A to Z of Police Scotland
The police do many jobs but, no matter what we do, our main focus is on keeping you safe. Here is a fun guide which explains some of the things that we do.
A Air Support
The Police helicopter can be used to help police officers on the ground with incidents like search and rescue. On board are bright lights that can light up half a football pitch and a powerful camera that can even see in the dark!
Police officers wear a utility belt to carry their equipment on. Equipment includes a radio, handcuffs, a baton and body armour to keep them safe.
C Control room
The control room is where emergency and non-emergency calls are taken. The staff decide which incidents need to be attended quickly, and direct police officers to those incidents first. They use telephones, computers and radios.
Police officers that have working dogs are called Dog Handlers. The dogs live with them at home and are trained from puppies to do jobs like finding people that are lost or hiding, or more special jobs such as searching for weapons or drugs. Breeds used can be German Shepherds or Spaniels.
Police officers work at events such as football games, concerts and parades to keep people safe.
Police also work with other emergency services including the Fire Service and Ambulance, and can attend reports of fires and people needing medical help.
Some Police officers carry guns. You may see them at the airport and at special events. They are there to protect you and will always be happy to see your smiling faces!
Being on a horse allows the officer to keep an eye on big crowds of people. Being high up on a horse means that they can see things that police officers on the ground may not be able to see and also allows the officer to direct crowds easier as people are more likely to see and hear the officer.
When the horses finish their work they are taken back to the stables where they are fed, brushed and cleaned.
Police investigate crimes that are committed online, as well as on our streets. This is called cybercrime. We also provide advice on how to stay safe online.
When the law is broken, the Police investigate to find out who committed, or did, the crime.
K Keeping People Safe
This is why we do everything that we do.
L Lost/Found Property
When lost and found property is handed in to a police station we try to return it to its owner.
M Missing People
If a person is reported missing, the police search for that person to make sure they are safe and well.
N Night time
Police work all through the night when most people are asleep in bed. Police officers can’t be scared of the dark!
Police officers can be between 18 and 60 years old. They attend the Scottish Police College for training and tests on law, first aid and fitness as well as other topics to give them the skills they will need to serve the community.
It is always better to stop, or prevent, bad things happening if possible. We give advice to people on how to keep themselves and their property safe.
Police officers may protect VIP’s (Very Important Person) when they visit Scotland. This includes the Queen and other heads of state.
R Roads policing
Road policing officers deal with incidents like road crime and accidents. You can tell a roads policing officer by the white hat that they wear!
There are lots of specialist departments that support local police. An example of this is Mountain Rescue, who help find people lost or stranded on mountains and hills. They have a special off road vehicle to help with this.
If you need police, fire or ambulance in an emergency phone 999. If you need police for anything else phone 101.
The Dive and Marine Unit patrol on boats. Their duties include flood assistance, underwater photography and they can search for people or property on land or underwater. The divers wear breathing equipment, called SCUBA, to help them breathe underwater. They work with the Fire Service, the Coastguard and RNLI. They often come into contact with sealife, like seals and crabs, when they’re diving. One diver even had an encounter with a basking shark!
Police Scotland has cars, 4x4’s, dog vans, vans , trail bikes, motorcycles, articulated lorries and a special off road vehicle for mountain rescue.
W Wildlife crime
Wildlife crime is any crime that takes place against wild birds, animals and plants. Crimes against wildlife can take place in the countryside, cities or even gardens, in fact anywhere that you can find wildlife!
X eXamine crime scenes
When forensic scientists examine crime scenes, they look for clues like fingerprints or DNA left behind by the person who committed the crime. If you look at your fingers then look at your friends fingers you will notice that everyone has a different pattern of lines!
Y Youth Volunteers
Police Scotland Youth Volunteers are between 13 and 17 years old. They volunteer throughout the year at local and national events to support the police and their community.
Some letters of the alphabet sound the same and sometimes it can be difficult to hear what a person is saying if they are in a noisy place. For this reason police officers use a phonetic alphabet when spelling out words over their radios, which makes it much easier for other people to understand what they are saying.