WELL over 5,000 people requested PSNI application forms in just over two weeks, it was revealed yesterday.
Details of the potential demand for places on the next recruitment training scheme emerged as Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan urged young people considering a career in the service not to be deterred by the dissident republican threat.
He said: "Commun-ities demand, and are entitled to, a good policing service that is responsive to meeting their needs. The job of a police officer is about meeting those needs and providing that service. I would encourage people from all sections of our society to apply for these posts.
"They will be challenging and there are those who want to drag us back to the past. However, this is a great opportunity to not only serve the community but to also shape the public views and perception of the policing service."
The latest 50-50 recruitment campaign is the 16th since 2001 and figures out yesterday disclosed there had been a total of 5,232 requests for application forms in just over a fortnight. The campaign ends on February 12.
The PSNI has around 7,315 officers, of which just over 70 per cent are Protestant and almost 28 per cent Catholic.
Last year 9,850 applied to join the service, but just 219 were accepted.