Special Constable Oliver Crane has volunteered with Police Scotland for 31 years and says his main motivation is supporting the community.
Before joining the voluntary service Oliver, who now stays in Bridge of Earn, had never considered joining the police.
He is now trained for custody, is a trainer for speed detection devices, is authorised to use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and gets to run mini projects with a great love of working on rural and wildlife crime.
Oliver, 58, said: “A local officer came to where I was working in Kenmore in 1988 and said, ‘How do you fancy giving us a hand?’ I thought it sounded interesting so I would give it a go.
“Here we are, 31 years later. So much has changed in my life but being a police officer has been a constant.
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“When you start, you go with what is called community and are unlikely to see anything too dramatic. You might then join a response which is the typical role you think of.
“When you have some experience there are other things to try such as the road policing unit which is driving around quite fast and dealing with all things traffic.
“We also do a lot of work with events, parades through the town, horse racing, football matches etc. Those are fun.”
Oliver has never had a full-time job alongside his volunteering, but said being a special constable has allowed him to carry on his side projects including writing his own novel, A Boy in a Storm, designing and manufacturing Harris Tweed clothes and lecturing at Strathclyde University.
He said: “The question I always get asked is why didn’t I join the regulars? That’s easy – I enjoy all my other activities too much and don’t want to be tied down.
“It wouldn’t be as much fun if it was a full-time job. There are those who join to become regulars. That’s fine but for me, a special is someone who straddles both community and police.
“It’s not a thing you do then leave, it’s a part of how you live your life.
“Police work is not always easy. I have had some amazing laughs, seen things that are desperately sad and sometimes quite gruesome and a bit violent.
“However, I have always known that by being there I have made things easier for someone when perhaps their life was at a low point, or worse.
“How wonderful to be able to say that. It gives you strength.
“For anyone wanting to join, I’d say have a clear plan about what you want to get out of it, then get stuck in and find a niche.”