Police from Northern Ireland will be visiting Birmingham today in a drive to recruit local detectives.

As part of a campaign in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will hold a number of seminars and will meet detectives, including officers from the West Midlands.

The PSNI's recruitment campaign follows a shortfall in experienced detectives as a result of a large number leaving under severance arrangements in the aftermath of the Patten report on policing in the region.

The report, which aimed to de-politicise the force, saw numbers reduced from 13,000 officers to 7,500 in line with officer numbers for other similar-sized regions of Britain.

Many of the officers worked in Crime Operations and have left a skills and experience gap, which the PSNI has said cannot be filled by initial recruitment methods in the short term.

According to the Service, its crime operations department, which investigates serious and organised crime, needs 90 detective constables with at least two years' experience.

Launching the recruitment campaign, Peter Sheridan, the PSNI's Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations, said: "The key factor in these posts is experience. We cannot get this skills base from an initial recruitment campaign so we have decided to look elsewhere in the job marketplace.

"We are looking either for officers who are originally from Northern Ireland and are considering transferring back or officers who are not from NI but who see a career in the PSNI as having more potential than their current role."

The Assistant Chief Constable added: "We are going to Birmingham and other comparable cities in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland which have similar-sized police services and where we think there may be detectives who are prepared to step up to the challenge."

The Birmingham information seminar is today at the Hilton Metropole from 7 to 9pm.