Exploring Strategic Perspectives on the Special Constabulary

Matthew Callender, Iain Britton, Laura Knight

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This article explores senior and strategic perspectives on the volunteer Special Constabulary in England and Wales, based on 38 interviews with senior police leaders. The strategic context and leadership of Special Constabularies represents an overlooked element of police leadership, given the scale and potential of volunteer officers to impact upon policing delivery and reform. The paper identifies tension between a traditional strategic paradigm that frames bounded expectations of the role of Special Constables, emphasising differences between them and their paid counterparts, and considerations of police reform which prompt different thinking in respect of practice, identity and integration of volunteer officers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-712
Number of pages22
JournalThe Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

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  • Articles
  • Special Constabulary
  • police leadership
  • police reform


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