A career in...
Being a special constable and a medic
Jonathan Townsend leads a double life as a junior doctor and special constable
- By: Laura Glenny
Special constables are full police officers, with powers to arrest, search, and section. They have the same uniform and responsibilities as police constables. Special constables differ from police community support officers, who have limited powers. Aside from the fantastic experience and the chance to help the community, special constables get travel and food expenses for shifts across the country, and those based in London get free travel on TfL [Transport for London].
The biggest challenge is the unexpected. Every call you attend, every interaction you have is different when you are in uniform. A change in mentality is commonplace when people encounter the police. Some people are afraid, some people become anti-authoritarian, and others might be stressed or upset because they have called you in a time of need. On top of that, each call is different—for instance, during August 2011, when there was countrywide disorder and rioting, I had