Special PC says volunteering best thing he ever did

By Amanda Wilkins - 14 May 2024

  • Special Constable Rob Bewey

    Special Constable Rob Bewey

After 22 years in the armed forces, Rob Bewey was left with a big hole in his life and turned to volunteering with Wiltshire Police, which he says gives him a purpose in life.

He is backing Wiltshire Police's recruitment drive for more Special Constables.

Special Constables, or Specials as they are sometimes known, are volunteer officers who have the same powers and responsibilities as regular full-time officers and carry out the same roles.

Rob first joined the Force as a Special Constable in 2005. He had recently left the military and was finding civilian lifestyle ‘mundane’. His wife took him along to an information evening about volunteering with Wiltshire Police in Broad Green, Swindon and he never looked back.

“This is the best thing that I have ever done. The reason that I joined the Special Constabulary was to serve the community that I live and work in and to keep people of Swindon and surrounding areas safe.

“I enjoy being a Special simply because it gives me a purpose in life, to assist and help my regular colleagues in the work that they do. There is never a dull moment, and each day is different. You never know what will be happening next which is exciting and challenging.

“You can learn to specialise in areas of the police force and in my 20 years of service I have been policing in Swindon working in several departments including Response, Neighbourhood Policing, and Roads Policing.

“I have worked my way through the ranks from Special Constable to Special Sergeant and then to Special Inspector. In 2016, I also attended the College of Policing Senior Leadership Programme and I now hold the role of Special Constable Lead Representative.

“A standout achievement in my career has been Operation Distiller. This was a licensing operation aimed at improving public safety through checks in pubs and clubs. My proactive approach helped lead to arrests for Possession with Intent to Supply (PWITS).

“I have also planned, organised, and run operations and I have received awards numerous times to recognise my hard work.

“I also helped to reintroduce the Police Cadet scheme in Wiltshire, for the first time since 1981. The first unit was set up in Swindon and I played an integral part in helping to run the unit. The police cadets have since been rolled out across the force.

“I would recommend to anybody to join the Special Constabulary. To my mind Special Constables are a very important part of the police family. They are a vital commodity as they are worth their weight in gold, and it takes a very special person to become a Special Constable.

“If you're keen, dedicated, resilient, can manage your time effectively and can complete 16 hours per month then this is the perfect role for you. We would welcome you with open arms!”

Rob's dedication, professionalism, and selfless commitment have left an indelible mark on Wiltshire Police, earning him the respect and admiration of colleagues and leaders alike. His work has been recognised by the Force by being awarded the Chief Constable's Certificate of Merit both in 2009 and 2011.

He was also awarded a certificate of Outstanding Achievement at the 2011 Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards, for his work in recruitment and retention, presented by Damian Green MP.

If you feel that you have what it takes to be a special constable, can give up at least 16 hours a month and would like to give back to your community doing what must be the most rewarding volunteer role there is.

To be eligible to become a Special Constable the basic requirements are that you must be:

  • either a national of a country within the European Economic Area or, if not, have leave to remain in the UK free of restrictions
  • at least 18 years old when making your application
  • in good health, and of good character
  • have level 2 maths and English qualifications
  • able to speak and write English competently
  • have a full driving licence by the time you start training.

People can find more information on becoming a Special Constable via Special constables | Wiltshire Police

The closing date for applications is 19 May.

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