THE training of special constables is set to speed up thanks to a pioneering new training course developed with the University of Portsmouth.
On Saturday, the first 30 potential specials embarked on the Gateway Programme, involving a combination of distance learning and hands-on training with the police force.
Chief Insp Andy Houghton said: ‘In the past, successful applicants would usually spend quite a long time waiting for a date to start training.
‘Now they will be able to utilise this waiting time and start learning straight away, which is a lot more efficient and effective for them and for the force. It allows us to train twice as many specials per year as previously.’
Hampshire Constabulary is the first police force to adopt this course, and means candidates joining the Special Constabulary can be fast-tracked at the next stage by concentrating on operational skills alone.
Chief Supt Richard Rowland, the force specials lead, said: ‘Our aim is to embed special constables further as an integral part of front-line policing.’