One hundred new constables are to be recruited into the Police Service of Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
The recruitment drive is the first in almost three and a half years and the PSNI said it is particularly keen to attract applications from people in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry; members of the Catholic community; and areas of social deprivation.
Deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie said: “Becoming a police officer is a challenging and rewarding career, but it is not just a job, it is a vocation. Policing with the community is at the very centre of everything we do as a police service and I encourage people from all sections of the community to consider applying.
“The officers appointed will work directly with and make a very positive contribution to communities across Northern Ireland, so it is vitally important that these officers are fully representative of the communities they will be working in.”
The PSNI plans to appoint a maximum of 378 additional officers throughout 2014/15.
Terry Spence, chairman of the Police Federation union which represents thousands of rank and file officers, has pressed for the PSNI to recruit an additional 1,000 officers after a turbulent year left hundreds of police injured and resources stretched.
Mr Spence has claimed some frontline officers were facing burn-out having to work 16 to 20-hour days.
Officers in Northern Ireland also still face a severe threat from dissident republicans and there has been serious sectarian rioting involving loyalists.
The strength of the force presently stands at around 7,000 after numbers were significantly reduced from their pre-ceasefire level as part of the Patten reforms.