Joining the Police

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Joining the Police

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:13 pm

So you are a gluten for punishment and the thought of drowning under a sea of paper work appeals to you?

Of course I am joking... No two days will be the same when you are a police officer. You will keep people safe through your involvement in a wide variety of tasks and activities. You will be responsible for the protection of life and property, preventing harm, protecting the vulnerable, the prevention and detection of crime, detecting offenders and the maintenance of public order. Not a bad job description is it?


There are a number of routes you can take to join the police, with pathways available for graduates and non-graduates.

Police officers work in partnership with the communities they serve to maintain law and order, protect members of the public and property, and detect, prevent and investigate crimes. It is a challenging career that demands a high level of personal integrity and responsibility.

The UK has 45 geographical police forces, including 43 in England and Wales (Greater Manchester Police, Suffolk Constabulary, Gwent Police, etc.) plus Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

In addition there are four special police forces:

British Transport Police - responsible for policing the railway network.
Civil Nuclear Constabulary - protects civilian nuclear facilities.
Ministry of Defence Police - security for the UK's defence assets.
National Police Air Service - air support for English and Welsh police forces.
Apply to be a police officer
The traditional route into policing is to apply directly to one of the country's police forces. Before applying, check that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. These vary between police forces, but in general you should:

be aged 18 or over
be a British citizen, a citizen of a European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK without restrictions
have lived in the UK for the last three years (although there are exemptions if you have served abroad with the British armed forces)
possess a qualification equivalent to A-level or have been a special constable who has been signed off for independent patrol service in the last two years or have served as a police community support officer (PCSO) for 18 months.
You may not be accepted if you have certain criminal convictions, debt problems, or tattoos that could be deemed offensive. Members of political groups such as the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18 or the National Front cannot apply. A valid driving licence is often essential, and you will also have to pass medical, eyesight and fitness tests.

You can't apply if you have made an unsuccessful application to a police force in the last six months.

Some forces, including the Metropolitan Police, require that you pass the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) pre-joining qualification. This course can be studied by distance learning or through an approved provider, and costs between £750 and £1,000. Find out more at the College of Policing.

Visit the recruitment website of the police force you're interested in joining to confirm their full requirements and whether you are eligible.

The application process involves several stages:

completing a police application form
attending an assessment centre
attending an interview
undergoing medical and fitness tests
passing background/security checks.
The individual police force you're applying to will be able to provide more details about their recruitment process.

If your application is successful you'll have to complete a two-year probationary period known as the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) before being confirmed at the rank of constable. This training contributes towards passing your Diploma in Policing.

From there you can begin to make progress through the defined rank structure for police officers (sergeant, inspector, chief inspector, etc.). Accelerated or fast-track promotion schemes may be available. It is also possible to apply to work in a specialist unit such as the criminal investigation department (CID), drugs squad, traffic police or dog handling.

For more information about what being a police officer involves, working conditions and opportunities for career development, see the police officer and detective job profiles.

Police apprenticeships and degrees
The College of Policing has announced that beyond 2020, you'll need a degree to become a police officer in England and Wales. It says this change is necessary because policing is now more complex than it was and officers must be accredited to the appropriate standard.

There will be three new entry routes:

A three-year police constable degree apprenticeship paid for by the force
A specific policing degree at undergraduate level
A six-month postgraduate conversion course paid for by the force.

The Line will have members that have been there and done it, so ask away and discuss.
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Admin
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