POLICE chiefs have made an appeal for employers in the Borders to draught their paid-leave workers into uniform during the coronavirus outbreak.

A shortage of Special Constables to provide support for regular officers has led to top brass making the unprecedented call.

It is expected Police Scotland will be stretched as the pandemic takes hold across the country over the coming weeks and months with many regular officers having to self-isolate and take sick leave.

And with many companies providing paid-leave for their workforce during the shutdown, it is hoped some of the employees will sign up for the next 12 weeks.

Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: “This is an extraordinary moment and one that requires a collective response.

"It is a moment when the ethos of the Special Constabulary - supporting Scottish communities and local policing - has never been more relevant.

"The coronavirus pandemic is presenting an unprecedented and dynamic set of challenges and, to support health professionals and maximise public safety, the policing response is crucial.

"The coming weeks and months will be demanding and there will be significant additional duties that we are required to discharge during this critical period.

"To support our overall response, we would like to include our valued Special Constables in our resourcing plans.

“We have written to all our volunteers and their employers seeking support to provide additional volunteering hours over the coming 12 weeks, however I should stress there is no requirement being placed on anyone.”

Special Constables are warranted officers with all the powers of regular police officers who volunteer their services. They are deployed in local communities to support daily operations and provide resilience at critical times.