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Eligibility to become a Special

Before submitting an application to be a Special Constable with Staffordshire Police, please check that you meet the following eligibility criteria.

You can apply to become a Special Constable at the age of 18.

You must be a British citizen, EC/EEA national, Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK.

All candidates are required to produce their passports when attending for interview.

You will need to have been resident in the UK for the last three years consecutively.

Membership of the British National Party (BNP) or similar
The police service has a policy of prohibiting any of their officers or staff from becoming members of the BNP or similar organisation whose aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality. If you are, or have been a member of the BNP or similar organisation you may be rejected.

Convictions and cautions: you and your family
Convictions or cautions will not necessarily cause a problem for appointment. It will depend on their nature, the circumstances and when the offence was committed. Failure to disclose convictions or cautions will, however, result in your application being terminated.

  • You must declare all convictions or any past offences, formal cautions by the police (including cautions as a juvenile, ie under 18 years) and any bind-overs imposed by any court.
  • You should include traffic convictions such as speeding, drink-drive offences, fixed penalties and any appearances before a court martial.
  • You must declare any charge or summons currently outstanding against you.
  • You must include spent convictions.
  • You must declare if you have ever been involved in any criminal investigation whether or not this led to prosecution.

Some applicants do not declare information which they believe is no longer held on record. However, our enquiries will reveal historical incidents and failure to disclose these will lead to your application being rejected. If you have any doubts, include the details.

We will also search criminal convictions or cautions recorded against your family, so you should inform them that these enquiries will be made. Due to Data Protection, we will not be able to disclose the results of these enquiries to you.

Biometric Vetting

As part of the vetting process conducted in relation to your application to become a Special Constable, your fingerprints and a sample of your DNA will be taken. A search will be made against databases to ensure that you have not previously come to adverse police attention, which you have not informed us of, and that you are not linked to any outstanding crimes.

Should your appointment be progressed, your fingerprints and DNA profile will be taken and kept separately on the respective Police Elimination Database. This will be used for the purposes of elimination only and allow the force to identify fingerprints and DNA which may be left unwittingly at scenes-of-crime by police officers, special constables or relevant police staff.

Tattoos are not a bar to appointment. However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues, or could bring discredit to the police service.

If you have tattoos on your face, neck, forearms, or hands, you should describe their nature, words used, extent, size and location.

We need to ensure that you are in good mental and physical health to carry out the duties of a Special Constable. A medical assessment is part of the recruitment process.

Eyesight standards
The standard you need to meet is:

  • Distance vision
    • 6/12 or better with either your right or left eye
    • 6/6 with both eyes together
    • If you wear spectacles or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your spectacles or lenses.
  • Near vision
    6/9 with both eyes together (aided)
  • Colour vision
    The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable. Severe colour vision deficiencies, monochromats, are not acceptable. Mild anomalous trichromats are acceptable. Severe anomalous dichromats or trichromats are also acceptable but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments.
  • Eye surgery
    Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable.

You don't need any formal qualifications to join the Special Constabulary.

Business Interests
Unless the Chief Officer decides otherwise, you will not normally be eligible for appointment as a Special Constable if you have the following business interest:

You, your spouse or any relative living with you holds or has a financial interest in any licence or permit relating to liquor, licensing, refreshment houses or betting and gaming or the regulation of places of entertainment in our force area.

The following occupations are considered incompatible with the office of Special Constable. This list is NOT exhaustive:

  • Serving Members of the armed forces
  • Traffic wardens and school crossing patrols
  • Highways Agency Traffic Officers
  • Members of employer's police forces and private constabularies
  • Neighbourhood and street wardens and other uniformed patrol wardens
  • Magistrates, clerks to justices and clerks to courts