Volunteering doesn’t come more rewarding than this.

We are not currently accepting applications for Special Constables. If this is the voluntary role for you please register your interest in future opportunities and we will contact you when we are next recruiting. 

You already have a career you love – now you want a different challenge in your spare time. As a special constable officer you’ll have the same uniform and powers as regular officers. From being first on the scene and taking knives off the streets to educating young people, you’ll be working alongside regular police officers and PCSOs to make Sussex safer.

Our 'Specials', as the special constables are known, come from all walks of life. Specials are men and women of all races and faiths. They’re teachers, taxi drivers, chefs, accountants and secretaries and they all volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a month. When you join Sussex Police, you become part of our policing family – we are with you each step of the way.

Are you an honest, respectful and selfless person who wants to do something important in your spare time? Could you be there in a stranger's time of need? Are you prepared to protect others on or off duty? And are you prepared for how time-consuming this volunteer role will be? If so, we want to hear from you.

What does your spare time look like? Do something Special.

As volunteer police officers, special constables have full police powers, uniform and equipment and work alongside regular police officers and PCSOs to help protect and serve the people of Sussex.

You’ll be a key figure on the front line, a vital job that matters to the public but also matters to us. But it won't be all blue lights and car chases. You will be there for people in times of need and there will be occasions when you don't finish your shift on time, but if you have the drive to make a difference in your community you will get a great deal out of volunteering as a special constable.

It’s pretty demanding. After all, you’ll have to give up at least 16 hours of your spare time each month. But helping protect and support Sussex and the people who call it home is really satisfying too.

You could find yourself:

  • Acting on emergency calls.
  • Investigating reported crimes.
  • Apprehending, arresting and interviewing suspects.
  • Collecting evidence at crime scenes.
  • Dealing with accidents and incidents.
  • Supporting victims and witnesses of domestic abuse.
  • Engaging with children and young people to help change perceptions of the police.
  • Working with emergency service colleagues from Ambulance, Fire and Rescue.
  • Responding to reports of anti-social behaviour.
  • Being a visible presence at large scale public events.

To apply for the role, you will:

  • Be aged 18 years or over when applying. There is no upper age limit.
  • Hold a GCSE or equivalent (A-C) in Maths and English.
  • Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
  • Have leave to enter or leave to remain and work in the UK for an indefinite period.
  • Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) or other relevant organisations, such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • Be able to volunteer at least 16 hours a month.
  • Not have tattoos which can be seen as discriminatory, violent or intimidating or could be offensive.
  • Not have more than 6 penalty points on your driving license within three years prior to the application date. (You do not need a driving license to apply)
  • There are a number of jobs that are considered incompatible with the role of special constable. To be sure that your current employment will not prevent your application from proceeding please see below or contact us on careers@sussex.pnn.police.uk.
  • For further information on eligibility, please read our helpful guide.


We’re committed to diversity in the workforce and welcome applications from everyone in the community; particularly people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and white other backgrounds. We also encourage applications from women, the LGBT community and people with disabilities.

There are a number of jobs that are considered incompatible with the role of special constable. To be sure that your current employment will not prevent your application from proceeding please check the precluded occupations list:

  • Serving members of HM Armed Forces.
  • Members of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
  • Royal Naval Auxiliary Service.
  • The National Hospital Service Reserve.
  • Members of the fire service, unless written permission is given by their Chief Officer.
  • Traffic wardens and school crossing patrols.
  • Members of employers’ police forces and private constabularies.
  • Magistrates.
  • Clerks to justices and clerks to courts.
  • Probation officers.
  • Youth workers and social workers involved in the administration of criminal law.
  • Bailiffs, warrant officers, private detectives and inquiry agents.
  • Custody escort officers.
  • Security personnel, guards and doormen.
  • Anyone working for a security company.
  • Employees of security organisations.
  • Neighbourhood and street wardens and other uniformed patrol wardens.
  • Police Community Support Officers.
  • Prison custody officers (Prison Officers are eligible, but only with written permission from their Prison Governor).
  • A local authority parking warden.
  • Persons taking an active part in politics.
  • Highways Agency Traffic Officers (and traffic officers who are employed by other organisations, such as Vehicle and Operators Services Agency).
  • Border and immigration officers with powers of arrest.
  • Customs Officers.
  • Barristers, solicitors and judges.
  • Members of police authorities.
  • Transport network revenue protection inspectors.
  • Local Authority field officers e.g. trading standards officers.
  • Civilian enforcement officers.
  • Vehicle removal officers.

People join the Special Constabulary for many different reasons. Some want to develop their skills and life experiences, others want to give something back to their community, and some are interested in joining the regular police force and want to experience what the police do first-hand.

Becoming a special constable opens up a world of opportunity for professional and personal development. Undergoing the training and then performing the role of a police officer is challenging, but provides a welcome break from day-to-day life.

Benefits of being a special include;

  • Gaining confidence.
  • Developing teamwork and problem solving skills.
  • Learning and development opportunities that would bring a competitive advantage in the employment market.
  • Widening your life experiences.
  • Keeping the people and communities of Sussex safe.


You will find the work of a special constable varied, interesting and at times, exciting. But above all you will have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to reduce crime, disorder and fear in Sussex.

You will be trained to use the same powers as regular police constables - there will be a lot for you to learn. Once successful in your application you will complete a part time pre-join course run over 10 alternate weekends, then an initial course run over six weekends. After this you will continue your probation with the Professional Development Unit where you will be expected to commit at least 16 hours a month for the rest of your service. Unfortunately due to the amount of learning required there is no flexibility to miss a day so please bear this in mind when applying. 

At this stage there is unfortunately no option of an intensive training course but is something that we are looking into.

So you want to join us as a Special Constable.

To ensure we recruit the best, we adopt a thorough selection process. 

  1. Stage one - application form. This is where we check your personal details and that all eligibility criteria has been met.
  2. Stage two - online assessments. We use a combination of behaviour style questions and situational judgment tests. The behaviour styles questionnaire measures your typical behaviour and preferences at work. With the situation judgment test, your judgment and decision-making skills in relation to job relevant situations will be assessed. You do not need prior knowledge of policing policies and procedures to respond to the scenarios.
  3. Stage three - In force interviews at Sussex Police HQ in Lewes, Sussex.
  4. Stage four - pre-employment checks including medical, vetting, biometric vetting, substance misuse testing and a fitness test. 


If your application has been successfully submitted you will receive an email to your registered email address. If you have submitted an application but have not received a notification please first check your Spam/Junk folder before emailing recruitment@sussex.pnn.police.uk providing your full name, telephone number and the date you submitted your application.

If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please read our helpful guide.

If you have any further questions, we’re happy to discuss – please contact recruitment@sussex.pnn.police.uk to arrange.