Volunteer police officer shares her experience of joining Hertfordshire's Special Constabulary
Could you be a Special Constable with Hertfordshire Police?
The daughter of two retired police officers has shared her experience of joining Hertfordshire's Special Constabulary.
Special Constable Annabel Hunt was no stranger to the world of policing, her parents are recently retired Inspector Chris Hunt and Sergeant Nicola Hunt who between them clocked up more than 60 years’ police service in Hertfordshire.
She said: "My parents were in the police force since they were 19 and 22, and my grandad was also a police officer.
"Policing runs in the family and I had heard the most amazing stories growing up so consequently, I wanted to be the person that could also help people when they really needed it.
“I also wanted to join the Special Constabulary to get a taste of the ‘real world’. I didn’t want to be stuck in a bubble thinking ‘everything is okay’.
"There is always someone who needs police support somewhere, and I wanted to put myself in a position where I could make a huge difference to not just individuals, but families and communities as well.”
As a Special Constable, Annabel is one of nearly 200 volunteer police officers who give up their time to keep Hertfordshire safe.
They come from all walks of life and volunteer their spare time for a minimum of 16 hours a month. All of them receive extensive training.
Annabel joined just over a year ago and is based in Welwyn Hatfield.
Outside of her volunteering, 21-year-old Annabel is a full time law student at Plymouth University and she is also a Team GB Age Group triathlete.
She said: “My first shift was with my Special Sergeant. We went to a road traffic collision first of all and I had to complete a road closure and make sure there were no life-threatening injuries on anyone involved.
"I also went to a domestic related incident and had to perform a risk assessment, which was daunting but a great way to learn things quickly.
"I remember being a bit nervous however another side of you kicks in and you perform the role of an officer in order to control a situation the best you can.
"The training certainly kicks in, but also a lot of the issues can be resolved by remaining calm and efficient.”
Annabel recalls a particularly memorable incident she dealt with in relation to a domestic incident;
She said: "The victim had been in a vulnerable position for a very long time and they had finally called the police to help them.
"A crime had been disclosed and I was the arresting officer.
"The offender has now received a prison sentence and the victim is safe and has got the help that they needed.
"After suffering long term abuse, the victim looked to me for help and the fact I had such a huge role to play in that situation, filled me with great pride.
"I had changed that victim’s life, for the better, forever and now they can get help and live the rest of their life free from abuse.”
To those thinking about joining Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary, Annabel said: “As long as you take on board the great training offered and the courses too, you’ll love it.
"I have extremely high voluntary hours because it is rather addictive!
"The things you see on ‘Our Cops in the North’ or ‘999: What’s Your Emergency?’ are the type of things that happen in real life.
"My role is no different to a regular police officer’s. I respond to 999 calls and I help members of the public when they need it most. It is the most rewarding role I have ever had.”
Feeling inspired? Visit www.hertspolicespecials.co.uk to find out more and apply.