Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 17:56 UK

Rangers become special constables

View of Ben A'an in the Trossachs. Pic by Undiscovered Scotland
The rangers will use their specialist knowledge of the area to detect crime

A group of countryside rangers at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park can now arrest anyone they spot committing a crime.

Four of the rangers have undergone a three-week training course and have qualified as Central Scotland Police special constables.

The project is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

It is part of the Respect the Park programme which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

'Superb achievement'

Central Scotland Police Deputy Chief Constable Iain Macleod said: "They [the rangers] have got particular knowledge and skills in relation to the park.

"They know it like the back of their hand and they'll recognise things within the environment of the park that might not necessarily register with anybody else just because of the experience that they've got."

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham attended a ceremony to see the new recruits sworn in.

She said: "This is a superb achievement for the rangers involved, Central Scotland Police and the National Park Authority.

"By working together you have brought a new approach to improving the experience of the park for all.

"In fostering safer neighbourhoods, helping to tackle anti-social behaviour, and encouraging people to enjoy the park responsibly, this is a valuable contribution to the aim of promoting effective social development."

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