Volunteers who give up their time to act as Special Constables have pledged thousands of hours to support Police Scotland’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Following an appeal in March to Special Constables and their employers to support Police Scotland in its effort, we would like to sincerely thank all those who have pledged their time so far at this critical period. A quarter of all of Scotland’s Special Constables immediately made contact to offer their support and increase their commitment, substantially in many cases, while more than 40 employers have granted their employees leave in order to perform their Specials role.
Over the past three weeks, around 140 Specials across more than 885 shifts have volunteered more than 7,500 hours. The Volunteer Co-ordination Unit was also contacted by a number of Specials offering to live away from home so that they can provide full-time commitment to their role. In addition, a number of Special Constables who have not volunteered in recent months have also sought urgent re-training so that they can be deployed, while some Specials who are already keyworkers in their full-time profession have still offered to work additional hours for Police Scotland.
Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said
We have been humbled by the response of our Special Constables. Their commitment to their roles during this unprecedented time is staggering and I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the service. Our thanks also go to the employers who have allowed their employees to dedicate their time to supporting Police Scotland in our efforts to help save lives and protect the NHS.
Due to health reasons we have asked some Special Constables not to deploy at this time, which I appreciate might be disappointing, however health and safety must come first. Training is being provided to those who have requested it as soon as possible, and we will do everything we can to support those who are giving up their precious time. I must also stress that we absolutely understand that all our volunteers might not be able to deploy for the foreseeable future due to care or medical reasons – we appreciate how crucial it is that everyone takes care of themselves and their loved ones at this challenging time.
ACC Hawkins added
Throughout Police Scotland’s history, Special Constables have always been considered a vital and valued resource. However during this extraordinary time, the significance of their role is greater than ever.
Special Constables are warranted officers with all the powers of regular police officers who volunteer their services. They are deployed in local communities to support daily operations and provide resilience at critical times.