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Restricted Occupations

Certain occupations are restricted, meaning that if you do any of the jobs on this list, you can not become a Special Constable.

This list was updated in January 2011 (you can download the full guidance from our sidebar) and is notably less restrictive than before.

If you are looking at joining a specific Force and are unsure of issues around Restricted Occupations, ask on our forum, or call the Special Constabulary Recruitment department of your chosen force and ask.


Occupations which are ineligible (but with some variations as described):

  • Armed Forces personnel
    • Armed forces reserve members (RN Reserve, RM Rserve, Territorial Army, RAAF) are eligible, but their reserve commitments take priority over police duties
  • Traffic wardens, civil enforcement officers, and school crossing patrols
  • Neighbourhood and street wardens, and other uniformed patrol wardens
  • Some Highways Agency Traffic Officers (includes Welsh Assembly Traffic Officers)
    • Those employed in an "on road" capacity are ineligible
  • Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
  • Members of Employer's police forces and private constabularies
  • Certain roles concerned with the administration of the law
    • Magistrates
    • Judges
    • Justice's clerks
    • CPS employees
  • SOCA (Serious and Organised Crime Agency) staff
    • SOCA staff with immigration officer and/or revenue and custom officer powers are ineligible
    • SOCA staff, including those designated with constable powers, are eligible subject to agreement by the Director General of SOCA and the Chief Officer of the force
  • Members of Police Authorities
    • May be considered for appointment as Special Constables in a different area to where they are a member of the police authority, with permission of the authority and at the discretion of the Chief Office of the force
  • Immigration Officers
  • Occupations with client privilege
    • Eligible but at discretion of the Chief Officer of the force, and where necessary, subject to approval of the employer
  • Members of medical and health professions
    • Eligible provided their local NHS Trust or Health Authority has no objections

Occupations / interests where appointment as a Special Constable is at the discretion of the Chief Officer of the force:

  • Holders of premises or personal licences, designated premises supervisors, and licensees of betting/gaming premises
  • Bailiffs
  • Warrant Officers
  • Private Detectives
  • Inquiry Agents
  • Employees of Security Organisations
  • Security Personnel, guards and door supervisors
    • Persons involved in the private security industry will be ineligible to become a Special Constable if their job involves the potential for them to use their position as a constable for their own advantage or that of their employer, e.g. contact with the public, patrolling/guarding buildings, etc.
  • Civilian staff employed by police authorities (e.g. custody detention officers, front office staff)
    • Members of the Fire Service
      • Now eligible for appointment as Special Constables, subject to agreement between the Chief Officers of the police force and the relevant Fire Service.

Source: NPIA Circular January 2011 - Special Constables Eligibility for Recruitment (.pdf download)

For further information join the discussion on the PoliceSpecials forum


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