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Police Research and Education Network Seminar: The Special Constable: Exploring the contemporary role and experience of Police volunteers

Northumbria University


The Special Constable: Exploring the contemporary role and experience of Police volunteers

Dr Pauline Ramshaw, Special Constables 

Despite efforts to increase the recruitment of Special Constables such endeavours are being hampered by consistent attrition, with 24.4% of Special Constables leaving during 2015-16 (Home Office, 2016). Survey research by Gaston and Alexander (2001) and Whittle (2014) draws attention to long standing issues affecting the retention of Special Constables, including the fact that many leave to make the transition to Police Officer.

This paper expands upon these issues by drawing on early findings generated from a small scale pilot study that considers the motivations and situated occupational experiences of Special Constables, and their bearing upon satisfaction and commitment to the role. Retaining a focus on the northeast of England, the research generated new empirical data from semi-structured interviews with Special Constables. The intention is to help inform understanding of the experiences, motivations, and challenges faced by Special Constables, to gain greater insight into workplace issues that may contribute towards Special Constables’ decision to resign.

To book a place on this seminar, please complete the booking form below or email  

The series will draw upon leading research expertise within Northumbria University. Each seminar will provide an opportunity for staff to present their research findings on key topics for contemporary policing, reflecting on the challenge of developing evidence based for police practice.

The seminars are free to attend. They will be informal and are designed to promote debate between academics and practitioners from the police and other relevant agencies..

For information on other seminars click here

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Event Details

Northumbria University
Corporate Hub, 4th Floor
Business and Law Building
Newcastle upon Tyne


0191 227 3212

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