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Police seek young volunteers

PC Carole Smith with photos of some of the young volunteers elsewhere in Scotland. Photo Chris Cope/Shetnews

YOUNG people in Shetland are being given the chance to volunteer with the local police force.

 

Police Scotland’s youth volunteers scheme is being rolled out in the isles after being piloted in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen in 2013.

Shetland is only the second region in the highlands and islands to be offered the opportunity.

The local force aims to recruit 24 people aged between 13 and 18 to learn about life in the police.

Volunteers could be asked to assist with large-scale events like Up Helly Aa and the Midsummer Carnival in Lerwick and could even get the chance to help at Scottish festivals such as T in the Park and Belladrum.

They will also take part in educational sessions such as police radio, road safety, fire safety and trading standards.

Youth volunteer co-ordinator PC Carole Smith hopes to have the full quota of youngsters in place by March.

She said the scheme should boost recruits’ confidence and self-esteem, as well as enhance their skillset.

“I especially enjoy working with young people and making them realise that coming in to the police isn’t scary – we’re normal people,” Smith said.

“So this is a good opportunity to get out there and get an insight into what the police are doing, and volunteering too, which is good for the community as well.

“It’s there for anyone and everyone, no matter what direction they want to go in when they leave school and it will look good on their CV.”

Smith will begin to promote the project in schools around Shetland from Monday.

The scheme aims to have a “positive influence” on Shetland’s youths, with some of the volunteers likely to be sourced from vulnerable backgrounds.

Chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch hopes the volunteer scheme could help young people with a negative view of the force gain a better understanding of the work they do.

“Hopefully they will get the opportunity to see that we’re here for a positive reason, and that we’re trying to promote things like road safety and to reduce drug misuse,” he said.

“We’re really trying to keep people safe and trying to protect vulnerable people. Police staff are also recruiting around eight adult volunteers to co-ordinate activities.

Anyone interested in becoming a youth/adult volunteer or requires further information please contact info@psyv.scot

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