5. Lifestyle

Specials 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 one is an experience that will enrich your daily life and see you grow in confidence and authority.

So what happens on a typical shift?

First and foremost, the 24-hour nature of policing London means that there's no such thing as a typical shift. Each time you sign on, 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 amazingly satisfying too. And there’s real scope to bring the skills from your day job to the frontline of policing.

Where will you be based?

Specials are based in each of the 32 London boroughs and are usually supervised by a number of special sergeants and a special inspector or a substantive regular police officer. Each borough and unit has its own unique policing challenges, reflecting the area and the people who live there. You will be given the opportunity to select 3 boroughs you wish to volunteer in as a special constable during the recruitment process. We will contact you to discuss your posting if we need you to volunteer in another area.


As a special constable you will be required to wear a full police officer uniform - this includes a helmet, radio, body armour and additional officer safety equipment (OSE) as well as carrying handcuffs.


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.