13 December 2012

Focus on... Special Constable Rachael Jarman

Rachael Jarman

26 |  Special Constable based in Maidstone  
Started in June 2011

I was at the same drugs op as SC Ross Smith a few weeks ago in Maidstone. Eight Special Constables went out with a drugs liaison officer and a police drugs dog and we searched the queues of people waiting to get into the pubs and clubs.  After we’d completed some searches and one person had been arrested, I was walking back towards the high street when the drugs dog made a beeline for a man walking past. I stopped the man and told him I was going to search him as the dog had positively identified him as being of interest. He turned out his pockets and handed over a packet of white powder, just like that! So I arrested the man and called for a van to take him back to the police station and process him.

It was my first drugs arrest. Working in the town centre, we usually deal with drunks and minor disorder so taking part in a specific operation like that was really interesting and it was a really good day.

For me, the best thing about being a Special is meeting loads of different people. In this role, we obviously deal with all sorts of people, offenders, victims and lost people.

I like to help people too. Just recently, officers brought in a girl for drink driving and, as I was the only female nearby, they called me down to search her. After putting her back into her cell, she burst into tears. You have to be firm but also empathetic in this role – she’d obviously committed a crime but was so distraught, I don’t think we’ll be seeing her again.

Last night I was crewed with my sergeant and our first job was to locate a man for breach of bail. After attending two locations including the man’s home address, we ascertained his story checked out so there was no need to arrest him.

We then attended another report of three people causing a nuisance to an elderly man in Coxheath. After speaking with the witness, we located three potential suspects and took their details to be forwarded to the local PCSO to make follow up enquiries.

We then carried out high visibility patrols in the rural area of Maidstone, checking vulnerable cash machine sites and an industrial estate that had recently been the target of a theft. We also checked out Maidstone town centre and stopped two drivers for motoring offences. I gave them words of advice as, in the circumstances, it was more appropriate to educate rather than prosecute.

To find out more about the work of Specials in Maidstone, read my colleague Ross Smith's blog.

Online chat – watch the replay

You can watch a replay of last night’s online chat with Specials Co-ordinator T/Insp Guy Thompson.

Guy answered questions on the recruitment process and training requirements.