4. Life as a special constable

Special constables in London come from all walks of life and get involved in all kinds of police work in one of the world’s most diverse cities. Becoming a Special is an experience that will enrich your life and you will unlock your potential and make a difference to the communities and people of London.

So what happens on a typical shift?

There is no such thing as a typical shift, you could find yourself involved in anything from responding to 999 emergency calls, to going out on patrol, making house-to-house enquiries or presenting evidence in court.

Yes, it can be challenging – but it can be extremely satisfying and rewarding too. Thereis real scope to utilise the skills from your day job to the frontline of policing.

Where will you be based?

Specials are present in each of the 12 Basic Command Units (BCU) across London’s 32 boroughs. Each BCU has its own unique policing challenges, reflecting the area and community. You will be given the opportunity to select 3 BCUs you wish to volunteer in as a special constable during the recruitment process.


As a special constable you will be required to wear full police officer uniform - this includes a helmet, radio, body worn camera, body armour and additional officer safety equipment.


Specials can apply for criminal injuries compensation for injuries received on duty in the same way as regular officers.

The Special Constables Regulations provide for the refund of a maximum of 28 weeks loss of income by a special constable as a result of an injury on duty, subject to a maximum of a regular constable's pay over the same period.

A special constable may also be entitled to claim for loss of earnings through injury on duty not caused by a criminal act. A claim for loss of wages in the form of temporary total disablement (from usual gainful employment) can be submitted to the Met if an injury is incurred on duty as a special constable. This is mainly funded from a corporately arranged insurance with policy benefits of £500 per week payable for 28 weeks.