Police Scotland Youth Volunteers – 26th September

The Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) are groups of up to twenty-four young people based across Scotland. Supported by adult volunteers and led by a police constable the PSYV volunteer at community and national events across Scotland.

One of the first PSYV groups was set up in Cumnock four years ago and PC Tom Northorpe was in at the start. He and his colleague PC Chris Bysouth were guests at our meeting where Tom delivered an excellent and interesting talk.

The PSYV programme aims to strengthen relationships between the police and young people, breaking down barriers and promoting positive role models. As part of this, young people are given a chance for their voice to be heard and encouraged to value good citizenship. The PSYV is the newest and fastest growing uniformed youth service of its type in the UK and is open to all young people aged 13 – 17. It allows them an insight into policing in Scotland and inspires individuals to participate positively within their communities. The Cumnock group draws volunteers from the wider Ayrshire area.

Each PSYV group is coordinated by a police officer (Tom in Cumnock’s case) and most weekends, the Cumnock Youth Volunteers can be seen at anything from local community events and gala days through to bigger events such as the Boswell Book Festival, the Scottish Air Show, and major golf tournaments. When working in their communities the Youth Volunteers can be involved in any of a range of activities; supporting stewards, helping the elderly, giving out public safety information, issuing children’s wristbands in case they become lost, and distributing crime-prevention leaflets.

The PSYV are also involved with peer-to-peer and intergenerational education programmes, assisting their peer group, the public and the police with important awareness campaigns like safe cycling, no-knives better-lives, internet safety and other local policing matters.

Ian Alexander, in his vote of thanks, was full of praise not only for the PSYV initiative itself but also for Tom’s evident dedication to its success and for his obvious enthusiasm and respect for the youth of today.