North Yorkshire Police chiefs have welcomed the response to a recruitment campaign for Special Constables.

Between January 13 and February 7, 5,100 people visited, set up to support the campaign.

These visits resulted in 673 expressions of interest and 178 applications submitted.

The 80 candidates who passed the initial test are now going through interviews and assessments at a National Recruitment Assessment Centre at North Yorkshire Police’s Newby Wiske Headquarters.

Once completed, the successful candidates will commence their formal training as a Special Constable. This will take place over 18 consecutive Saturdays, plus a week-long session half way through the course.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire said: “Doubling the number of Special Constables from 150 to 300 by 2016 is an important component of the Police and Crime Plan, so this is a welcome step forward in the recruitment.”

North Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said: “I am very encouraged by the number of people who took the time to visit our Special Constable recruitment microsite which we set up especially for this campaign.

"It shows that there is a great deal of interest in volunteering for North Yorkshire Police, with people willing to give their time to help keep our local communities safe and secure.”