MORE than 1,000 people have applied to join Northumbria Police during the first three months of the force’s largest recruitment drive in a decade.

The force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, also revealed at the recent Police and Crime Panel meeting that 3,000 people had expressed interest in joining the force, and that the first 78 recruits were now in training.

The recruitment is part of the first wave of a national drive to recruit up to 6,000 new officers.

Miss McGuinness’ said: “Of those going on to apply after the initial expressions of interest, nearly nine per cent were from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and 34 per cent were women.

She continued: “There have also been place-focused events held in Hexham, Berwick, Rothbury and Haltwhistle to continue attracting further applicants from rural areas and I’m pleased to say some 10 per cent of applications came from rural locations.”