Specials Cohort Begin Training

A new cohort of Special Constables will start learning the ropes this week when they begin an intensive training programme at the Cleveland Police Headquarters on Ladgate Lane in Middlesbrough.

The training, which kicks off on Wednesday 12th October, will prepare the rookie officers for life on duty on the streets of Teesside.

The special constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who work with and support their local police. 'Specials', as these constables are often known, come from all walks of life - they are teachers, taxi drivers, accountants, electricians or any number of other careers - and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police force.

Specials play a key role in local policing and have the same powers in law as regular police officers, including the power of arrest. However, the role of Specials can also extend into more complex areas of policing.

Cleveland Police’s Special Constabulary Chief Officer David Robinson said: "I am incredibly proud of these individuals who are prepared to sacrifice so much of their time to train to a high level to be able to deploy safely in the communities of Cleveland. Once the training is complete these officers will be on the frontline, putting their newly acquired skills into practice. Being a Special Constable is an incredibly challenging role but one which is tremendously rewarding.

“We have many officers, new recruits and those who are more experienced, who all want to give something back to the community.

“It therefore makes sense to deploy them wherever they can offer valuable support to regular officers as well as provide a reassuring presence to residents and visitors.”

Retired Superintendent Steve Kielty worked for Cleveland Police for 30 years and retired in December 2015. Steve has now decided to join the force once again, but this time as a Special Constable.

Steve Kielty said: “After I left the Force I wanted to be able to spend a little of my free time giving something back and I thought that by becoming a Special Constable I would be able to do this. I have 30 years’ worth of experience in policing and believe I will be able to transfer this into my new role. I am really looking forward to starting my training!”

Chief Constable Iain Spittal added: “Special constables have an integral role alongside our regular officers. They also play a vital role in keeping our neighbourhoods safe with the experience and skills they offer complementing those of our regular officers.  I hope people will come and speak to our Special Constables if they see them out and about, and find out more about their role.”