2. ESP employer advice

Benefits for employers

Being part of an Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme can benefit your business in a number of ways.

ESP is all about:

  • having an active, powerful and innovative way for businesses, public sector organisations and the police to work proactively together
  • police-trained (and empowered) staff working on your premises, doing their usual ‘day job’ when not on duty with the Met with the benefit of extensive experience and skills – reassurance and a real presence
  • staff improving how they assess difficult situations, which arise in their ‘day jobs’ through their legal training and practical experience
  • an increased, dedicated police presence in areas local or relevant to your organisation or industry, with experienced officers patrolling alongside ESP-recruited ‘specials’, creating a safer environment
  • an increase in the productivity of the rest of the team through a greater sense of security
  • a key ‘marketable’ enhancement of Corporate Social Responsibility for any organisation
  • forging enhanced links with the local police and an increase in the ability to tackle local problems with local officers
  • having members of your staff who are properly briefed in respect of local crime trends

Special constables who perform at least 200 hours worth of duty per year (1 day per fortnight is sufficient to achieve this) are entitled to free London Tube, Bus, DLR, TfL-operated London overground and Croydon Tramlink travel, whether they are on or off duty. This could be an effective increase in income of over £1900 (based on the price of a zone 1-6 annual Travelcard at 2016 rates). Some conditions apply.

This offer is subject to MSC policies, which are available on request. As a guide, an ESP special constable performing one day's duty per fortnight would accrue 208 hours duty per year.

Becoming a special constable offers huge benefits in terms of staff development - benefits that could not be bought commercially. Working on the street as a police officer with the public means making decisions that have an immediate impact on the people they are dealing with, so getting those decisions right is crucial. People look to police officers for direction in stressful situations and taking charge of incidents will give your staff confidence and assertiveness which they can bring to their workplace.

The whole experience will rapidly develop staff in various ways, making them more effective at work. Special constables are widely regarded by employers as being more committed, dependable, confident, and responsible in the workplace.

At the heart of the training are the seven core skills or competencies that every police officer must be proficient in:

  1. Personal responsibility
  2. Effective communication
  3. Resilience
  4. Problem solving
  5. Customer focus
  6. Teamwork
  7. Respect for diversity

These are transferable skills, which they will be able to put to use, not only in their professional capacity but also in their personal life. For example, managing confrontational situations, leadership and personal safety.

The pay off for an employee's hard work and commitment is that they should be a more highly developed and skilled member of the team. Special constables are widely regarded by employers as being more committed, dependable, confident, and responsible in the workplace.

Our commitment to you

We will provide your staff with comprehensive training and the skills necessary for them to become competent police officers. Many of the skills they will develop are transferable and can be used equally well in the workplace.

This training is provided at no additional cost to the employer so there's no financial deterrent to employers in allowing their staff to build new skills and confidence.

How to get involved

As an employer, your involvement is vitally important to the success of ESP for your organisation and staff, and the police and public.

We are keen that you are made fully aware of the ESP programme and all the benefits it can bring. This website should give enough information to allow you to make the decision to allow staff to take part, but please do email or call if you have any further questions.

There are three main ways for staff to get involved in ESP. These methods work best when combined together.

1. Internal recruitment, with the support of the Met

Your organisation signs up to a written Memorandum of Understanding (this is not a formal contract) with the ESP team and then nominates an ESP coordinator to act as a central point of contact, responsible for driving awareness and the recruitment process.

Your ESP coordinator can combine the information packs we provide with your own marketing ideas, preferred channels and HR department's input to create the most powerful awareness-driving campaign for your staff.

The Met provides a fast-track online application system. We also provide staff and line management information packs, as well as suggestions for posters, flyers and presence on your intranet. We can usually support recruitment days on your premises, for interested staff.

The Met handles all applications through every step of the selection process, including interviews, fitness and medical testing, vetting and more. All your business has to do is actively market the scheme to staff and managers and then support staff through the application process and when on duty part time.

2. Check your existing Special Leave Policy

You may find that your organisation already provides some paid leave each year for special constabulary or other public duties. Register this with the ESP team and receive formal recognition of your organisations support and your employees will benefit from being a part of ESP, without any change to policy.

3. Existing special constables

You may find that you have existing special constables working for you who could benefit from carrying out their duties as part of ESP. Any such people may currently work as special constables in London or surrounding forces. If they are Met 'specials', they could quickly be brought within the scheme. Individual circumstances would be considered for any non-Met current special constables but their training and induction would be significantly easier - perhaps even unnecessary.

Checking for existing specials is highly recommended – many employers we work with have been surprised to learn that they have a significant amount of special constables already working for them.

A full time member of staff would usually be doing their normal day job for 90% of their working hours – the benefits to your business from this unique training and development opportunity for staff are clear.


There are two ways in which your staff can get their training:

  • An intensive weekday course lasting four weeks (Monday-Friday). This is the preferred option as it allows the recruit to be fully trained around five months sooner.
  • Over 12 consecutive weekends, consisting of 8 Saturdays and Sundays plus 4 Saturdays or Sundays, totalling four weeks training. Employers may choose to give some of this time as paid special leave, for example: the following Mondays.

How to get in touch

If you're an employer considering supporting your staff in ESP, get in touch using our online form or call us on 0207 161 2654