The old(er) bill! Special constable celebrates 52 YEARS on the beat
‘Many friends in the force’
IT was the year in which Scotland became unofficial World Cup winners after beating the champions England at Wembley.
The Beatles released their legendary Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Celtic won the European Cup – and Hugh Duncan joined the police as a volunteer.
Now Mr Duncan – Scotland’s longest-serving special constable – has been honoured for his 52 years of dedication to the force.
And at 73, the farmer said he does not see himself giving up his position any time soon.
Mr Duncan – affectionately known throughout his beat as ‘Grandad’ – was presented with a long service certificate and award by assistant chief constable John Hawkins at Aberdeen’s police HQ on Tuesday.
Having joined the police as a volunteer, Mr Duncan, from Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire, is seen as a stalwart of the UK’s 12,000strong special constabulary.
Balancing his police duties in the Banff district with his day job, Mr Duncan brings a wealth of experience and local knowledge to his local community policing team, helping them to stay safe.
Although the badge on his uniform may have changed several times over the decades, his commitment to serving the community has certainly not wavered.
He said: ‘When I started as a special constable, you were riding shotgun with the regular officers, but the role has evolved and today we are much more involved in policing – we can drive police cars, use the police computers, and we attend the full range of police work from attending road accidents to assisting at events.
‘During my time as a special constable I have met a great number of people and have many friends in the force.
‘Life as a special constable is entirely different from dealing with life “down on the farm”, and one which I greatly enjoy.
‘I would recommend joining up to anyone interested in meeting and helping people.’
He added: ‘When I feel I’m no longer fit for the job I’ll step down, but I’m not at that stage yet.’
Mr Duncan was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the 2012 New Year’s honours list.
Mr Hawkins was delighted to hand over Mr Duncan’s latest award at Tuesday’s ceremony.
He said: ‘Fifty-two years of serving his local community is an incredible achievement, and to say he is an asset to Scottish policing would be an understatement.
‘He leads by example, is incredibly highly respected by all the officers he has worked with, and is thought of extremely highly by the community he serves.’
Ceremony: Hugh Duncan