Former Bishop's Stortford College student Annabel Hunt heads Hertfordshire's special constable campaign
A former Bishop's Stortford College student is leading Hertfordshire police's recruitment drive for special constables in the county.
Talented triathlete, budding legal eagle and special constable Annabel Hunt, 21, is the third generation of Herts law enforcement in her family.
Her parents are former Bishop's Stortford neighbourhood police inspector Chris Hunt and his sergeant wife Nicola. They clocked up 60 years' service between them – much in East Herts – and now their daughter is following in their footsteps.
"My parents were in the police force since they were 19 and 22, and my grandad was also a police officer," said Annabel. "Policing runs in the family and I'd heard the most amazing stories growing up, so consequently I wanted to be the person that could also help people when they really needed it.
"I also wanted to join the special constabulary to get a taste of the 'real world'. I didn't want to be stuck in a bubble thinking 'Everything is okay'. There's always someone who needs police support somewhere and I wanted to put myself in a position where I could make a huge difference to not just individuals but families and communities as well."
As a special, Annabel is one of nearly 200 volunteer police officers from all walks of life who give up at least 16 hours' spare time a month to help keep Hertfordshire safe.
Annabel joined just over a year ago and is based in Welwyn Hatfield. She is a full-time law student at Plymouth University and a Team GB age group triathlete.
She said: "My first shift was with my special sergeant. We went to a road traffic collision first of all and I had to complete a road closure and make sure there were no life-threatening injuries on anyone involved. I also went to a domestic-related incident and had to perform a risk assessment, which was daunting but a great way to learn things quickly.
"I remember being a bit nervous. However, another side of you kicks in and you perform the role of an officer in order to control a situation the best you can. The training certainly kicks in, but also a lot of the issues can be resolved by remaining calm and efficient."
Annabel recalled a particularly memorable domestic incident she dealt with.
"The victim had been in a vulnerable position for a very long time and they'd finally called the police to help them. A crime had been disclosed and I was the arresting officer. The offender has now received a prison sentence and the victim's safe and has got the help they needed.
"After suffering long-term abuse, the victim looked to me for help and the fact I had such a huge role to play in that situation filled me with great pride. I'd changed that victim's life for the better, forever, and now they can get help and live the rest of their life free from abuse."
To those thinking about joining Hertfordshire's special constabulary, Annabel said: "As long as you take on board the great training offered and the courses, you'll love it.
"I have extremely high voluntary hours because it's rather addictive! The things you see on Our Cops in the North or 999: What's Your Emergency? are the type of things that happen in real life.
"My role is no different to a regular police officer's. I respond to 999 calls and I help members of the public when they need it most. It's the most rewarding role I've ever had."
Visit www.hertspolicespecials.co.uk to find out more and apply.