Volunteers pledge tens of thousands of hours to support Police Scotland’s response to pandemic
To mark national Volunteer Week 2021, Police Scotland would like to thank our volunteers for the support and commitment shown to the force over the past year, particularly during our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As the demands and challenges associated with the pandemic became clear, hundreds of Special Constables (SPCs) proactively got in touch to pledge more hours of service on the frontline - and between April 2020 and the end of March this year, they collectively deployed for more than 93,000 hours.
Meanwhile, although Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYVs) have been restricted in their activities during the pandemic, they have continued to keep in touch with their co-ordinators and have been actively supporting their Police colleagues and other keyworkers from home, with activities such as creating ‘Clap for Carers’ videos and fundraising for local charities.
National Volunteers Week launches today (1 June, 2021) and runs until 7 June and is a chance to say thank you to the millions of volunteers across the UK who make such a valuable contribution to their local communities.
Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “In a time of national crisis, our volunteers selflessly stepped up to support Scottish policing and provide reassurance to the communities we serve. This commitment was made while they were faced with the same challenges as their fellow citizens, and reflects the spirit and dedication of our valued Special Constabulary. Our SPCs bring an extensive pool of skills, talent, experience and local knowledge to Police Scotland and are a vital asset all year round, in helping keep our communities safe.
“I would also like to say a special thank you to our PSYVs who I know have been actively supporting our officers and staff from home, despite the pandemic restricting their deployments. PSYV teams from across Scotland are slowly – and safely - starting to deploy again and I know I speak on behalf of all at Police Scotland when I say we are delighted to see you back.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in heartache for so many, however it has been inspiring to see so many volunteers step up and respond to calls for help from their local communities. They are our everyday heroes.”
The Special Constabulary is a part-time, volunteer body consisting of voluntary officers with identical powers to that of regular police officers. PSYV groups consist of young people aged between 13 and 17 who give up their own time to volunteer in their communities, promoting ways to make Scotland safer while gaining an insight into policing.
ACC Hawkins said: “Police Scotland undoubtedly benefits from the experience our volunteers bring but it’s also an opportunity unlike any other where you gain confidence, new skills and get the chance to help people in need or make their life better. As a SPC you work alongside our regular police officers in your spare time – forging strong partnerships in the community, patrolling our streets, preventing crime, and keeping your local community safe. Anyone is eligible to apply as long as they satisfy some basic requirements for the role, but ultimately we are looking for people who want to make a real difference and can bring a fresh perspective to the team they work in.
“We are also open to applications from young people aged 13 to 17 who want to become a PSYV and do something positive in their communities. Visit the Police Scotland website for more information.”