THREE thousand people applied to go on the beat in Staffordshire, police have revealed.
Earlier this year a recruitment campaign was launched to find 42 additional police officers - and Staffordshire Police was deluged with applications. It was so successful that further vacancies have been accelerated to bring the total intake to 80 and the force is also encouraging officres from other forces to transfer.
Now just over 500 applicants have passed the pre-selection process and their applications will now be formally assessed ahead of the assessment centres taking place later this summer.
Staffordshire's Chief Constable, Mike Cunningham said: "The level of interest in join our team has been astounding, and the good news for those that applied is that I have been working with Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis and we have agreed to bring forward some of next year's recruitment to the current process.
"Therefore, we are looking to recruit 80 police officers from the current recruitment process rather than the 42 previously announced. However this will not mean we will lower the standards expected of those joining Staffordshire Police. We want the very best applicants to join the force and those unable to demonstrate the standard required will not get in, but based on the initial view of the applications we are hopeful we will find all 80 from the current process."
Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Ellis said: “This is tremendous news for people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It comes on the back of the Chief Constable and I agreeing to cancel the planned reductions to Neighbourhood Policing numbers and reflects the significantly improved financial position here. "New investment in technology later this year to free up police time to do more policing, new officers coming in and much greater financial stability mean that things are looking pretty good. It’s testament to the hard work of Staffordshire Police and my office have done over the last year to get things where they are now and I’m delighted.”
Also the force will be looking to bring some of the very best experienced police officers in from other forces by opening up the transfer process. Fully qualified Police Constables from other forces, who can demonstrate a strong link with Staffordshire, will be able to apply to join Staffordshire Police this summer.
The first officers will join the force in October.