A SELECTION of special constables have sworn an oath to keep Essex safe at an attestation ceremony.

Eighteen volunteer officers were welcomed by Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells, Justice of the Peace Dawn Roche and Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner at Essex Police's headquarters on Monday.

The new recruits have a variety of jobs, including being a lifeguard, medical student, school caretaker and banker.

One of the new special constables Emilia Hunnaball will be posted in Harwich.

Superintendent Cat Barrie, lead for the Special Constabulary, said: “Tonight was amazing and I must thank everyone one of them for giving up their free time to serve Essex.

“They all put the special in Special Constable and they really are a fantastic bunch of people.

“I’m so proud they have joined the second largest and fastest growing Special Constabulary in the country.”

Watching at the ceremony were proud parents Jennie and Saul Hunnaball in support of their daughter, Emilia who works a lifeguard.

They said: “We couldn’t be any more proud and we will go out and celebrate with a meal.

“It was really moving watching her as she read her oath in front of everyone.”

Special constables have the same powers as regular officers but volunteer their time for free to help keep our communities safe.

To find out more about becoming a special constable, visit www.essex.police.uk/Specials.