BIG Brother is returning to West Linton in a bid to combat an upsurge in attempted break-ins.

Over the past year houses and businesses in and around the village have been regularly targetted by thieves.

Last week a special meeting was held to relaunch a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

And a recruitment drive for local Special Constables was also held by Police Scotland.

Former policeman Jonathan James is behind the campaign to relaunch Neighbourhood Watch.

He told us: "I fell in love with this village years ago and I want to protect it.”

Jonathan is willing to act as the scheme co-ordintor and anyone wishing to find out more should contact him directly via West Linton Community Council Facebook page.

During the same meeting, which was chaired by community council chair Graham Tulloch, Sergeant Duncan Marker highlighted the benefits of community safety initiatives.

And West Linton's James May, who previously volunteered as a Special in West Linton before becoming a Police Constable, gave encouragement to anyone thinking of following in his footsteps.

James said: “You have to pass a number of tests, including a fitness test, but once you are recruited the training you receive is phenomenal and equips you for life.

"I would recommend the experience of becoming a Special Constable to everyone."

Special Constables are expected to undertake 180 volunteer hours over a year.

When they are working they have exactly the same powers as police officers and are indistinguishable by the public.

Local Tweeddale West councillor Heather Anderson welcomed the initiative.

She said: “This Neighbourhood Watch scheme will fit our local priorities and its aim is to reassure rather than alarm.

"West Linton is a very safe place to live and we want to keep that way.

"It’s great that local residents are taking the initiative.”

Any one who is interested in the opportunity to volunteer as a Special Constable should contact Police Scotland.