When writing this blog Hayleigh Whelan's day job was a Designated Investigator for Thames Valley Police and she had been volunteering as a Special Constable for four years. She has now attested as a police officer.
I joined the Special Constabulary because I like helping people especially when they need help the most, difficult times fall upon us all and sometimes bad choices are made. I like to be that person that helps put perspective back into people lives when they feel all hope is lost. I want to make sure criminals are not only dealt with for their crimes but rehabilitated.
The most challenging part of my role has been attending a sudden death. It can be quite daunting and this can play on your mind sometimes. There is no way of anticipating how the family will react but if I can offer any comfort at all during this extremely difficult time then it reassures them of the support available.
My first job was going to an empty house which was up for rent in Yorkshire. The estate agents had called police as they could smell cannabis coming from inside. When we entered, we found the remains of what seemed to have been a cannabis factory.
An unexpected moment for me was my first arrest. It was text book and I did everything I was taught in training, from what I said down to the way I handcuffed the person. The person I arrested was compliant and stopped misbehaving once they realised what I was saying. I was full of adrenaline and was shaky at times but it didn’t show and my colleagues praised me for my work.
Finding missing people is the best thing about being a Special Constable. Adults and children go missing quite often and when they are found safe and well and returned to their loved ones, the feeling is overwhelming. Friends and relatives of the missing person are so thank full and happy.
I would advise anyone who is thinking of joining as a Special Constable to think about what they are committing themselves to. It’s not just about putting on a uniform, there is a lot of law to learn and you need to keep a good work and home life balance to ensure your welfare. This role is challenging but you will not get the experiences with any other job.
To find out more about becoming a Special Constable please visit our website.