Special Sergeant Noel Edwards works for North Yorkshire Police as an Exhibits Management Support Officer. He became a Special Constable in January 2015. Here he explains why he became a volunteer police officer and what it’s like on the front line.
I’ve always had an interest in policing and being a Special Constable is very rewarding. At the end of the day you are a warranted officer and are governed by the same integrity requirements and regulations of regular colleagues. It also gives you massive front line experience of operational Policing.
When I’m on duty I’m always looking to get out and interact with the community through a variety of different means – whether it’s conducting high visibility patrol on foot or in marked vehicles. I proactively aim to disrupt criminal activity dealing with any offences, proactively stopping vehicles and helping victims of crime, but ultimately providing that reassurance to the public that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in our community.
What are your stand-out moments?
A typical shift is filled with challenges, surprises and great team morale, but a couple of incidents stand out for me personally. The first one, I was not actually on duty, but I was first on scene at a road collision involving three vehicles. I was able to put the skills I have learnt as a special to use and control the scene. I stopped traffic in both directions, reassured the casualties and with the help of another off-duty colleague, we controlled the traffic until back-up arrived. I received feedback from the county commander and was put forward for a reward nomination.
Another incident – this time I was on duty – involved a routine vehicle stop where we initially searched for drugs but found firearms with live ammunition. The guns were seized, firearms officers called, and the occupants – who were licensed to have a firearm – were given strong advice about leaving live ammunition unattended inside their vehicle while they went for a drink!
What are the challenges?
On many occasions there are times you will deal with very distressing and stressful situations, seeing things that most people will not see in a life time. However there are many services available to help deal with these and the support network from the policing family is priceless.
What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Special Constable?
I would definitely recommend becoming a special with North Yorkshire Police. It brings with it so many benefits and challenges which are immensely fulfilling and job satisfaction is like no other.