What’s your New Year’s Resolution this year? Health kick? Saving money? Or how about a new career?

West Yorkshire Police is launching a recruitment drive for its Special Constabulary.

The recruitment window opens on January 5 and will run until January 26 and the Force says it is looking for exciting and dynamic individuals to volunteer.

Assistant Chief Cons Angela Williams, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Becoming a Special Constable is a privilege. Like any other role within the policing family and it can open a variety of opportunities for personal and professional development. New recruits will undergo the same training as police officers so they will gain a real insight into the day-to-day life at West Yorkshire Police.

“Over the past 18 months, West Yorkshire Police has been able to recruit again for police officers, special constables and PCSOs. The scale of this recruitment offers a real opportunity to increase the diversity of our workforce and better represent the communities we serve.

“Volunteering for West Yorkshire Police can lead to other roles within the Force including Roads Policing Teams, Response officers and Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs). There really is something for everyone.”

What is a Special Constable?

A Special Constable holds the same powers and privileges as a regular officer and is entitled to arrest someone in exactly the same way.

Special Constables are not paid, but do receive meal and mileage expenses to ensure they are not out of pocket.

West Yorkshire Police Specials are integrated into virtually every aspect of policing, they drive police cars at varying levels of competency to be able to respond to public needs, are governed by the same policies and laws as regular officers.

Special Constables on duty in Marsden for the Ale Trail revellers

Who can apply?

Anyone over 18 years can apply to join the Special Constabulary and West Yorkshire Police welcomes all suitable applicants, whatever their background.

How much time does a Special Constable have to commit?

Special Constables are asked to commit a minimum of 16 hours a month to the role. Usually 4 hours a week.

Some Special Constables can work up to 10 hours on a shift, in line with the regular officers they are teamed up with. Specials work a variety of shifts – earlies, lates and nights - to fit in with their other life roles.

What qualifications do you need to become a Special Constable?

You don’t need any formal qualifications to join the Special Constabulary, but you do need plenty of common sense, patience, enthusiasm, compassion, commitment and self-motivation.

65 special constables took on the Running Man challenge in 2016 - watch them go!

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What else?

You need a good level of fitness but you do not need to be an athlete. Religious and cultural needs are respected, with Special Constables throughout the country wearing turbans whilst on duty.

The formal stuff: To be a Special Constable you must be a British citizen, EC/EEA national, Commonwealth Citizen or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK and can be from any ethnic background. People with specific cultural knowledge or language skills are needed.

How to apply

For more information about the Special Constabulary or on how to apply, click here.