers to help in the fight against crime on the county’s streets.

The university and Cumbria Constabulary already work in partnership with the university’s Institute of Policing and Criminal Justice Studies delivering a range of policing courses to students and serving police officers.

Chief Constable Stuart Hyde is also a member of the University of Cumbria’s board of directors.

He said: “The job of a special constable should never be underestimated and we need more people to get involved with the constabulary to make a positive difference to their local area. It takes a lot for someone to choose to dedicate their spare time for the benefit of others but it can be incredibly rewarding.

“Special constables play a crucial role in fighting crime and making our streets safer. They volunteer a minimum of four hours per week and form a vital link between their community and regular police officers.

“They take part in front-line police work, spending most of their time on the streets, doing intelligence-based patrols in crime hotspots or taking part in crime-prevention initiatives.

“This could mean anything from keeping town centres safe at night through to conducting house-to-house enquiries or helping prevent vulnerable members of the community from becoming victims of crime.”

Some of the university’s students have already become involved as volunteer special constables, with 24 of them on the policing foundation degree being sworn in at police headquarters in Penrith in October 2011.

Robert Ewin, who is studying FdSc Policing (Community Safety) at the university has just been awarded ‘Special Constable of the Year 2011’ by Cumbria Constabulary and has completed over 2000 hours in voluntary roles so far.

Andy Butler is a member of staff in the university’s Penrith library. He has been volunteering as a Special for six years and is now Special Inspector for Penrith and Eden.

He said: “For me, being a Special is about putting something back into the community.

“The skills I have learnt in the time I have worked for the Constabulary have not only become transferrable but also helped me gain the experience that is needed for the day job I do at the university.”

Anyone interested in becoming a special constable can find more information on the Cumbria Constabulary website at



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