In October this year, the Special Constabulary will celebrate its 175th anniversary. Communities depended on volunteers before there was a fully paid police service and they still rely on them today. The Government recognises the importance of community-focused policing and is committed to every community having its own neighbourhood policing team. Special constables will be an essential part of these teams. This is an exciting time to be at the cutting edge of policing. No two days are the same for a special constable and it is not an easy job. However, it can give a great deal of job satisfaction. It covers a whole range of policing duties, from dealing with anti-social behaviour to talking to schools about safety and crime. One day you might be dealing with a road accident, another evening you might be coping with a closing time scuffle or counselling a victim. One thing is certain. You won't have time to be bored. You will get a chance to learn new skills and develop existing ones - such as problem solving, negotiation and dealing with people. There will be plenty of support to make sure you don't feel out of your depth. Most Specials say their training and the experience gained through being a special has helped them in their full-time jobs. No surprise really, as the police provide extensive structured training before you even start the job. The training covers a number of different areas, such as witness interrogation or preparing evidence for court. Some forces have several grades within the Specials and you can be promoted if you perform well and prove your leadership qualities. Men and women from any background can apply to become a special constable. You don't need to have formal qualifications and you won't have to pass an exam. What you will need is common sense and enthusiasm. As a special constable, you will learn more about human nature than most people will ever get to experience. You'll be part of a professional elite team, playing a crucial role in fighting crime in your community. What other job gives you the chance to feel proud of your contribution to your community and to the police service? INFORMATION: Contact your local police force to find out more. Or you could take a look at the website: www.policecouldyou.co.uk\/specialconstable or call the national call centre on 0845 608 3000.