NEARLY 50 people applied to become Special Constables with Wiltshire Police, the force has disclosed.

Up to 47 people responded to a call to join the force on a part-time voluntary basis to serve their local communities.

A police spokesman said: “It is as good a response as we expected to get in the current economic climate.

“We wanted about 70 applications but at the end of the day we expect to take on 12-16 people as Special Constables after the vetting procedure and tests.”

The police extended the deadline for applications to 11.55pm on July 3 in the hope of attracting more candidates.

Special Constables have the same powers as full-time police officers and will receive full training before they are allowed out on the beat.

The roles usually attract people who wish to make a difference to their life and that of others by serving their local communities.

Applicants commit to giving a minimum of 16 hours of their time each month and can learn skills that would be useful in other jobs.

They are able to claim reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred whilst on duty and mileage from their home address to their station of work.