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A farmer who saved the life of man, stopped a raging bull and has helped catch organised crime gangs is celebrating 35 years as a police volunteer
07 Jun | 16:27

Special Constable Michael Scott, 58, joined Northumbria Police in 1983 and has been a volunteer with the force for more than 35 years.

Michael volunteered 1,361 hours as a police volunteer this past year and spends his service helping rural communities across Northumberland.

His full-time job is in agriculture and spends his day looking after livestock, farming land and working on tractors but volunteered because he wanted to give back to the region he loves.

Michael has been thanked by Chief Constable Winton Keenen this week as he recognises the amazing work of police volunteers as part of National Volunteers Week.

Michael said: “I volunteer but for me I still see it as my career. I joined because I wanted to help people and the joy I get from that can’t be measured. 

"I do it because it needs doing, someone always needs help one way or another and I’m happy to be that person the community can turn to.”

Whether it is tackling disorder, stopping a raging bull running into a crowd at a County Show, escorting Santa, delivering calves or finding missing people deep in the hills of Northumberland - Michael is always on hand to help.

In 1996 Michael was awarded a Chief Constable Commendation for saving the life of a 20-year-old man who had overturned his car and was trapped inside, slipping in-and-out of consciousness. 

Michael sat with him in the car for over two hours to keep him awake, despite the fact the car was precariously balanced on the bank of the River Tyne where it could have slipped into the river at any moment.

Michael goes on to say: “You don’t think about what could happen to you, you have a job to do and you just do it. When people need your help, they come first.”

When asked about some of his toughest shifts Michael talked about Storm Desmond and how he worked almost non-stop for three days to help make sure people were safe and had food and clean water. 

Michael also noted his saddest shift came with the death of his colleague PC Joe Carroll in 2006, who was killed after a prisoner he was transporting lent forward and pulled on the handbrake of the car they were in.

Michael said: “I’ll never forget that day or the moment I found out. Things like that really bring home the dangers of this line of work, I have my own family and I’m lucky enough to be a Grandad, and I do think about them when out on the job.  But they also make me realise how important the work we do is, it’s about keeping communities safe.”

Michael, who also received the Pride in Policing Volunteer of the Year award for his outstanding efforts in 2017, said how he couldn’t imagine himself working outside of the rural area.

He said: “County policing is a different way of working, it’s like nowhere else, and you tackle such a varied level of crime and get to engage with passionate people who love their communities. I’m also lucky to work with such amazing people. They always keep me going and I do the same for them.”

He finished by saying: “Volunteering for Northumbria is fantastic, and I really would recommend it to anyone. It’s not for everyone but if you love helping people or want to put back in to the community then give it a go. No set shifts, I volunteer when and where I can and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”

Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Winton Keenen, who went out on patrol with Michael earlier this week, said: “The Contribution of Michael and our other volunteers is genuinely outstanding and something quite frankly, we couldn’t do without.

“The respect I have for those who give up their time to help others and serve their communities is endless. We have some volunteers that dedicate over 1,000 hours a year to help support officers and staff and they will always have my gratitude and appreciation. Thank you.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “During National Volunteers Week we always hear fantastic stories of the work our volunteers do and that fills me with pride.

“They are a valuable asset to the Force and are among the most dedicated people who work for Northumbria Police, it is only right that we give them the recognition they deserve.”


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