Hundreds respond to 'local' Lincolnshire Police advert

Neil Rhodes
Image caption Chief Constable Neil Rhodes (left) said recruits needed "an understanding of the county"

A police force has received almost 500 applications in 24 hours after launching a recruitment drive aimed at people from the local area.

Lincolnshire Police is taking on about 150 officers over the next two years.

The force is restricting applications to people who have lived in the county for at least the past 12 months.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, said the advert had attracted a great deal of interest.

In a statement on the force's website, Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said he wanted "the force to reflect the community it serves and for applicants to have an understanding of the county and issues facing the public of Lincolnshire".

The force said it would also consider applications from those with strong connections to the county, such as members of the armed forces who have left the region to work in other areas.

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The application process opened on Monday.

One employment lawyer has described the force's policy as "potentially discriminatory".

Mary Walker, a partner at Andrew Jackson Solicitors and an expert in employment law, said the force would have to decide if the locals-only policy was "proportionate" and "legitimate".

"Does the need for that local knowledge outweigh the potential of discrimination on other potential recruits?" she said.

Some other forces in England and Wales have a similar policy.

The Metropolitan Police said since 2014 recruits had to have lived in London for three of the past six years.

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