TWENTY special constables were sworn in last night to join the ranks of North Yorkshire's crimefighters.

The attestation ceremony took place at the Hilton Hotel, in York, and the officers will serve across the county.

Head of the force's community safety department, Detective Inspector Javad Ali, said it was the second group of specials to be sworn in within a month.

He said: "The new officers will become an integral part of the force's recently introduced neighbourhood policing teams, which will focus on local priorities, using all available powers to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour to improve the quality of life in our local communities."

He said the force was committed to increasing the numbers of special constables and would continue to recruit across the county.

"Volunteering to become a special constable presents many opportunities, challenges and rewards, both personally and professionally," he said.

"Being part of a neighbourhood policing team provides individuals with a chance to make a real difference, the teams are highly visible and accessible, engaging with communities to gather information, views and concerns, and working with partner agencies to find lasting solutions to local problems."

Anyone interested in becoming a special constable, or who would like more information, is asked to contact Zoe Hodgkin on (01904) 669341.