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Deputy PFCC joins Colchester Special Constables on patrol

This time last week, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex Jane Gardner took a trip down memory lane when she went on duty on a Friday night with Special Constables in Colchester, her old stomping ground.

Jane served as a Special Constable in Colchester for eight years. Starting her volunteer policing career in the town in 2001, Jane helped to keep the town safe by policing the area, the night time economy and football matches. She climbed the ranks to Chief Inspector and finished her career as an Acting Superintendent before she sadly had to hang up her boots due to a knee injury.

In Roger Hirst’s and Jane Gardner’s three and a half years in office, Essex Police’s Special Constabulary has grown from 350 volunteer police officers to more than 530. The force boasts the second largest Special Constabulary as well as the fastest growing.

Last Friday night, 15 Special Constables volunteered their time in Colchester to keep the town safe. Jane was crewed with Special Inspectors Robbie Boyle and Mark Barham who are the officers who tutored her when she was a Special in the district. The pair have almost 60 years of policing experience between them.

The team went from incident to incident over a seven hour period, from disturbances in pubs to searching for missing people, putting a rolling road block on the A12 to protect a motorist who had broken down to helping a victim of domestic abuse.

The night brought back fond memories for Jane, who sadly in her current role cannot serve as a Special Constable. Instead, she is committed to building the Special Constabulary to provide a visible presence to the public and make a difference to the residents of Essex.

Jane said: “I was delighted to be back in Colchester. Spending the night with the team gave me a real insight into the challenges faced and what we need to look at to help support them as we move forward with our Police and Crime Plan.

“Roger Hirst is committed to growing the Special Constabulary. We really do appreciate the time given by our Specials who volunteer in their communities to help keep Essex safe and thank them wholeheartedly for what they do.”

If you would like to become a Special Constable, apply online today at


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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police

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