SOME of the police’s new volunteer officers are getting ready for their first festive season on the beat.
The Special Constables have been learning the ropes from a veteran of more than 30 years.
Special Constables Bilal Zafar and Jacob Bycroft only qualified this month but are giving their free time to keep Coventry safe this Christmas.
And they’ve received an ideal introduction to policing from loyal and dedicated Special Insp Mike Synnott, who has been a loyal and dedicated officer for 31 years.
IT worker Bilal, aged 33, said: “I was drawn towards policing by the thought of being able to give something back to the community.
“It’s been such a strange year with the pandemic but it’s a nice feeling to be able to do something to protect somebody.
“I’m looking forward to being a Special for years to come and it’s been great to spend time with Mike to learn from his experience.
“To do more than 30 years is an incredible achievement.”
Fellow new recruit Jacob, who is aged 22 and works in telecommunications, added: “I’ve always been interested in joining the police, and the thought of being a Special was very appealing.
“I joined the Specials for a change in my routine and to do something different. It feels a privilege to be in a position to help others in their time of need.
“I’m both excited, nervous and ready to put on the police uniform over Christmas and looking forward to policing into next year.”
Specials have the same powers as regular officers and are required to volunteer at least 16 hours a month. However, times are flexible.
Mike, who combines his Police Special Inspector role with his Engineering Manager job, said: “I’ve seen lots of changes in policing but the one thing that has never changed is my passion for the role we do.
“I’m 55 now and although I never anticipated going on this long, I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.
“I enjoy doing what I can to protect the public and also seeing new Specials join and develop – quite regularly into full-time officers. It can be a very rewarding role.
“I’ve gathered a lot of experience as a Police Special and I’m always willing to share this and offer my support.
“It’s great to see Bilal and Jacob join us and hopefully they will also have successful careers. I’m proud of all my colleagues who give up their free time all year round including Christmas.”
To see a video of the Specials learning on the beat, click the video at the top of the screen.
For more on becoming a Special Constable or other jobs in West Mercia Police, click here.