Doctor has finger on the pulse as police special

A junior doctor regularly swaps his stethoscope for solving crime after helping to break new ground as a West Midlands Police Special Constable.

Joht Singh Chandan initially signed up as a police volunteer with West Midlands Police two years ago and now plays an important role in assisting the force’s Public Protection Unit. The 26-year-old doctor from Birmingham has become one of the first Specials to work alongside the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, which plays a vital role in protecting young people from neglect and abuse.

The combination of his day job as a doctor and volunteer duties in the area has prompted him to start working on a PhD in his spare time; exploring the effects of child abuse and domestic violence with a view to becoming a consultant specialising in violence prevention - and he’s believed to be the first active Special in UK Policing to pass the national standard detective exam. Joht said:

“I am a public health registrar based at the University of Warwick. I started my journey volunteering for the Metropolitan Police Service in 2011 alongside a demanding schedule at University College London Medical School."

“I am now part of an incredibly professional and hardworking team in Ladywood supported by an experienced leadership team. It was immediately apparent that the skills taken from a clinical background in medicine such as history taking and communication, were directly transferable into an investigative setting.

“The role of the police largely revolves around interacting with people in their own communities and homes and in my opinion they have one of the greatest opportunities to make a positive change in somebody’s life. 

Police specials chief officer, Mike Rogers, added:

“I think this is an amazing achievement by Joht and I congratulate him. I think this may be a national first! Like many specials he works hard to support WMP whilst performing a demanding day time job and fitting in a family life.

“WMP is at the forefront of supporting specials into roles they wish to perform and then training and enabling them to produce meaningful results from this investment. This in turn gives real support to WMP in a demanding environment.

“Despite reduced numbers, performance is increasing and with recruitment now underway I am sure the special constabulary will be able to increase its contribution to supporting colleagues in their demanding role in serving the public “

The force receives invaluable support from all its specials who last year volunteered over 30,000 hours of voluntary service. This includes helping neighbourhood teams, front line response teams, helping the most vulnerable victims in public protection, Force CID and Operations.

West Midlands Police is due to increase its numbers of special constables ahead of the region hosting major events such as the Commonwealth Games in 2022. 

Specials have the same powers as regular officers and wear the same uniform; hours are flexible but they are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours each week, or more if they can spare the time.


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