A really special constable

Jack White receiving his award from Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs.
Jack White receiving his award from Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs.

A voluntary policeman who also works during the day at Police Scotland’s Bilston call centre has been awarded Special Constable of the Year.

Jake White (25) works as a communications controller within Bilston East ACR, but is also a special constable in his spare time. A role he has had for four years now. Jake picked up his award last week, on his birthday, at the Scottish Policing Excellence Awards at the Scottish Police College.

He said: “It was a great day. It was a good birthday treat. I’m glad I won. If I hadn’t it might have been a crabbit birthday!

“I took my sister with me, she was very proud. She is my good luck charm. I won a Good Scot Award a few years back and she was there too.

“It’s a massive achievement. It’s nice to receive positive recognition. A pat on the back now and then is always nice to get.

“It feels good to get this award. It’s good for me personally, but also for all the other special constables out there. I think we are an under recognised group. Giving up our time and not being paid.

“In my role as special constable I could go anywhere. I often work with the dog handlers. That’s probably one of my favourite things to do.”

Working in a control room has given SPC White a first-hand insight into the challenges faced by his operational colleagues. To assist them he regularly gives up his days off and uses his annual leave to undertake his Special Constable duties.

He said: “I have been at Bilston for two years now. It’s good fun, busy, I like the challenge.

“It’s good to have both roles and see both sides of policing, in the control room and out on the streets as an SPC.

“If it wasn’t for the control room we wouldn’t be able to respond on the street. And if we didn’t have the bodies on the streets the control room wouldn’t have anyone to pass the information to.