Fast-tracking veterans leaving the armed forces in to Police Scotland would benefit the large military community in Helensburgh, says Maurice Corry.

Mr Corry, the Scottish Conservatives veteran spokesman, is calling for a trail scheme to be introduced within large military communities.

The proposal would involve veterans joining Police Scotland part-time initially as special constables, with further opportunities for promotion in the future.

He told the Advertiser: “In relation to Helensburgh we are a prime area for this trial.

“At weekends we are very busy and there’s a lack of police presence. I would like to help police around the National Park and in the evenings here in Helensburgh when there’s a lot of people coming down to drink and sometimes misbehave.”

The Scottish Conservatives revealed last month how the number of special constables in Scotland has more than halved since 2013.

Research found that the numbers reduced during this time from 1,387 to 610.

Mr Corry originally considered campaigning for the trial as a councillor in Helensburgh.

He said: “We have a number of people who work here that retire and would like to continue living in the area and working here.

“People that have been living in the community understand community issues and would be very appropriate to join as a community constable.

“It would also provide a vital transitional link for people leaving the armed forces and contemplating their next move in life.

“These people will be fit, active and value the idea of uniformity and being involved to help the public good, and that’s something we should make use of.

“The idea’s been warmly received in the past from both veterans and the police, and it’s something I now intend to pursue again.”

Calum Steele, General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “It is undoubtedly true that many former members of the armed forces have made a successful transition and remarkable contribution to policing over the years, and will no doubt continue to do so into the future.

“Policing and military roles are fundamentally different for very good reason. Whilst the SPF believes veterans should be offered every support to reintegrate into civilian life, it is dangerously simplistic to assume that life in armed forces somehow makes a person more suited to the police service than anyone else.”

Mr Corry plans to create a formal proposal of the trial schemes for the Scottish government.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The recruitment of police constables is a matter for Police Scotland, and overall officer numbers remain at historically high levels.

“Armed forces veterans have a range of transferable skills that are welcomed by employers in Scotland and we remain committed to ensuring that all veterans living in Scotland are able to access the best possible support in their lives going forward, particularly when it comes to employment opportunities.”