Celebrities become Specials in upcoming Channel 4 show

A new show Famous and Fighting Crime premiers on Monday, and will see well-known celebrity faces train to become serving members of the Special Constabulary.

The format will see the celebrities paired with serving regular constables completing shifts from Public Order and rowdy bus shifts, to custody and burglary deterrent shifts.

Lee McMurray, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 Formats, said the “great cast of familiar faces” would “make for a fantastic Channel 4 series that will have broad appeal” as well as giving “fascinating insights into contemporary Britain”.

Special Constables, or Specials, are warranted police officers with all the powers of their regular colleagues – wearing the same uniform, carrying the same kit, and even driving the same vehicles if permitted to do so by their force. Specials perform their duties on a voluntary basis and receive no payment for doing so, although some forces may provide benefits to their officers.

The first of four episodes premiers Monday, 11th February at 9pm on Channel 4, with Jamie Laing, Sandi Bogle, Penny Lancaster, Marcus Brigstocke and Katie Piper all joining the Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

Picture credit: Channel 4.

5 years sees Specials strength fall by a third

Ian Miller, Chair of the Association of Special Constabulary Officers, told BBC News that Special Constables who join the regular constabulary were “not being replaced”

West Midlands Police saw its Special Constabulary strength decrease by over two-thirds in a five-year period from 2012 to 2017, with Merseyside also losing a similar number.

The Metropolitan Police Service reported a loss of 52% of its Special Constabulary strength after a significant recruitment campaign in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. A spokeswoman told The BBC that numbers have fallen due to the “natural life cycle” of volunteers, with many joining the regular service.

See more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43171819. Picture credit: Greater Manchester Police.