Special Constables have worked more than 4,000 hours so far supporting Police Scotland’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in the north-east.
Police issued an appeal to all their volunteers and their employers in March asking them to consider giving up more of their time to help out.
And in the space of just nine weeks, from between March 23 to May 24, special constables from across the country worked for 25,656 hours between them, working 2,990 shifts.
This is more than double the amount of hours deployed and shifts worked compared to the same period last year.
Volunteers in the north-east worked more than 4,300 hours.
Police have now thanked all the special constables for the outstanding contribution they continue to make during the pandemic.
Today marks the start of National Volunteers Week – which runs from June 1 to 7.
Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “National Volunteers Week 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, and none are more deserving than our own SPCs who are increasing their hours on the frontline to help communities at this critical time.
“While SPCs have always been considered a vital and valued feature of policing in Scotland, it is more important than ever that their role is recognised and I would like to sincerely thank them all once again for their efforts. The dedication they have shown to Police Scotland and to helping our communities is nothing short of exemplary.”
More than 1,100 youth and adult Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) have also volunteered more than 64,000 hours across the country over the past year.
They helped out at more than 1,500 events, although have not been actively involved during the pandemic.
Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said: “I also want to say a special thank you to our PSYV who are unfortunately not able to deploy at the moment – I know how frustrating it is and how keen they are to get back into volunteering. The ‘Clap For Carers’ videos they have been making to show their appreciation for keyworkers are fantastic and we have proudly posted them on our social media channels.
“The support and patience being shown is appreciated and we look forward to seeing them all again soon.”
National Volunteers Week also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer.
ACC Hawkins added: “While Police Scotland undoubtedly benefits from the experience our volunteers bring, we also hope the opportunity is unlike any other where you gain confidence, new skills and get the chance to help people in need and support your local community.
“Although there are some basic requirements that need to be satisfied, ultimately we are always looking for people who want to make a real difference.
“Society has collectively stepped forward over the past few weeks to protect the NHS and save lives, and never have volunteers been so appreciated for the vital role they are playing in this. If you are considering finding a way to give back to your community, joining Police Scotland as a volunteer is a fantastic opportunity to do something great.”
For more information on becoming a Police Scotland volunteer, visit www.scotland.police.uk/recruitment/special-constables