Police Scotland is developing an initiative to recruit more Special Constables in the Highland and Islands.

It is being set up to make it easier for people from remote and rural areas to apply and train to become Special Constables.

Training would be delivered locally both face to face with officers and online, allowing students to access materials related to their role as Special Constables.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, of local policing, said: “Volunteering has an extremely positive impact on people and we know the benefits this can bring between local officers and local communities.

“We want to make people feel like they can volunteer with Police Scotland – regardless of where they live.

“Very often travelling to the Scottish Police College in Fife for training is simply not practical or appealing for an applicant in areas such as Skye or Stornoway.

“We recognise that Highland and Islands Division need to have a different approach to the recruitment and retention processes in place to attract Special Constables.

“This initiative is one of many we are implementing across Police Scotland to support local issues and the needs of different communities.”

Each area commander will be responsible for the recruitment in their area with the assistance of the Highland and Islands Special Constables coordinator. This moves away from a centralised recruitment policy at Tulliallan (Fife) and Jackton (East Kilbride).

All new N Division recruits will be recruited and trained via the new local approach late 2018/early 2019.