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Special Constables (245_14)


Please can you tell me what the legal basis that the West Midlands Police relies upon in relation to members of the Special Constabulary supervision requiring its own members to follow the instructions of supervisors.

For example, for “regular” police officers, the rank structure and the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008, Regulation 3, Standards of Professional Behaviour, Orders and Instructions, “Police officers only give and carry out lawful orders and instructions” effectively provides officers of the rank of Sergeant and above the ability to give lower ranks lawful orders, and those ranks must carry out those orders. Equally, in the private (and public, for that matter) sector, employees have contracts and if they do not comply with the instructions of their superiors, they could ultimately be dismissed.

Thus, with members of the Special Constabulary holding only a single “rank” in law (that of Special Constable), what is the MPS view, policy or legal position with regards to Special Constabulary supervision and can the answer specially state that in a hypothetical situation where, for example, a Special Constable does not carry out the instructions of a Special Sergeant, what would the position be and why?

Put simply, can a Special Sergeant issue a lawful order to a Special Constable?


Your request involves a hypothetical situation. The Freedom of Information Act does not oblige us to answer questions but allows access to information that is already recorded. Therefore please find attached the service level agreement that each Special Constable signs when they join the West Midlands Police. Refer to point 6. Please note that this is the closest information we hold to your request.