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Ride-Along Scheme

What is a Ride Along?

The aim of the Ride-Along Scheme is to improve public trust and confidence in Essex Police by ensuring our processes and procedures are transparent, by allowing members of the public, on successful application, the opportunity to observe everyday policing activities. This will usually involve placing an observer with a Police Officer, Special Constable or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), whilst on foot or vehicle based patrol within Community Policing Teams. To participate in a Ride-Along, you must be at least 18 years of age.

It is not possible to be prescriptive about all policing incidents that may be attended during a Ride-Along; however, the main priority of the accompanying officer is to ensure the safety of all persons involved, including themselves, the observer, their colleagues and the public of Essex.

The observers will not generally enter premises, and will be expected to remain outside or in the police vehicle.

Observers will not become involved in executing warrants or with incidents of domestic violence.  However, there may be instances, e.g. taking a statement, when with the occupier’s consent the observer may enter the premises.

Observers will not be left alone with detainees at any time and will be expected to remain within the police vehicle or at a safe distance (if on foot) until instructed otherwise by the accompanying officer.

Observers will not have any physical contact with members of the public or detainees.

Observers will not be allowed in police vehicles in response conditions or pursuits and can only travel in the police cars from one incident to another on routine patrol.

"I attended a Ride Along recently. It was great - I really enjoyed it. The sergeant made me feel very welcome which also goes for the other police officers. I went out with an officer who was brilliant - I can’t thank the team enough - it was all worth the wait. Many thanks - I would like to do this again."

Lay Observation Opportunity

Although the Ride-Along scheme is for people aged 18 years and over, we also run a similar scheme called the Lay Observation Opportunity.The application process is the same but you can only observe policing practices within our buildings and departments.


If you would like to apply, please download and complete the fitness and vetting forms and return them to:

Ride Along Scheme Co-Ordinator
Local Policing Support Unit
PO Box 2
Essex Police Headquarters
Essex CM2 6DA

Contact No: 101 extension 130072

As soon as we receive your completed forms, we will be able to begin processing your application in order to arrange your Ride-Along at the earliest opportunity. Please note however that the vetting process may take up to 4 weeks to complete.

If you have any questions regarding the completion of your application forms or any other queries regarding your Ride-Along, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

If you have any specific access needs or any other requirements that will assist you to be able to participate, please ensure these are bought to our attention at the earliest opportunity.

Above all we hope that you enjoy your Ride-Along and benefit from the opportunity to observe every day policing challenges in Essex.

We are always keen to hear your views and so following your ride-along you will be given the opportunity to complete a feedback form.

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