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Extra police officers for the Highlands and the rest of Scotland after specialist and probationary officers are re-deployed to counter staff absences during the Covid-19 pandemic

By Alasdair Fraser

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Police Scotland.
Police Scotland.

The Highlands will benefit from extra policing cover after it was agreed to re-deploy hundreds of officers across Scotland to ease the impact of Covid-19 related absences.

Police Scotland is drafting in more than 500 members of staff from specialist units and probationary staff to prevent shortages across the force.

More than 300 officers from specialist functions throughout Scotland will move to support colleagues in local policing divisions temporarily from Monday January 10

At the same time, 258 probationary constables currently undergoing training at the Scottish Police College will also be deployed to local policing divisions.

The force’s command says the use of probationers and officers from specialist functions was successful both earlier in the pandemic and during the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: “We are working hard to maximise the availability of officers and staff in frontline duties to ensure that we continue to provide a highly effective policing service to our local communities.

"Omicron is having a significant effect on the country and Police Scotland is included in that. The welfare of our officers and staff is paramount and has been throughout the pandemic.

“As a national service we can quickly flex resources and move people to where they are needed and respond to increased demand and high absence levels.

“By deploying these extra resources we can support local policing and keep people safe during this critical time.”

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