A Yorkshire police force has announced a major recruitment campaign to employ more than 50 new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) over the next 12 months.
North Yorkshire Police says the drive is part of a wider recruitment plan to boost the number of frontline officers working across the county.
The new positions have been made available after a rise in the precept by North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan.
PCSOs are paid employees who work alongside warranted officers. They take part in neighbourhood patrols, help to tackle antisocial behaviour, provide crime prevention advice and support investigations.
Phil Cain, Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, said: “PCSOs are a really important part of the policing family because they have a very direct link with communities, and help to solve the problems that can affect peoples’ quality of life.
“The increase in the Precept has meant we can boost the number of PCSOs we have in our Force by 20, which is really positive, and will make a significant different to communities. But added to that we also need to recruit to fill vacancies that have arisen from people retiring or moving into warranted Officer roles.
“Our aim is to recruit 50 PCSOs this year in three intakes. Today’s campaign is the start of that process.”
Ms Mulligan described the announcement as an "important day for residents, businesses and visitors to North Yorkshire, stating this "kick-starts one of the biggest" recruitment exercises in force history.
She said: "Having taken the difficult decision to increase the precept to meet the demands of communities for more visible policing, recruiting extra PCSOs - together with the recruitment of an additional 50 police officers - is going to provide that tangible change that communities want to see. I will now be closely watching the progress of the PCSO and police officer recruitment plans, to ensure the money raised via the precept is spent on what the public wanted."
Anyone interested in joining North Yorkshire Police as a PCSO can visit: www.northyorkshire.police.uk/pcso for information on the role and how to apply.