WEST Yorkshire Police has launched a new training pathway to encourage more members of the community to join the Special Constabulary.

Special Constables have the same powers as regular officers, providing support to communities in day-to-day policing.

This summer’s recruitment window is opening on Monday, August 13, and will run until midnight on Sunday, September 2/

The force says it would especially welcome applications from people willing to commit to a long-term career as a Special and a new training path has been launched to make the role more accessible.

Training can now be completed over a 20-week period, which involves two weeks’ intensive training followed by training on alternate weekends.

There is still the option to train every other weekend for 30 weeks.

West Yorkshire Police is also keen to receive applications from people from diverse groups and backgrounds, such as the LGBT+ community, people with disabilities and BAME applicants.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Being a Special is an exciting, valuable and rewarding role within the Force and all our volunteer Specials do a vital job in making our communities safer.

“Being a Special can lead to a variety of opportunities and provides a real insight into a career at West Yorkshire Police.

“New recruits go through the same training as police officers with initial deployment to a Neighbourhood Policing Team or response team.

“We have been able to recruit again for police officers, special constables and PCSOs over the past two years, and due to this recruitment, we have the opportunity to increase the diversity of our workforce and better represent the communities we serve. All those who apply to volunteer with us will go through the same recruitment process.

“This year, we would also like to recruit Specials who can volunteer long-term with the Force and commit to the role for an extended period.

“So if are interested in making a difference in our communities and bringing about a positive change, I would encourage you to apply to become a Special.”

Special Constables are required to volunteer a minimum of 16-hours-a-month after completing training.

They must be at least 18-years-old on application with no upper-age limit. Candidates are required to be in good health, and a job-related fitness test is required by all applicants.

No formal qualifications are needed, but a good standard of education is required. Applicants need to be able to speak and write in fluent English and should not hold a criminal record.

After an initial deployment with Neighbourhood Policing Teams and response teams, volunteers can apply for specialist postings, such as with the Roads Policing Unit and operational support.

For more information about the Special Constabulary and to find out how to apply, visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/jobs-volunteer/special-constables