Posted: Sun 5th Jun 2016

Profiling Special Inspector Philip Richards – In Celebration Of National Specials Weekend

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 5th, 2016

Phil recalls “When I joined as a Special back then, I was sworn-in in Pontypridd Magistrate’s Court in between cases, then attended headquarters to receive my warrant card and I was measured for my uniform and a few days later, a knock on the door and the uniform was hand delivered!” he laughs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Special Insp. Philip Richards (RPU) who became a special in 1984 has given South Wales Police 32 years of service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Philip Richards from Treharris joined the Special Constabulary in August 1984 after seeing a recruitment campaign in St David’s Centre, Cardiff where a display had been set up outside the shops to attract new recruits and he says he hadn’t thought about it until then. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Phil recalls “When I joined as a Special back then, I was sworn-in in Pontypridd Magistrate’s Court in between cases, then attended headquarters to receive my warrant card and I was measured for my uniform and a few days later, a knock on the door and the uniform was hand delivered!” he laughs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I also remember the van driver saying someone will be along shortly to give me a knock to take me out for a walk! There were no radios, I had a rubber torch, a wooden truncheon and training was once a month in Porth Police Station on a Wednesday evening. I think things have changed a little since then! ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I also cannot help but mention that I was a Special Probationer in the Rhondda, at the same time as Peter Vaughan who was a Police Constable Probationer, and now look at what he has worked through the ranks to achieve – Chief Constable!” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Phil says he thoroughly enjoys working as a Special Inspector just as much as the day he started. He’s made many friends over the years and loves the camaraderie. He also speaks with pride at being nominated as an Olympic torchbearer as recognition of his work as a special, and at receiving the Special of the Year award 2000 at the South Wales Police annual award ceremony for work on the fuel crisis. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He says however that he would prefer to be a Career Special, and that it has never occurred to him to join the force full-time because he enjoyed his job with BT so much. At the time he joined South Wales Police he was an engineer so he had, as he said-the best of both worlds. He worked outside with a company vehicle and received additional pay for emergency call-outs and he had a part-time job working with the police, and giving something back to the community. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Phil says he couldn’t have undertaken both jobs without such fantastic support from his employer, “I have also been fortunate because my employer has been very supportive allowing me to take up to 10 special leave days a year to complete duties with the Special Constabulary as part of the Employer Supported Policing scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In addition to being a Special for the force, Phil is also a full-time government asset and assurance manager for British Telecom and Chairman for the Pontypridd branch of the Royal British Legion. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He says he would recommend joining as a Special to anyone who wants to add a little something more or do something a little different to their current employment, “After all” he says, “I am living proof after 32 years of service, that it’s definitely something worth doing!”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

You will be able to follow the Specials over the National Specials Weekend via @swpspecials #specialsweek ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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