Candidates for Chair and Trustee


I’m Non-Executive Director of three companies. I have >30 years’ service in the SC. I was the only SC to hold Scottish and English warrant cards, meeting duty hours requirement in both for five years.

I reviewed ASCCO in 2013 when it was failing and managed to regain stakeholder support. I pushed then for all SC officers to be members but that was rejected at an AGM. I kept pushing the case and all SCs can now join ASCO regardless of rank.

Since taking over as Chair almost three years ago I’ve worked far harder than any other Exec Comm member. In 2018, I did 101 ASCO duties and spent 453 hours on ASCO business, including:

  • Strategic plan for the SC
  • Front Line Policing Review representing SC
  • SC representation on six working groups
  • Business case for SC ranks legislation
  • Policing Minister meetings to address the fall in numbers
  • SC Honours Home Office committee established
  • Successfully supported SC officers in four PSD cases
  • Supported Met SC in retaining rank structure
  • Presented at two international policing conferences and one UK at own expense

In addition, I did 340 hours on response policing, providing mobile capability and coaching probationers in the City of London.

I believe my skills and experience, and willingness to work hard, have had a real impact with stakeholders and I have their respect. I’d like to get a successful conclusion to the issues we face and would be happy to be Chair for one more term to achieve that.

David Pedrick-Friend 

I’m currently Deputy Chair and Trustee of ASCO and Special Constabulary Chief Officer at Gloucestershire Constabulary. Aside from volunteering, I have owned and operated a residential social care business and previously served 15 years in the British Army. 

I fought hard to reform the Association from being an exclusive group of Chief Officers to become inclusive of all Special Constables and involve those of all ranks at every level. I was the driving force behind developing ASCO as a charity to represent every officer and champion the skills and value that we bring to policing and our communities. 

I’ve represented ASCO successfully at the national TASER working group, Citizens in Policing National and Regional Boards, and National SC Working Group in which I lead for Special Constabulary Reward, Recognition and SC Honours. I’ve met with MPs and Senior Policing leads to inform them of our work. 

My vision for ASCO: 

  • Develop an active national support network to maintain welfare, wellbeing, professional standards of practice and conduct;
  • We represent the views of all SCs to influence strategy, policy and practice nationally and locally;
  • We promote and celebrate the role and value of SCs, champion equality & diversity through support initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion.

However, developing ASCO further is about how we can all support each other to get our voices heard. I’m not asking for special treatment but equal treatment for all Special Constables so join me & be part of that change that you wish to see.

Candidates for Secretary and Trustee

Hitesh Mehta

With over 15 years bank and policing experience, Hitesh is a multiple award-winning ‘people pioneer’ a role model for courageous integrity. A recent UK regional role model winner for ‘Premier Customer Experience’ at the prestigious HSBC Group ‘Circle of Excellence’ in Malaysia.

His credits also include multiple winning appearances at HSBC UK’s internal ‘Extraordinary Peoples Award’ and various special commendations for his customer centric approach. Unfailingly loyal and outstandingly proactive, Hitesh is a walking testimony to the values of the business, combining ‘leading edge’ relationship management skills, with a simultaneously unrivalled commitment to community projects. Recognised nationally at many dinners for his significant contribution to various partnerships.

His devotion to life-changing causes has led several innovations, including raising over £50K for charities. Passionate for his local school, he supported to fund an outdoor learning theatre. His unique blend of dynamism has seen him constantly deliver superior customer service at HSBC, whilst still excelling in a number of key community deliverables.

Nominated to support a recruitment drive at WMP, this led to national media coverage where Hitesh’s story combined his police and HSBC UK role. A true champion of people, with a special blend of community awareness and a real gift in helping others grow and prosper. His motive in life is very simple ‘he exists to serve Humanity’. A passion for people, he aims to support ASCO and its membership to allow others to thrive together, better support the wider SC network and utmost protect the communities we serve.

Candidates for Communications Lead

John Hannan

I have led the current ASCO Comms Team since late 2018 and in that time I secured a domain and led a team of resources to build a new ASCO website and associated content. Using my day job skills, I provisioned Office365 to enable our organisation.

In 2019 I won the Dorset Police Innovation in Policing Award for my work to create a brand and marketing campaign for specials recruitment.  This included media developed in partnership with Bournemouth University for use on social media as can be seen at this link:

I am the Lead Service Delivery Manager for Police & Public Protection in my day role with a global IT outsourcer. I have been a Special Constable for 11 years and have recently been appointed as the SC Chief Officer in Dorset. 

I am standing for election into the role to further develop the communications strategy for ASCO to ensure we become the voice of Special Constables through a strong brand that secures our position as the representative body, whilst driving a culture of inclusion and belonging for special constables nationally via our representative engagement model.

Alex Milsom

I am standing as the Communications Lead for ASCO with a desire to develop a professional voice so that short-term and career Special Constables are finally taken professionally. Having developed the new ASCO website voluntarily solely out of a desire to improve the image of the Association, I now have a deeper and longer desire to improve how we appear – and at the heart of our public appearance is a strong Communications strategy. 

I have fronted campaigns with the Metropolitan Police, the force I have served in for nearly two years, and have seen how Specials are viewed by the public. And through being a Journalism graduate and working in Communications externally for one of the biggest names in Broadcasting, I will work to ensure that the work of ASCO gets the recognition it deserves, the scrutiny it needs, and effective engagement with media, public and it’s members.

Candidates for Diversity & Inclusion Lead

Laura Bell

My experience in the police (as a Special Sergeant in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, also working on local mentoring and wellbeing initiatives for special constables) and my day job (in regulation at the Bank of England and as a leader of my organisation’s LGBT+ network) has equipped me with the skills to both broaden the appeal of the Special Constabulary to a wider range of potential applicants and improve the support we provide to those already within the service. 

If elected I will: 

  • Collaborate with police services across the UK to develop an ASCO diversity and inclusion strategy;
  • Seek to develop a diversity dashboard that will hold diversity and inclusion in the special constabulary against nationally recognised benchmarks;
  • Seek to improve the collection and use of diversity data to track the success of the strategy and to ensure we understand the needs of the special constabularies;
  • Provide training to members to allow us all to develop the knowledge to better help colleagues and serve our diverse communities;
  • Introduce a mentoring scheme for members particularly aimed at empowering female, BAME and LGBT+ officers into leadership positons;
  • Be a visible and approachable ambassador for diversity and inclusion within ASCO, meeting with members to represent all those with protected characteristics.