Lay observation


Devon & Cornwall Police are committed to involving the public in policing and welcome members of the public over 17 years old to undertake “Lay Observation” patrols with officers. 

This will allow members of the public to gain a better understanding of how the police really work: the challenges and the risks, the benefits and the rewards. 

You may be able to observe some of our police powers, such as stop and search, arrest and searching of premises.

No two days are the same, so we cannot make any promises as to what you might see.

  1. You will be asked to confirm your acceptance of the indemnity form and you need to think carefully before applying as you may be exposed to upsetting incidents such as road accidents involving deaths or injured children. We will always try to keep you away from upsetting incidents but your officers could be first on scene before we have established the nature of the incident.
  2. You will also need to agree to us conducting a background check on you.
  3. You will work with an experienced officer who will keep you safe but to stay safe you must do exactly what they say.

If you are NOT happy with the above three conditions please do not apply to join us on patrol, but we thank you for taking an interest.

If you are happy to comply with the three conditions above please complete the form below by selecting an area you'd like to go on patrol in. We need to complete a background check so please provide a contact telephone number and all relevant addresses.

Once your email has been sent

Your email will be sent to an officer in your preferred area to arrange a lay observation patrol. Once the background check form has been recieved and the checking process completed we will email you again to arrange a location and time. The checking process can take up to 8 weeks, so please be patient.

A briefing sheet and copy of our risk assessments are attached below, please read and understand.  

We look forward to you joining us on patrol soon.

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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