BT and Police Scotland today launched a big push to create more special constables from within the ranks of BT’s 7,000 strong Scottish workforce.
Special constables are volunteer police officers who wear the same uniform, carry the same equipment and have the same powers as regular police officers.
BT and its local network business Openreach are big supporters of the police specials’ programme across the UK and are targeting employees across Scotland to consider volunteering as special constables.
BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said: “BT is the first major employer in Scotland to run a voluntary specials recruitment scheme with Police Scotland. Over many years I have seen the benefits that special constables bring to their employer, the individual and the community that we serve. I wholeheartedly encourage our people to consider becoming special constables. They are not just special constables, they are special people.”
Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “I’m delighted BT is encouraging its workforce to volunteer with Police Scotland as Special Constables. Members of the Special Constabulary provide a vital link between policing and the public; by volunteering, individuals epitomise public-spiritedness and I know that our Special Constables take great pride in what they do.
“Those who volunteer bring skills and knowledge from their day job and their communities that benefit policing both locally and nationally. I personally value the contribution of Special Constables and I hope that initiatives such as this, encourage others to join us to enhance the delivery of policing.”
Openreach engineering manager Ricky Drummond (49), has been a special in Bathgate for the past two years and he’s enthusiastic about the benefits he has gained. “I’ve gained transferable skills to take back into the workforce and develop my skills within Openreach – team working, conflict resolution, life skills and physical activity carried out by special constables on duty.
“It also means I’m returning something to the community where I live. Yes, you have to consider the impact it’s going to have on your life but I’m past the age where I need baby-sitting! And the skills you get in training totally equip you for being out on the road with regular constables. When you’re teamed up with a regular constable you’re treated exactly the same as a regular constable and you have exactly the same powers.”
BT people who serve as special constables are provided with up to ten days paid special leave each year to carry out training or operational duties. People can apply to become a special wherever they are based in Scotland. Applicants from all backgrounds and ethnic groups are welcome. Volunteers must be over the age of 18, but there is no upper age limit, and they must be reasonably fit and in good health.