3. Meet our specials

What’s it really like being a special? How easy is it to fit police work around your day job? What can you expect out on the beat? Here’s your chance to find out more.

Special constable Khaku

Years of service: six

Occupation: Building consultant

What was your main motivation for joining the Met?

Several years ago a sergeant based in Harrow spoke to me about joining the Met. I felt that my community and I were underrepresented in policing and I wanted to change that. Being a special constable allows me to work closely with people, building trust, listening to their concerns and providing real resolutions.

I have been volunteering for the past six years now and I still look forward to putting on that uniform and stepping out on duty.

What would you say your role is like on a day to day basis?

No two days are ever the same, but the constant is that as a special constable you can be the voice of reason in situations of heightened emotion. You get to be there for people when they are most in need.

As a special constable you have the same opportunities as a regular police constable. The Met is such a diverse service that you can shape your role to what you find interesting. You could be part of a response team attending to emergency situations, be office based investigating fraud, or working in neighbourhoods helping the community, the opportunities available to you are endless.

What is your most memorable moment?

The most memorable moments are the ones where you know your actions have directly helped someone. From sitting with an elderly robbery victim for three hours to coming to the aid of a young man who had been stabbed. That’s the thing about being a special constable you learn life skills that are just as useful outside of Met, such as first aid and effective communication.

Special constable Khaku
Special constable Khaku

Special sergeant Davis

Years of service: six

Occupation: Chartered accountant

What would you say your role is like on a day to day basis?

You can fit your shifts around you so I choose to work night shifts every other weekend. You only need to volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month, when and how you do this is up to you.

My shifts often involve responding to emergency calls, the calls can be fast paced or slower depending on the scenario. From dealing with members of the public in distress, arresting those who have committed a criminal offence or checking on a child or vulnerable person’s welfare - the list really is endless.

What skills have you learnt from being a special sergeant?

Communication is key. Every shift presents you with a different scenario, you may not know what you are walking into but you know that you are there to help. One day you could be deescalating a situation the next helping a victim of crime, either way what you say is just as important as what you do.

London is such a diverse city, you get to meet people from all different cultures and backgrounds. This exposure has helped me in my role as an accountant as I often work with people who are based in different countries, where English is not their first language.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?

There are aspects of working as a special constable that can feel quite daunting. Nonetheless, it's encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, be confident in my abilities and surprisingly a female voice in a difficult situation can sometimes come in very handy in calming a situation down!

 

Special sergeant Davis
Special sergeant Davis

Special constable Milsom

Years of service: two

Occupation: Communications trainee

What was your main motivation for joining the Met?

I have close friends who are regular police constables that inspired me to join. I have seen them step in and help people when they need it the most. There was one particular incident that stuck with me – and straight after, I went home and applied. As cheesy as it may sound I wanted to make a difference and give back to an amazing city that has done so much for me and bought me so many opportunities.

Did you have any concerns before joining?

I was concerned that I would be treated differently to regular police constables by being put into dangerous situations unequipped or without the necessary training. It was a pleasant surprise that we are given the same safety training and equipment as a regular police constable to match the same responsibilities we hold as a special constable. You never feel alone, you learn on the job and have a whole team around you that you can go to for support and advice.

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

I was not yet sure of what I wanted to do in the future but I did know that becoming a Special constable was a sure fire way to develop my skill set and prepare me for the world of work. I am now confident that I can think logically and quickly in extreme pressure environments as well as being able to de-escalate volatile situations by simply talking to people.

By far the skill I am most proud of is being able to recognise when people are vulnerable or heading down a dark path in their life, you would be surprised at how easily the skills you learn on duty transfer to your personal life and vice versa.

What would you say to someone considering joining?

If you’re looking for a new challenge,or are considering joining the service as a regular but are not quite sure, or want to serve your community positively, or simply want to broaden your horizons then becoming a special constable is a great place to start. You’ll see a side to London that you didn’t know existed and meet so many incredible people that will change your outlook on life. There is no shame in deciding it isn’t for you, but so much to gain from finding out that it is!

Special constable Milsom
Special constable Milsom

Special constable Walker

Years of service: seven

Occupation: Operations manager

What was your main motivation for joining the Met?

I had always considered becoming a regular police constable. Joining the Met as a special constable gave me the opportunity to experience life on the frontline without having to commit to a full time role. After I had my children the volunteer role was perfect for me because it’s flexible, you can fit your shifts around you.

What skills have you learnt from being a Special constable?

I judge people less. I take a step back assess the situation and make a decision without any preconceived assumptions. It is important to make the right decisions while remaining impartial. Every day is different, every borough is different so you have to be mentally prepared for anything. Although my role as a special constable is completely unlike my day to day job, you do realise just how transferable all the skills you learn on duty are. A member at my work had a heart attack and because of my training as a special constable I was able to keep a cool head and pull on my first aid skills to help.

What did your family think of you volunteering?

At first they were worried, especially my husband, but after seeing how well equipped I am and how much I enjoy the role they soon got behind the idea. My children are extremely proud, they love to hear about my day and know that their mum is out there helping people. It’s a great feeling knowing that I am helping to build a better community for my children, for their future.

Special constable Walker
Special constable Walker