Kemnay woman receives award for being Special

Tuesday, 12 July, 2011

A 47 year old mother of two from Kemnay has been presented with a top national award for her work as a Special Constable at an awards ceremony for women in policing.

Irene Strang, who has been a Special Constable for 7 years was presented with the 'Excellence in Performance' prize for her outstanding work performance, professional credibility and effectiveness by the Scottish Women's Development Forum.

The event, which recognises the contributions and achievements of women within the Scottish Police Service, was held at The Scottish Police College in Tulliallan last month and was attended by 120 female Officers and Police Staff from across Scotland.

Delighted about her award, Irene, who volunteers around 6 hours a week, said "I feel so proud and honoured to receive this award not only was I the only winner from Grampian Police but the only Special Constable to have ever won a Women's Development Forum Award."

Speaking about her work, Grampian Police's Special Constables Co-ordinator, Sergeant Ian Chalmers said "While the fact that Irene has completed almost 1000 hours of policing to Grampian Police in the past 3 years alone is impressive, it is the breadth of her work, her willingness to take on additional responsibilities, her professionalism, and her contribution to the development of other Special Constables that marks her out as an individual worthy of this award."

Irene joined Grampian Police as a Special Constable in September 2004 and at her own request was based in her home town of Kemnay so that she could provide a visible and positive contribution to the well being of her community. Since her appointment she has actively volunteered for a variety of duties to develop her skills and play an ever increasing part of Grampian Police locally.

Two examples include undertaking training in speed detection equipment to help deal with motorists speeding through the smaller towns and villages in Aberdeenshire.

She also recognised that a great deal of the local Police Officers' time was being spent delivering citations and countermanding witnesses. She took on sole responsibility for this task and therefore freed up Regular Officers to respond to calls and complete enquiries.

Over the last year she has been seconded to the Force's General Enquiries Department dealing with licensing matters, prostitution and non suspicious sudden deaths and has already made a big impact.

Inspector John Soutar of the General Enquiries Department said "Irene is always keen to participate and involve herself in all aspects of the Department's work. The team always give positive comments and feedback about Irene and we all feel she is a genuine asset to the Unit.

"All special Constables who work with our team are given additional training and much of this has been driven by Irene's own enthusiasm. I am delighted that her efforts have been recognised in this way."

Irene has continued to develop her skills completing in house training enabling her to utilise systems and submit her own paperwork without having to rely on other Officers assisting. This in turn, allows the Officers within the team an opportunity to complete their own paperwork promptly, which ultimately gives them the opportunity to carry out more proactive enquiries.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin Menzies who is the ACPOS portfolio holder for Special Constables across Scotland, and attended the awards ceremony said "I'm thrilled that Irene has been recognised nationally for her dedication and positive attitude. With a full time job and family commitments, her achievements and work for the Force is outstanding.

"Special Constables are an extremely valuable resource who make a vital contribution to our policing activities.

"Those who volunteer as a Special get a lot of satisfaction from helping make a difference to their community whilst improving their career prospects from the skills they develop working on the beat.

"Irene is a credit to Grampian Police and is an inspiration to other women, officers and support staff."

Return to news menu