Aviation to Attestation – Meet Special Constable, Idnan Jaffri
Whilst flying private jets gives a particular thrill, for 28-year-old Idnan, volunteering as a Special Constable (Volunteer Police Officer) offers a level of personal interaction that is unmatched. Having recently completed his training to become a Special with Thames Valley Police, he has already started making a difference in our community.
Idnan, how did you find the initial training to become a Special?
My training took around six months and was quite intense. I found the practical side relatively straightforward because I’m quite good at being hands on. The personal safety training, arresting, using techniques you’re taught to control subjects. The harder part for me was learning the legislation.
Now I’ve completed the training I’m straight out there – you pretty much jump in at the deep end. It’s good because that’s the best way to learn. All the training just comes flashing back depending on the situations you find yourself in.
What do you do outside of volunteering as a Special?
I fly private jets, so that’s my day job. I fly between 11 and 15 days on average each month. I’ll go out to where the aircraft is positioned – that could be Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, etc. I know, it does sound quite glamorous!
What was it that made you decide to volunteer as a Special Constable?
Aviation is amazing, and being a pilot is great, but I was missing that personal interaction that I had in previous roles working in retail. I had wanted to become a police officer before getting into aviation, but the assessment for both jobs was on the same day!
I put policing to one side, but the recruitment team at TVP told me I could become a Special, so that’s where I learnt about role. Once I completed the hours for pilot training I thought “Okay, now I can give my time to the Special Constabulary”.
Before, I’d just be at home, where you’re not giving your time to the community. You might see incidents happen, and instead of complaining I thought, “Why not step up and help people out”.
What does your family think about you volunteering as a Special?
The have mixed feelings at times, which I guess it’s normal. Sometimes they wonder if it’s risky, but putting that aside, they think it’s admirable to go out there and give your time to help others. My superiors have been really supportive —they speak to my family, addressing concerns they have, and giving them that reassurance that our training, the kit we have, and the numbers we’re in when patrolling, makes it a pretty safe job in the end.
Did having an Asian background play a part in your motivation for joining, and does your background help you when you’re out on shift?
It’s actually one of the reasons I wanted to join, to represent, because there’s a bit of a misconception within these communities, within our cultures, that the police is against us, or that the police is racist. By me joining, I am trying to prove that this isn’t the case.
It also helps because when I go into local communities I can communicate with people in my mother language. It helps the situation and makes people feel assured that the police is not actually against them, but we’re here to help and represent them. That’s what the police is about, representing the community that we’re in.
Are there any skills you’ve developed as a pilot that you take into your role as a Special, or any that you’ve taken the other way?
As a pilot there is a lot going on so you need good situational awareness – that applies to policing as well where you need to assess your surroundings quickly.
The communication skills I’ve developed as a Special really help as a pilot too, where I have to talk to a lot of people of different nationalities, so being able to communicate effectively is important.
What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering as a Special?
Do it! Make a difference and represent the communities that you’re from. Go home after a shift knowing you’ve made a positive impact in your community and make new friends who share the same passion as you. Every day is a new day. You will wear the same uniform and have the same powers as our regular colleagues – what are you waiting for?
Could you make a difference in your community by volunteering your time as a Special Constable? Learn more about this exciting and rewarding opportunity and apply today by visiting our Special Constables webpage