Police in Forth Valley have shared an appeal to businesses to urge them to consider providing paid leave to staff who volunteer as special constables.

Any employers who do so will be helping support the national effort to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to a post on division's Facebook page: "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.

"Police Scotland is appealing to special constables to increase their volunteering hours wherever possible and to ask employers to consider paid leave to allow staff to support local policing over the coming 12 weeks."

DCC Malcolm Graham added: "This is an extraordinary moment and one that requires a collective response.

"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."