Bridging the Gap? Police Volunteering and Community Policing in Scotland

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Abstract

This article examines how far special constables can act as the ‘bridge’ between police services and local communities, within the context of Scottish policing. I consider the literature around the core concepts of community policing, the condition of community policing Scotland, and the role that volunteer police officers can play in enhancing local policing. Then, I draw upon the findings from qualitative interviews and observations of special constables in one division of Police Scotland, to explore the nature of the special constabulary as a potential resource in community and local policing. Finally, I consider these findings in relation to the ongoing discussions of special constables’ contribution to community policing, and how policing organizations might seek to enhance that contribution. This article, I believe, provides a unique contribution to the currently small but emerging field of research within police volunteerism, and brings the perspective of Scottish special constables to these discussions which have been primarily Anglo-centric.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPolicing: a Journal of Policy and Practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2019

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