MORE people are becoming "Special" in West Yorkshire.
Four hundred men and women work as unpaid voluntary police specials in the county.
And this figure is expected to rise to 500 in the next few years.
Inquiries from people interested in becoming special constables have risen by 80% since a Home Office campaign ran in February.
And recruitment events held across West Yorkshire have also boosted the profile of police specials.
Chief Insp Shaun Tunstall said: "I am delighted and encouraged by the positive response we have had to the campaign.
"Special constables are highly regarded and valued as part of the extended police family."
To support new volunteers, a specials training co-ordinator and specials training officer have been appointed by the force.
Before someone can become a special, they complete six months' training.
The training covers defence tactics, the role of police in society, equal opportunities, police powers, dealing with incidents, completing reports, giving evidence in court, interviewing witnesses and supporting victims.
After the training, the volunteer is sworn in before a magistrate.
They can then go on patrol.
Special constables' duties include using their local knowledge to target street crime, reassuring the public, patrolling the streets, promoting crime prevention and liaising with the community, victims and witnesses.
They also take part in arrest operations with regular officers.
For more information, visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk or call 01924 292269.
* Special constables do not get paid, but can claim some expenses, such as travel
* Specials have to dedicate four hours a week to policing duties
* To join, you must be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, free to live in Britain unrestricted, fit and healthy and aged between 18-and-a-half and 50.