The PSNI has launched a new recruitment drive aimed at attracting applications from Catholics in nationalist areas in Northern Ireland.

This is the first PSNI recruitment campaign for more than three years and the force is particularly keen to get applications from people in counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry.

It aims to recruit 100 new constables during the campaign with a starting salary of £23,259 (€27,583).

Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said: "Becoming a police officer is a challenging and rewarding career, but it is not just a job, it is a vocation."

She continued: "Policing with the community is at the very centre of everything we do as a police service and I encourage people from all sections of the community to consider applying.

"The officers appointed will work directly with and make a very positive contribution to communities across Northern Ireland, so it is vitally important that these officers are fully representative of the communities they will be working in."

The PSNI plans to appoint a maximum of 378 additional officers throughout 2014/15.

Police Federation Chairman Terry Spence has pressed for the PSNI to recruit an additional 1,000 officers after a turbulent year left hundreds of police injured and resources stretched.

Mr Spence said some frontline officers were facing burnout having had to work 16- to 20-hour days.

The strength of the force presently stands at around 7,000 after numbers were significantly reduced from their pre-ceasefire level as part of the Patten reforms.