A volunteer who joined Bedfordshire Special Constabulary six months ago is so impressed with the work that he’s now hoping to join the force as a full-time officer.
If he is successful, Darren Coleman will be following in the footsteps of his great great-grandmother, who was the first woman police constable in England with full powers of arrest.
Darren, a father of three from Bedfordshire, volunteers about 40 hours a month with the force, fitting them in around his day job working with young offenders.
He said: “I decided to join the Specials because I thought the experience would give me a good background in policing and help me decide whether it’s something I want to do full time. It has inspired me to do just that and I am hoping to become a regular officer with the force soon.
“As a Special, you never know what to expect when you start a shift. I could be dealing with anything from nuisance motorbikes to arresting shoplifters. I love the variety.”
Darren’s great great-grandmother Edith Smith joined the police in 1915 and served until 1918. She worked in Grantham, Lincs, dealing with cases involving women – supervising female searches, taking sex offence statements and acting as a probation officer for young girls.
Beds Police has been celebrating 100 years of women in policing. Retired Ch Con Colette Paul recently opened the Carole Phillips Theatre to recognise the achievements of the woman who championed the equality of women in the force in the 1970s.
Due to Carole Phillips’ efforts, female officers in Beds were placed on an equal footing with their male counterparts a year before the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Act, putting Beds ahead of the curve with regards to equality.