A special constable is a volunteer police officer who has all of the same powers as a regular police officer, and offers support to the regular constabulary.
Every force in England and Wales has a Special Constabulary, with officers likely to get involved in all aspects of modern policing, but as a rule they tend not to be involved in the specialist areas of policing, focusing on more mainstream crime.
As of March 2022, there were 8,545 special constables across the 43 forces of England and Wales, down from 9,174 the previous year, a drop of 6.9 per cent.
Why should a special constable join the Federation?
Membership of the Federation is optional. Members receive support and advice from fellow officers who are elected workplace reps and have received training on Police Regulations to ensure you are properly represented, should you face an issue. This could be about knowing your rights and entitlements, but it also could mean getting you the right support if you become a victim of any workplace issues.
During performance and misconduct proceedings, a Fed rep will help, advise and represent you. Federation members can make Criminal, Misconduct and Civil applications for legal assistance (in compliance with our Funding Criteria – see Q.5) should they need it.
Membership also gives you access to a host of benefits from a range of affiliated providers who offer discounts on financial, health, travel, legal, home, vehicle and telecoms products and services.
Members can also book discounted overnight accommodation at our training and hotel facilities at Federation House in Leatherhead, Surrey. Full details can be found here.
Here is what some of them have to say:
Chris Burns (Hampshire Special Constabulary): Same risks, same representation
Simon Tavendar (Hampshire Special Constabulary): Looked after immensely well
Jamie Birtles (Cheshire Special Constabulary): 'It's not just about legal advice and protection, it's wider inclusion, increased professionalism, recognition and representation within the constabulary'.
How much does it cost per month to become a member?
You can opt to become a subscribing member of the Federation which entitles you to the full range of support and assistance in accordance with our rules. Membership costs less than £24 per month. In your first year as a special constable, the amount is discounted by 50%. Only in your second year do you pay the full subscription rate.
If you decide to be a non-subscribing member of PFEW, you will still get limited access to support from reps but you will not be able to access legal assistance or funding.
How do I join PFEW?
Please contact your local branch to find out about becoming a member.
Once you have discussed membership with your local Branch, please click here to submit your application.