Southbourne vicar steps down as special constable

Clive Jenkins retires as a special constable for Chichester police.    Picture by Louise Adams C131270-1 Chi Retiring Special
Clive Jenkins retires as a special constable for Chichester police. Picture by Louise Adams C131270-1 Chi Retiring Special

FOR the last 12 years he’s tended his flock and kept his community safe.

But now, the Rev Clive Jenkins is hanging up his truncheon as a special constable with Chichester Police and focusing on his numerous other community commitments.

He described the special constable role as ‘incredibly rewarding’.

“It’s great to assist regular police officers,” he said.

As well being the vicar at St John’s Church, in Southbourne, he is also a police chaplain, the rural dean of the Westbourne Deanery, works with Chichester’s Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) and assists the fire brigade and ambulance service as a chaplain.

“There’s not enough hours in the day to do all I have to do,” he said.

Rev Jenkins applied to be a special constable in 2000, after he saw firsthand the impact of a ‘very sad incident’. As a Sussex Police chaplain, he was involved with the force at the time of the search for Sarah Payne, the eight-year-old girl who was subsequently found to have been murdered.

“Part of my wanting to be a special constable was wanting to understand policing better and I’ve done that for 12 years,” he said.

“I got involved as a chaplain, but felt a bit of a spare part in many ways.

“I asked the then bishop and chief constable if I could join the specials.

“I did the training and didn’t look back.”

Special constables volunteer around 16 to 20 hours per month with the force – assisting police officers and police community support officers in their duties.

Rev Jenkins described the role as ‘incredibly rewarding’.

“You get to know the role of the police service and how it works. I help with preventing crime.

“You see things members of the public don’t otherwise see.

“It’s very much helping and assisting the community.”

During his time with the force, Rev Jenkins said he made four arrests and was involved in everything from scene-guarding through the night and kicking down doors to rescuing a swan from the middle of the road.

“I threw my jacket over it and made sure we took it back in the police car. She was as good as gold.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen on your shift.”

Although he is retiring as a special constable, the 56-year-old will be focusing a lot of attention on his numerous other commitments, and will still be involved with the police in his role as chaplain.

Vicar will be missed as a special constable

CHIEF Inspector of Chichester Police Tanya Jones has thanked Clive Jenkins for his many years of service as a special constable with Sussex Police.

She said: “Clive has been a special constable for 12 years and has been a great assistance to the district as well as the force. Clive has spent time working alongside our response colleagues as well as being part of Chichester Neighbourhood Policing Team.

“He regularly got involved with pre-planned operations and was always willing to help.

“Clive will be missed by the teams but is still remaining as force chaplain so we look forward to seeing him. Clive is also an integral part of ROC (Redeeming Our Communities), so I know that our joint working will continue.

“Thank you, Clive, for all your hard work.”

Become a special constable

SUSSEX Police is currently recruiting special constables.

The Rev Clive Jenkins encouraged people who could spare the time to volunteer.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involved to support your local community,” he said.

“It’s good training and a nice atmosphere.”

There will be a big recruitment drive this weekend.

Chichester officers will give a snapshot of the life of a special constable by using Facebook and Twitter to give updates on where they are and what they are doing.

There will also be the opportunity to speak with some of the serving specials via a live webchat on Sunday (September 29) between midday and 2pm.

Special constables will also be in North Street, Midhurst, between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday (September 28 and 29) to share experiences and answer questions.

Specials volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a month – four shifts per week, or two eight-hour shifts.

Applicants receive training in the police service and the duties of an officer, powers of arrest and the law, how to prepare evidence for court, self-defence and communication skills, how to deal with awkward situations and conflict.

For more information and to apply, visit