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Special constable team launched at Stansted Airport

12:44 07 February 2017

Launch of new Essex Police specials team at Stansted Airport. Photo: Essex Police

Launch of new Essex Police specials team at Stansted Airport. Photo: Essex Police


Special constables have begun working at Stansted Airport.

Ten specials, including one inspector and one sergeant, are undergoing specialised training and receiving a tour of the police station and airport.

The team of Essex Police specials was launched on Sunday (February 5).

In the coming weeks, they will be deployed alongside their regular colleagues in Essex Police force in a variety of roles helping to keep the airport safe.

Inspector Lee Devall said: “I cannot speak highly enough of all the specials who contribute to the work of Essex Police every day.

“Our specials have full police powers and equipment but give up their free time on a voluntary basis, fitting their personal lives, day jobs and other commitments around police duties.

“The specials joining us at the airport provide us with an adept pool of additional officers to support our existing resources including armed officers, police dogs, security staff and the hundreds of retailers we work with to keep Stansted Airport a safe destination.”

The special constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who work with and support their local police. The specials, as special constables are known, date back to the First World War and were sung about in a song by Marie Lloyd: “My Old Man said follow the Van” which had a line: “You can’t trust the specials like the old time coppers, when you can’t find your way home.”

Presumably the specials didn’t know the streets quite as well.

Today, specials come from all walks of life, they are teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police force.

Once they have completed their training, they have the same powers as regular officers and wear a similar uniform.

The website says: “Officers work as part of a team and share experiences that can lead to lasting friendships.

“You will learn more about life and human nature than most people will ever see.”

Could you make #SpecialResolutions to volunteer 16 hours a month as an #EPSpecial? For information about the Special Constabulary and how to apply, visit:


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