RECRUITS are being sought to join the ranks of Lancashire police’s special constables.

There are more than 400 specials working within Lancashire and a recruitment drive is now underway in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley to get as many volunteers to sign up as possible.

Specials coordinator Nigel Walker said: “Being a Special gives a fantastic sense of being part of a professional team and the opportunities to learn important skills that can also be used in everyday life.

“The feeling that you are helping individuals and the wider community in all manner of ways gives a real sense of achievement.

“The work for specials is wide ranging – from general patrol to the policing of serious incidents and large scale events.”

The latest recruitment evening will be held at North Lancs Training Group, in Grange Lane, Accrington, at 7pm tonight.

Special constables are unpaid volunteer police officers who have the same powers as regular police officers and wear the same uniform.

They carry out local patrols, police local events, take part in crime reduction projects and help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Lancashire’s new police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw has also said he is committed to increasing the number of bobbies of the beat, recently pledging to provide funding for 50 new frontline police officers.

Paul Shoreman, 50, works for Lancashire County Council as a park ranger at Springwood picnic site in Whalley.

He has been a special sergeant for almost a five years, working in Hyndburn.

He said: “When I first started working for the county council’s countryside service I noticed my path sometimes crossed with the police. I think I have always had a interest in policing if I’m honest.

“The best part of the job for me is seeing the difference you make when you get a good result. Modern policing has changed a lot and there is a certain element of social work involved now.”

No formal qualifications are needed but applicants must be over 18.

For more information call Nigel Walker on 01254 353225.