A FIFE MSP said there has been a "deeply alarming" fall in the number of special constables available to help the police in the Kingdom.

Roz McCall said their ranks had plummeted from 1,394 volunteers in 2014 to 423 by September last year.

The Tory MSP said the number of special constables available to Police Scotland in Fife had fallen from 34 to 25.

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Ms McCall, who obtained the figures through freedom of information requests, said: "This huge drop in the number of special constables within Fife is deeply alarming.

“This has been the trend now for a number of years and the SNP are doing nothing to reverse this."

She called on the Scottish Government to reverse the downward trend and added: "Special constables play a hugely important role in engaging with communities in Fife all in their own time.

“They also assist officers to detect crime and help to keep our communities in Fife safe.

“It is clear that the centralisation of Scotland’s police forces has meant the role of special constables has become diminished.”