CUMBRIA Police chiefs are planning to recruit 84 new officers over the next year - but candidates have less than a month to submit their applications.

The recruitment drive, which opens next Monday and ends on April 1, is designed to replace officers who are retiring from the force.

Assistant Chief Constable Skeer said: “The new officers will support the front line and will be visible within local communities working with local people focussing on the areas that are important to them.

“This application process is designed to help us maintain our officer numbers and prepare for the future by replacing some of those who have retired and served the constabulary so well during their careers. Promotions within the force mean that we have been able to maintain high levels of skill and expertise.

“While the force is reducing the number of officers over the next few years, the officer numbers will be lower than the projected future officer number due to natural depletion. Therefore we need to recruit to make sure that the force has enough officers to serve the county.

“We are looking for applicants who are high in enthusiasm and energy who want to help serve the local communities of Cumbria. The force is always looking for new ideas or techniques to help maintain and improve its service; we are looking for applicants who have a passion to make a difference.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said: “I urge those who seek a role that is demanding, is one that can provide great job satisfaction, exciting opportunities and a chance to make a real difference in their local community, to have a look at the information on the website and give serious thought to this opportunity to become a police officer in Cumbria.”

The force says it welcomes applications from all sections of the community, including members of under-represented groups.

Awareness events are being staged but paces are limited. To book email csd.employeeservices@cumbria.pnn The events take place between 10.30am-12pm and 1pm-2.30pm on:

• Saturday, March 8 at Barrow Police Station

• Saturday, March 15 at Workington Police Station

• Saturday, March 22 at Durranhill Police Station

A pre-application questionnaire is required to determine eligibility and suitability for the role of a police onstable - visit Cumbria Police says it expects to receive a high number of applicants and urges those who want to apply, to do so in good time as the application process will close early if the required number of quality applications is received.