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First 100 Police Scotland youth volunteers complete training

More than 100 young people from across Scotland have taken part in a police volunteering event.

Five groups of volunteers from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Cumnock in Ayrshire were recognised today for completing the 12-week programme.

It is hoped they will be able to put their training to use during the Commonwealth Games and the Junior Ryder Cup in September.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said the scheme could be developed further.

Speaking after a passing out parade at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, Fife, he said: "It is fantastic to see so many young and enthusiastic people involved and we hope that they will have the chance to be deployed at many exciting new opportunities.

"They will take on a number of roles and although they will be identified through their uniform as Police Scotland Youth Volunteers they are not there to carry out policing functions.

"Through the programme the young people have grown in confidence and developed leadership skills and it is anticipated that the scheme will be further developed."

All the volunteers took part in a range of activities aimed at instilling values of citizenship and public service, with training including working with police officers and teachers to learn about the rank and structure of the force.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Young people are our future and it is great to see so many taking the opportunity to make a real difference in their local areas across Scotland.

"This is why we are providing over £250,000 funding for the development of the Police Scotland's Youth Volunteers Programme which will help young people understand the role of policing, give them a chance to be heard, gain confidence, leadership skills and become positive role models for other young people in their communities."

The project was carried out between Police Scotland, charity Young Scot and YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work.

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