A NEW partnership means North Yorkshire Police recruits will stay in the county for their training.

Up to 18 new officers will start a 17-week course at York St John College later this month.

Superintendent Paul Ackerley, head of the force's staff development services, said: "Our recruits were previously trained at Durham and Warrington.

"Durham closed in April 2005 and Warrington will close early next year so we needed to make alternative arrangements.

"The partnership with York St John is very exciting.

"Local training means that what we deliver is tailored to our own staff needs, therefore addressing the specific challenges within North Yorkshire and the City of York.

"It also broadens our recruitment potential as it means that people who would struggle to attend a residential course can consider the role of police officer as a career option."

A team of six training officers will be based at the college over the next three years.

Five groups of recruits are expected to pass through the college each year.

Professor Dianne Willcocks, principal of York St John, said she was delighted an agreement had been reached and that the force would train recruits on campus.

The project has received Home Office approval.