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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.
Meet our special constables in the Met
KK: My name is Khafi Kareem, I’m 25 years old and I’m Special in the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. I’ve been a Special for four years now and in my day job, I’m a workshop facilitator.
PN: I’m Patrick Ndungu I’ve been a Special Constable since 2009 and in 2013, I became a Special Sergeant.
SK: My name is Simon Kobic. I have been a Special Constable for two years. As a day job, I’m a freelance graphic designer.
RC: My name’s Ria Cowan. I’m 23. I’ve been a Special Constable for just over two years and I work in the borough of Barking & Dagenham.
JA: My name is Jahangir Alam. I’m a Special Constable with the London Metropolitan Police. I’m 48 years old. I have been a Special Constable for eight years and my day job is I’m a School Teacher.
The role of a special constable
RC: As a Special Constable, it’s really, really important to build relationships with all the different communities, especially in your borough, as it helps with the public perception of the police. I t also helps people feel confident in the police and when reporting any unusual activity or anything suspicious that they see.
SK: The incidents I deal with are very broad. On one occasion, you might deal with something as simple as shoplifting. Someone who smokes cannabis; you might do Stop and Search, Stop and account.
KK: Being a Special fits in with my day job really well and because of the flexibility of the role, I’m able to select duties that fit around my schedule.
SK: I became a Special Constable with the Met Police for more than one reason. There’s the aspect that, yes, you do want to help people, you do want to contribute to how London operates.
RC: I became a Special Constable because I always, always wanted to join the police.
KK: I feel like I make a difference in so many ways. Being there, being present, being female, being someone who people can relate to. I feel personally I can interact with people. I remember when I first started, I thought I have to be all (tough voice) “I’m a police officer; I have to do this, I have to do that.” But then I realised ‘hold on, I’m a human being – and police officers are human beings.’
JA: My children are very, very proud of me. They think I’m doing something really, really positive for society. They think I’m making a difference on the street; they’re very proud of me, especially my young son who’s eight years old.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a special constable?
RC: As a Special Constable, you never know what you’re going to face; it’s always different, it’s always a change. I always want to come back, put my uniform on and go out there and get involved, cause it helps people feel safer, more confident in their homes and in their community.
SK: One of the things that will make you come back to work again and again is the fact that you don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with. It’s not a job that’s routine.
KK: It’s me feel so proud and happy to know that I police London. It’s such a diverse city with so many different nationalities, so many different people. And it makes me so proud that I’m able to go out there and serve a community as diverse as London is.
JA: I do really think London is one of the safest cities in the world. Policing this city is a big privilege.
What would I say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Special Constable?
KK: The one thing I would say to anyone who’s thinking about becoming a Special Constable would be this: stop thinking about it and just do it. You will not have any regrets. I’m so happy with the choice I made.
JA: My advice to anyone who wants to join the police is instead of saying them and us, fill the gap be them as well as us.
RC: The one thing I’d say to somebody wanting to join as a Special Constable would be just do it – you’re gonna’ love it.