Appeal to join a 'special' team

WHAT is it that a farmer, a receptionist, a scientist, a paramedic and a DIY manager have in common? They all have double lives as special constables in Suffolk and now are urging others to join them at a specials recruitment evening for west Suffolk on Monday.

WHAT is it that a farmer, a receptionist, a scientist, a paramedic and a DIY manager have in common?

They all have double lives as special constables in Suffolk and now are urging others to join them at a specials recruitment evening for west Suffolk on Monday.

The evening promises to be bigger then any former recruitment evening in west Suffolk with demonstrations and input from dog handlers, traffic officers and community police officers from across the area.

Matthew Bennington, a 33-year-old farmer from Stowmarket, joined the Special Constabulary 13 years ago and regularly swaps his tractor for a patrol car in his spare time.


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He said: "I joined the specials because I wanted to do something different but worthwhile with my life.

"I had always wanted to be a police officer and thought this would be a good place to start. I still get a big thrill when we help members of the public and seeing the smile we can put on someone's face when we assist makes it all worthwhile.

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"Becoming a special has boosted my confidence a great deal and has enabled me to deal with situations not only connected with police work, but also in every day life."

DIY manager Phil Betson, 43, from Newmarket, said: "This should be a great night and we hope to recruit many new specials to help police west Suffolk.

"It is a common misconception that special constables only deal with mundane or office based work, in Suffolk you are likely to be out patrolling, dealing with crime and disorder and may even carry out warrants.

"We are particularly keen for those recruited to work in the area in which they live therefore having a direct impact on their local community."

Forty-nine-year-old team leader Barbara Bugg, from Haverhill, has been a special for two years and thoroughly enjoys the challenges the role throws at her.

She said: "Every time on duty is different and gives a completely different outlook on how people live. I like meeting and talking to the public, even those worse for wear, and on the whole most people are great.

"I did wonder if at 47 I would be too old to become a special, but feel I bring quite a bit of experience to the role.

"It's a great way to learn new skills and also use the skills you already have and put them into practice. Each duty is different and you get a good sense of achievement by handling difficult situations."

Whether you live in Mildenhall, Newmarket, Haverhill, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds or any of the surrounding villages you are welcome to attend the special recruitment evening to find out more about the role and what you can offer your local community.

n The evening is being held at the CableNet Training Centre on Kempson Way in Bury St Edmunds on Monday and starts at 7pm for 7.30pm, finishing around 9pm. If you can't make it on the night you can also take a look at the Suffolk Constabulary website www.suffolk.police.uk or call the specials hotline on 01473 613640 and leave your details.

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