WANNABE police community support officers have until next month to apply for the job.

Wiltshire Police are looking for around 20 new PCSOs, to help keep neighbourhoods across Swindon and Wiltshire safe.

The competition will be fierce. Earlier this year, a hundred people applied for just two dozen jobs.

A Wiltshire Police spokeswoman said PCSOs played an “important” role in policing communities.

“PCSOs provide a visible patrolling presence, acting as an effective crime deterrent, especially with regard to minor crimes,” she said.

“PCSOs connect schools, community organisations and local authorities, working on issues such as anti-social behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.”

Potential applicants do not need formal academic qualifications, but they must be at least 18-years-old.

Successful applicants will undergo intensive training at Wiltshire Police’s Devizes HQ. When they start, the PCSO’s will work a 37-hour week – with a starting salary of £19,737 a year, rising to £20,763 plus a 14 per cent shift allowance bonus.

“Confidence, good communication skills, decision making and problem-solving skills are all important,” Wiltshire Police said.

East Swindon PCSO Philip Day joined the police after a career in retail.

Philip, 34, who currently works as a community coordinator in the neighbourhood policing team, said of the role: “I’d always fancied working for the police. After quite a few years working in retail, I needed something else.

“If you’re proactive and you want to engage with the community, you’ll do well.

“It’s a really interesting job. My favourite part is that community element: getting to know people and trying to support them.”

Last month, 11 PCSOs began their training. Among their number was former Swindon taxi driver Muhammad 'Kashif' Hamid.

Kashif, 38, said: “I wanted to become a PCSO to act as a bridge between communities and the police and help the wider public.

"Joining the police has made me feel really proud. I can’t believe I am really here doing my dream job.”

You have until Sunday, October 15, to apply for the roles. To apply, visit: www.wiltshire.police.uk/jobs