Officers in the Western Isles are encouraging locals to consider volunteering with Police Scotland as Special Constables.
Special Constables are trained volunteers who support and assist regular police officers carry out their duties. They are a valuable resource and can augment and provide additional support to local policing teams and communities.
PC Jo Macleod of the Western Isles Community Policing Team, who is the local Special Constables co-ordinator, said: "Special Constables make a vital contribution to our policing activities.
"Those who volunteer as a Special Constable get a lot of satisfaction from helping make a difference to their community whilst improving their career prospects from the skills they develop working on the beat.
"Here in the Western Isles, we are currently looking to increase the number of Special Constables in the Lewis, Harris, Barra, Uist and Benbecula areas.”
PC Macleod continued: "Special Constables wear the same uniform as regular police officers and have the same powers and responsibilities and can be called upon to assist in all areas of police work including patrols, community engagement, specialist operations attending incidents and royal visits.
"They can report for duty at any mutually-convenient time on a regular or irregular basis, depending on their work or lifestyle commitments. Some Special Constables work in the evenings or at weekends. Others prefer to be on duty during the day.
"Many Special Constables choose to work in the area where they live so that they can become more involved in their community. Others choose to work away from the area they live in, in order to keep their private lives and their police duties separate.
"Being a special constable can be immensely varied and rewarding. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of applying to look at the Police Scotland website and speak to current officers to find out more about the role."
Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Special Constable should speak with a local Police officer or see the recruitment section on the Police Scotland website: www.scotland.police.uk/recruitment/special-constables/