A LEADING Scottish retailer has partnered with Police Scotland as part of an initiative to help keep communities safe – by encouraging employees to become special constables.
Scotmid have rolled out training for workers to take on some policing responsibility in local areas across the country after a successful trial in Edinburgh earlier this year.
As part of the volunteer role, employees will “help act as a positive force for change” and keep their communities safe by performing duties from patrolling streets to policing a football match and local events.
Part-time customer assistant Kayleigh Brown, 22, took on the opportunity after recently graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Criminology and has supported Police Scotland in policing events like local football games and worked on airport control, as well as working with other specialised units within the force.
Kayleigh, from Livingston, described the role as “one of the best experiences of her life,” adding: “Having studied criminology, I was particularly interested in learning more about Police Scotland and the role of special constables, but I’ve gained so much more.
“This experience has helped build my confidence as an individual and I’ve developed new skills and techniques that I can use at Scotmid, such as engaging with customers in challenging situations. It’s made me feel connected to my local community on a deeper level.”
Kayleigh added: “I did worry that I would struggle to find time to be able to fit in the police training on top of studying and work, so being paid to do this during working hours has been a huge help.”
“I’ve learnt so much and met so many wonderful people. I would definitely recommend it to my Scotmid colleagues and anyone interested in both learning new skills and giving back to their community.”
The company said it will pay up to 12 eight-hour volunteering shifts per year for successful candidates from stores across the country, should they wish to apply for the role.
Inspector Craig Rankine, who is the National Coordinator for the Special Constabulary, praised Scotmid for allowing staff to take part in the scheme.
He said: “This partnership is the latest example of employer-supported policing, which is a national scheme that encourages employers to support their staff volunteering.”
“It’s important for Police Scotland to work together with local businesses and have that contact with people in the community.”
Inspector Rankine added: “We are pleased Scotmid have joined the scheme and hope this support makes it easier for anyone considering a career as a special constable.”