A NEW Greater Manchester Police recruit was inspired to join the force due to his association with being involved with the scouts.

James Turner, who grew up in Tyldesley, is one of 17 new Special Constables that the force welcomed to its ranks on Tuesday.

At the age of six he became a beaver. And now 14 years later aged 20 he is now assistant county youth commissioner for Greater Manchester West Scouts.

James cited the friendships he has made during scouting as the motivation for becoming a Special Constable.

This week the new officers were joined by their family and friends, GMP Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, Special Constabulary Chief Officer Mike Walmsley and officiating magistrate Stephen Paine.

The attestation marks the end of the recruits five-month training programme and the start of their volunteer role.

Before being sworn in as a Constable and receiving their police authorities, the volunteers must make a declaration which is known as the Police Oath.

Special Constables, or Specials as they are often referred to, are trained volunteers that work alongside and support GMP officers to tackle crime in our communities.

All Special Constables share the same powers as regular officers, including the power of arrest. As part of the role, the recruits are required to give at least four hours a week of their free time, which is invaluable to the force.

The Special Constabulary is made up of people from all walks of life that all have their own reasons for joining.

Leigh Journal:

Front row from left to right: Aaron Moss, Lily Li-Yong, Natalie Showell and James Turner. Back row: Andrew Smethurst

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Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison said: “The skills and experience that Special Constables often bring are invaluable to Greater Manchester Police.

"They play a pivotal role in policing Greater Manchester and helping build relationships, which only makes our communities stronger.

“The fact that they volunteer in their own time is commendable and it’s great to see their dedication and commitment to supporting GMP.

“Each recruit has their own personal reasons for joining GMP and I always enjoy hearing the reasons why our Specials choose to volunteer.

"It’s always pleasing to hear how each Special want to make a difference, especially within our local communities, by tackling crime and protecting people.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the recruits and wish them the best of luck on their journeys.”