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Stampede to join PSNI in first 24 hours of recruitment drive

By Jonny Bell

Published 01/10/2015

Police budget cuts could result in another eight stations being closed
Police budget cuts could result in another eight stations being closed

The PSNI has revealed that almost 800 people have submitted an application form to join its ranks in the first 24 hours of its latest recruitment drive.

Yesterday police invited applications for people wishing to train to become constables.

They said they were looking at least 100 people, although that figure could rise depending on affordability.

However, the Police Federation said at least six or seven times more officers were needed as a minimum.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said they were looking for individuals committed to making a difference.

Mr Hamilton said: "We are looking for people who want to make a positive contribution to Northern Ireland and are committed to making a difference. We need individuals who understand the benefits of policing with the community and the positive impact it can have on people's lives."

As well as the everyday pressures of policing, officers in Northern Ireland face a severe threat from dissident republican terrorists opposed to the peace process.

In 2011, Catholic recruit Ronan Kerr was murdered when dissidents detonated an undercar booby trap device as he drove to work in Co Tyrone.

Recruits with a starting salary of £19,000 will undergo a rigorous 22 week training programme at the PSNI's training college in east Belfast.

When qualified as a probationary constable their pay rises to over £22,000.

Last week the Police Federation, which represents thousands of rank and file officers, said morale in the force was at an all time low.

The slump in spirits has been blamed on harsh budget cuts, restructuring and other internal changes.

Despite the drawbacks more than 7,000 people applied for 100 posts advertised last year.

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