POLICE chiefs have vowed to recruit the best people from the “wonderfully diverse communities” in the area.

Northumbria Police chief constable Winton Keenen and police and crime commissioner Kim McGuinness made the pledge as 62 new officers began their training for a career on the beat.

Ms McGuinness said: “We are both committed and determined to recruit the best people from across the wonderfully diverse communities we are so privileged to be a part of here in the North-East.”

The new officers take up their roles as part of an ongoing recruitment drive. A total of 553 new recruits have joined Northumbria Police since March, 2020.

On Monday, the newest officers were welcomed by Mr Keenen and Ms McGuinness.

Mr Keenen said: “We want people who are passionate about protecting other people and delivering a public service we can all be proud of – people who bring a wide and diverse range of experience, skills and abilities. Northumbria Police has consistently provided the very best service possible and we need officers who will continue to reach those high standards and build on the efforts of the many exceptional officers who have gone before them.

“We have worked very hard to maintain our recruitment targets during the ongoing pandemic and this highlights the commitment everyone in Northumbria Police has towards keeping up with and getting ahead of the ever-changing demands faced by modern-day policing.”

The new recruits will replace retiring officers, while also increasing existing numbers, and will now begin an extensive training programme.

Ms McGuinness added: “I’ve loved meeting all the new faces who are joining Northumbria Police.

“People tell me they want more police to be fighting crime in their area and we are delivering on this.

“Together, with the chief constable, not only are we recruiting more frontline officers, but we are smashing government recruitment targets.”