GREATER Manchester Police (GMP) has welcomed 37 new Special Constables at a ceremony at Sedgley Park Chapel.

The ceremony was attended by GMP Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, officiating magistrate Joan Cooper and Special Constabulary Chief Officer Mike Walmsley as well as the new recruits friends and family.

The attestation marks the end of the recruits' five month training programme and the start of their volunteer role, giving at least four hours a week of their free time to assisting GMP officers in serving local communities and preventing crime.

All special constables share the same powers as regular officers, including the power of arrest.

The new recruits all have their own reasons for joining the Special Constabulary and their skills and life experiences to bring to the role.

GMP Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison said: “Special constables play an integral role in policing Greater Manchester. Their contribution in preventing and reducing crime, as well as building links with local communities, is really appreciated and valued by both the Force and members of the public.

“They cannot be applauded highly enough for their commitment and dedication to keeping Greater Manchester and its communities safe.

“It’s great to see our new recruits from a range of backgrounds so keen and committed to using their skills and experience to help protect our communities. I wish them all the best of luck.“