1. ITV Report

Special constable numbers in south of Scotland drop by more than 50 percent

Police. Credit: PA

Concerns have been raised over a significant drop in the number of special constables supporting police in the south of Scotland.

A Freedom of Information request from the Scottish Conservatives shows there were nearly 80 fewer special constables working in Dumfries and Galloway in 2018, compared to 2013.

The total number this year is 38, compared to 117 in 2013.

The Lothians and Scottish Borders region also saw a large drop over the same period, from 102 to 52.

Finlay Carson MSP, who represents Galloway and West Dumfries, says that local communities are being "let down".

Special constables play a huge role in engaging with local communities, particularly in rural constituencies like Galloway and West Dumfries.

That is why it is so concerning to see that officer numbers are dropping at an alarming rate year after year across the region.

– Finlay Carson MSP, Scottish Conservatives