NORTH Yorkshire Police has 28 new recruits.

The latest cohort of police constables includes seven in York and two in Selby and all the new recruits were welcomed to the force by Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy at a passing out ceremony held at police headquarters at Newby Whiske.

They have successfully completed an intensive 18-week, initial training course which includes law, personal safety, search techniques, public order, first aid and a local community placement, all designed to prepare them for life on the beat.

The officers also undertook a considerable amount of home study as part the course to qualify for the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing.

ACC Kennedy, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome the new officers to North Yorkshire Police. They have worked very hard throughout their initial training and can now look forward to a challenging but rewarding career serving the communities of North Yorkshire. I am sure each and every one of them will be an asset to the service and the communities which they will serve.

“This brings the total number of new recruits to North Yorkshire Police to 69 this year which is great news for North Yorkshire Police and our communities.”

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said, “In tough times we are one of few police forces able to continue to recruit and train new police officers. This follows the decision I took with the Chief Constable to overturn the old Police Authority’s decision to reduce officer numbers in North Yorkshire.

“Congratulations go out to the new recruits. I know they have worked very hard to get to this point, and can now look forward to going out into the community and put that training into practice.”

The new officers have a variety of backgrounds including the private sector, education, health, the fire service and many have worked for the police service as Community Support Officers, Police Staff or Special Constables.

They will begin work in their communities from Saturday.

The new officers include: in York PC David Ellison, PC Kira Robinson, PC Rachel Shaw, PC Jonathan Lewis, PC John Armstrong, PC Alastair Foy and PC Lewis Culpin. In Selby PCs Jack Waterton and Lee Ward. And in Harrogate PC George Frost , PC Helen James, PC Timothy Thomas, PC Neil Sisson and PC James Wilson.