WILTSHIRE Police will start receiving job applications today as the force begins a new recruitment drive. The force, which will become the first in the south west to recruit new officers since the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010, will start the recruitment process with an online assessment tool which goes live at 4pm The assessment will take candidates about half an hour as they work through three separate stages, although the whole process could take up to 46 weeks.

As well as immediate recruits, it is hoped that a pool of candidates can be built up for future recruitment drives at the end of 2013 and early 2014.

Candidates must be aged between 18 and 57 and have a minimum of 5 GCSEs graded between A* and C, including English and maths. There will be a fitness test later in the process, so those applying must have a reasonable standard of fitness, as well as be in good general health.

Potential recruits must also have lived in this country for the past three years and hold a full driving licence when they start.

New recruits will start on the £19,000 salary the Government recently implemented as a result of the Winsor recommendations. “I am delighted that we are in a position to open our recruitment for police officers,” said Chief Constable Pat Geenty. “Although the service is facing many challenges, policing remains an excellent career choice.

“It offers an exceptionally diverse career in public service, offering individuals the chance to make a real difference to communities.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “I have said that having frontline officers out on the beat within our communities is very important to me and recruiting new officers will ensure we continue to do just that.

“Our police should reflect our communities and I would encourage people from minority ethnic communities to consider applying for this very interesting career opportunity.”

The application form will be available on the force website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages. Call the recruitment line on 01380 734 132 or visit policerecruit@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk.