TWENTY new constables have been welcomed into the Cumbria police force.

Recruits employed by Cumbria Constabulary can train as a police constable and gain a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing thanks to a new two-year accelerated programme.

“I am delighted to welcome these officers to Cumbria at the start of their policing careers," said Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster from Cumbria police.

"They begin a role which offers diversity, challenge and great fulfilment.

"Together, they can make a real difference to our communities.

“They are also our first recruits on the degree-holder entry programme which means those joining have all the experiences that go with completing a degree which can be hugely beneficial to our policing approach.”

The programme is part of a drive to open up policing to people who may not have considered it be a career choice for them in the past.

The officers will initially receive classroom training which lasts 22 weeks where they were learn the core roles of being police constable and the legislation behind that.

The diploma is offered by the University of Central Lancashire.