NORTHUMBRIA Police are preparing to welcome its very own vicar into the force tomorrow

Rev Mark will swap a cassock for cuffs when he helps keep the streets safe as a Special Constable.

The father-of-four and grandfather of two has always aspired to join the police and now, in his 50s, his dream has come true.

The reverend said: "I was brought up in local authority care, from the age of three, and used to write from the children's home to the police all the time saying I want to be a police man when I grow up.

"I was so thrilled when the police replied sending me lovely booklets about the police and how to become a police cadet."

Rev Mark is also an accomplished author, penning two titles, and received an MBE for services to the voluntary sector in his former home of Barrow-in-Furness.

He said: "I was delighted to discover there is no upper age limit.

"I know that I am joining a great team of people who also have taken up the challenge to serve their communities."