08 Feb 2018
A VOLUNTEER police officer has looked back over some of his most memorable shifts as recruitment opens for Dyfed-Powys Police’s Special Constabulary.
Haydn Bradley-Davies has been a Special Constable since July 2016, and was the youngest on his intake at the age of 19. He now volunteers between 30-40 hours a month patrolling the streets of Aberystwyth.
Special Constables are volunteer police officers with the same powers and uniform as regular officers. They go on foot and car patrol, can be sent to incidents ranging from antisocial behaviour and criminal damage, to public disorder and assaults, and have the power of arrest. The only difference is that the time they give to the force – a minimum of 16 hours a month – is voluntary.
SC Bradley-Davies applied to the Special Constabulary after watching a daytime TV programme, hoping to get a taste of life as a police officer. He now volunteers alongside his full time job with the Welsh Government.
He said: “I remember my first shift well – it wasn’t a quiet night to get started. Within an hour we were called to a pub in town where someone had been escorted out because they were being rowdy. Later on we went up to Machynlleth with taser because someone was making threats with a knife.”
Specials go out on patrol with regular officers, have the power of arrest, and get a huge sense of satisfaction from giving up their time to help others. They could be called to all sorts of incidents, from antisocial behaviour or criminal damage, to serious assaults, and never know what their shift might bring. They are supported by regular officers, and are buddied up with more experienced volunteers.
“One of my most memorable shifts was when there was a gas leak in Llanidloes, so we went up there on an immediate response,” SC Bradley-Davies said.
“We dealt with that and headed back to Aberystwyth. As we were coming back through town someone flagged us down to say there was a fire. It was well alight, so we had to evacuate people from the buildings around – it’s not a shift I’ll forget!”
Recruitment for Dyfed-Powys Police’s Special Constabulary is open from Monday, February 5 until Wednesday, March 7, and SC Bradley-Davies would recommend it to anyone who would like to experience life as a police officer.
“I love it,” he said. “You get to work with a great bunch of people, who you become friends with. Not only that, but you learn a lot about yourself – you get to know your own strengths and weaknesses.
“A lot of people think it’s all racing around arresting people, but it’s not. We deal with people who are suffering with mental ill health, people in life or death situations, and we see people at their lowest time. You get to make a real difference.”
To apply, you must be over 18 but there is no upper age limit as long as you are physically fit and can pass the endurance (bleep) test at level 5.4.
Those who successfully apply, pass vetting, a medical and the fitness test will undergo seven weekends of initial training at HQ, which covers aspects of law, personal safety training, restraint techniques, conflict management, role play scenarios, training on force systems, dealing with antisocial behaviour, stop search and standard search procedures.
This is followed up by training once a month on division, where their knowledge is built upon. Specials start to complete work books from day one of training, and follow these through to completion on division – once they have completed their workbooks and have had them signed off they achieve independent patrol status.
Follow @DPPSpecials on Twitter, Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on Facebook, or click here to apply.
*If you’re interested in applying but would like to find out more before taking the plunge, email Citizens in Policing Coordinator Adele Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org