A CAMPAIGN to recruit new special constables has been launched by Police Scotland.

The Special Constabulary is a part-time volunteer body consisting of officers with identical powers to those of “regular” cops.

Those who sign up are asked to perform a diverse role that could include everything from policing football matches to patrolling the streets of their local community.

Following a steady decrease in the number of special constables since the formation of Police Scotland, with a “significant” number of recruits using the opportunity as a route to becoming a regular police officer, the campaign focuses on encouraging people to give back to their local community by signing up in their spare time.

Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins said there are many people in the local area who could bring skills from their own job into the role of a volunteer police officer.

Read more: Deliberate fires on the increase but total number of blazes down

“Joining the Special Constabulary can also be a fantastic opportunity to consider whether policing is the job for you,” he added. “It provides excellent experience and training for those who would like to become a full-time police officer.

“Police Scotland undoubtedly benefits from the experience 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.”

Gil Paterson, Clydebank’s MSP, said becoming a special constable is an opportunity for people to “get proactive in protecting their communities from the scourge of crime”.

He added: “Volunteering in front line policing is both an exciting and rewarding role, and has huge benefits to Police Scotland, which thrives off the new perspectives brought in.”

For more information on how to become a special constable, visit scotland.police.uk/recruitment/special-constables.