A NEW group of young police volunteers in Helensburgh is set to be launched next month.

And Police Scotland wants to hear both from young people interested in joining up and adults who are keen to help.

The town’s new Police Scotland Youth Volunteer (PSYV) group will launch in September, following in the footsteps of other groups across Scotland.

Following an initial training period, which will be carried out during the group’s weekly Wednesday night sessions at Hermitage Academy, the PSYV group in Helensburgh will then go on to volunteer at local and national events.

PC Craig Stamp, who is currently Police Scotland’s youth engagement officer for the Helensburgh and Lomond area, and will also co-ordinate the town’s new PSYV group, said of the programme: “Police in Helensburgh already have a good relationship with young people.

“However, one of the main aims of PSYV Helensburgh will be to strengthen this bond and provide the youth volunteers with a platform to become positive role models in their community.”

Like other uniformed youth organisations in Helensburgh and the surrounding area, the PSYV scheme is not run as a recruiting organisation for the police, but as a way of breaking down barriers between young people and the police and giving those aged between 13 and 17 an insight into how modern-day policing in Scotland actually works.

In addition to helping out at major events, PSYV members also take part in a national campaign each autumn, giving householders information on how to keep their property safe and secure during the darker nights.

In a bid to support Police Scotland’s aim of reducing violent crime, 75 youth volunteers have been trained in peer education as part of the ‘No Knives, Better Lives’ awareness campaign, while there are also plans for PSYV members to provide information to their peers and to community groups on other subjects including cyber crime and internet safety.

PC Stamp added: “One of the key elements will be the support of adult volunteers, who come from all walks of life, and I hope will bring their own experiences and skills to the group.”

The youth volunteers are able to be part of the group until the age of 18, where they will then have the opportunity to become an adult member.

To become a youth volunteer, you must be aged between 13 and 15 and be able to dedicate a minimum of three hours per month for volunteering events.

Likewise, PSYV adult volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and also able to dedicate a minimum of three hours per month for volunteering events.

To apply to become a youth or adult volunteer, email PSYV Helensburgh at ArgyllDunbartonshirePSYV@scotland.pnn.police.uk for more information or to request an application form.

You can keep up to date with PSYV groups’ activities via social media by following @PolScotPSYV on Twitter, @PSYVPoliceScotland on Facebook or at the ‘Police Scotland Youth Volunteers’ YouTube channel.