GREATER Manchester will benefit from the addition of 96 new recruits who were attested as police officers this week.

Police staff, former military personnel, prison staff and office workers make up the varied backgrounds of Greater Manchester Police’s new officers.

GMP welcomed the 96 new recruits to the Force on Tuesday when the officers were officially sworn in at a formal ceremony attended by the Chief Constable, senior officers and magistrate Joan Cooper.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “Our region is made up of people from a range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities which is why it’s wonderful to see our workforce now becoming a reflection of this.

“By having an organisation which mirrors our community we are able to strengthen the ties we already have with the public and instil a better understanding of the needs and demands across the region.”

The attestation ceremony was held at Stockport Town Hall and family and friends watched the new officers make their oath to uphold their role with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality throughout their time in post.

New recruits have to complete a two year probation period which includes classroom based learning and a year of active patrol.

During their training they will have the same of level of authority as regular officers, including the power of arrest.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins added: “Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of our philosophy which is why it is so important to hold these ceremonies within the community.

“Our new recruits will join their colleagues in dealing with challenging situations in order to ensure the safety and security of the public.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for choosing to become a part of our police family and wish them every success in their future careers.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes said: “I want to congratulate all of our recruits who have taken part in tonight’s attestation ceremony.

“It is a celebration of the hard work and dedication that each of our new police constables has put in to prepare themselves for their new roles. I would like to welcome them all into the police service.

“Policing is one of the most fundamental public services upon which our citizens depend, and they will play a vital role in keeping people safe.

“In Greater Manchester we pride ourselves on our diverse cultures and communities that this new generation of police officers will now be working closely with across the city region. I wish you all the very best in your future careers with GMP.”

The new recruits are replacing those who have either retired or left the organisation and therefore helping GMP to maintain current officer numbers.

Greater Manchester Police announced last month that it is aiming to increase ethnic minority recruitment in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.

Mr Hopkins said the force has been trying to increase the number of officers from Manchester’s diverse communities for four years.

He said there has been ‘strong support’ from Muslim communities to the recruitment drive.

“We have had a plan for about four years around the increasing of the diversity of GMP, because there is a gap between the representation of black and Asian minority officers in GMP and our city region.

“So we have been working positively, although for five years we did not recruit a single officer, so it made it somewhat more difficult.”