Across the UK, dedicated volunteer police officers make the difference in their communities every day, serving on response teams and many other units including neighbourhoods, roads policing, specialist commands, public order deployments, 

Organised & presented by Esther McLaughlin, National Special Constabulary Sustainability and Uplift Coordinator, the “VPC to Special Constabulary Taster” on Microsoft Teams Live enabled teenagers and young adults from VPC teams to come together and hear from serving Special Constables (including Esther) talk about their role, experiences, and motivation for joining.

Esther presenting

Co-presented by Tim Mann, National Volunteer Police Cadets with Special Constable guests Kyle, Freya and Hubert (all with a previous VPC background), the audience learned all about why SC volunteering is so rewarding, recruitment programme and preparation, training, operational activities, challenges, and personal experiences.

Each guest SC talked about their service, “day jobs”, how they balance commitments and what inspires them most.


SC officer
Special Constable Kyle
SC officers
Special Constable Freya

Esther and the panel took the audience through key areas including recruitment, interviews, training, kit, range of operational commitments and much more.

There were some great questions in the Chat Bar, such as: -

  • Can you be an SC whilst also at Uni? (yes!)
  • Is having a tattoo a bar to being a Special? (unlikely to be a problem, but depends on the tattoo and where it is)
  • Can I drive a police car as an SC?(yes, once selected and trained to the right standard)
  • Is the training hard and how long is it? (varies per force, but usually takes a few months)
  • What is the difference between an SC and a PCSO? (SCs are warranted police officers with the full powers of a constable. Police Community Support Officers are civilian uniformed staff, with a very different but vital parallel operational patrol role.)
  • Can I be an adult VPC Leader and an SC? (yes indeed, many are!)

Esther McLaughlin said “Thank you to everyone who took part and joined us tonight, all the cadets and your adult leaders supporting you all the way. I am very proud to be in the Special Constabulary and work with such amazing volunteer police officers, like those you have met here tonight. If this has inspired you about taking the next steps, please talk to your VPC Leaders and the Special Constabulary team in your Force area. Good luck with all your futures and we look forward to seeing many of you in our ranks as new SCs in the years ahead.”

Tim Mann, National VPC, said “Becoming a Special Constable is a fantastic way for cadets to continue their police volunteering journey, in a completely new and exciting direction. This has been a really positive event tonight and as a former Special Constable myself, I can definitely recommend the amazing opportunities and experiences that can open up as a volunteer police officer!”

Thanks to everyone who took part and for some great feedback from cadet guests post-event.

  • “I have gained a lot of knowledge on what Special Constables really do and really enjoyed the event. Thank you”.
  • “It has been really helpful and has given me an insight into the role SCs play in our society”
  • “This event has been very helpful, and I would definitely join again if there was another one. It’s interesting to hear about being a special, especially since I didn’t really know the difference between a special constable and a PCSO. Thank you for hosting this event!”
  • “It was really helpful to know about all the tests that you have to do, because now I know what to aim for”
  • “The meeting was awesome, and I have idea of the work now.”

Cadets interested in pursuing Special Constabulary opportunities & next steps should contact their Force VPC coordinator. Good luck!

This webinar is available online for Volunteer Police Cadets only, via your adult VPC Leaders. Adult VPC Leaders can request access via the National VPC email admin mailbox.