Police Scotland: Special constables numbers down by two thirds since merger

Special constable numbers are down to less than a third that existed before Police Scotland was centralised, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 6:34 am
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 11:08 am

Freedom of information requests show that there were 453 special constables in September 2021, almost a thousand fewer than the 1,394 volunteering in 2014.

The part-time, voluntary role assists the regular police force but numbers have dwindled since the centralisation of Police Scotland.

Since Scotland’s eight regional police forces were merged into a single force in 2013, the number of special constables has decreased by 67.5 per cent, with the Scottish Lib Dems warning they are a “vanishing species”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Both the number of special constables sworn in, and those actually deployed, have declined in all but one year since the amalgamation according to the figures.

Read More

Read More
Scottish Government vow to ‘closely monitor’ schools return amid union calls for...

The party’s justice spokesperson, Liam McArthur, said: “Special constables perform a valuable role and enhance the police’s presence in communities across Scotland.

“It’s a shame to see a role with a proud history being allowed to wither away.

Police Scotland: Special constables numbers down by two thirds since merger. Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Liam McArthur.

“We all know the pressures on police officers and staff, who we expect to step up in our moment of need.

“It is also clear from the most recent staff survey that they are struggling with exhaustion, stress and mental health problems.

“That makes it all the more important therefore to ensure they have the support they need.

“The SNP Government must now repair the damage done by its botched centralisation.

“That includes protecting the future of the special constabulary and giving officers and staff the resources that they need to do their jobs.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.