A role within one of the 43 police forces in the UK is a great way to be part of a community and make a difference to society.
You’ll receive training and support along the way before you can specialise in anything from a detective role, child protection, firearms, dog and mounted units and fraud or cybercrime to name just a few examples. You will be expected to get to know your community, identify any prominent offenders and crime hotspots and then deal with the problems to deliver results.
What skills and qualifications will I need?
Resilience. It’s an incredibly tough job. The programme is challenging. You will need to be able to think on your feet, communicate well with people of diverse backgrounds and a range of religious beliefs.
Leadership skills. Demonstrate your interpersonal skills both with colleagues and the general public.
Teamwork. You’ll be relying on colleagues so you need to build trust in each other’s ability.
Excellent communication skills – both written and verbal, you’ll be dealing with people all day long and have a certain amount of report writing and paperwork to complete.
Decision making skills. You’ll often need to think quickly and react to a situation which doesn’t just involve yourself. On some occasions you might be first on a scene and have to analyse the situation, limit any immediate dangers to yourself and the general public and then take any action necessary to keep people safe.
Whilst you don’t need to be an athlete, you do need to be fit. Check out the websites for more details about the specific requirements.
Useful degrees will include law, criminology, social sciences and psychology.
Graduates also have the options of pursuing roles within non front line teams including human resources, crime-scene investigation, finance and analysts.
What else do I need to know?
As a graduate you can join the Metropolitan Police force on an accelerated learning programme: ‘Police Now’ is a Graduate Leadership Programme. It takes two years of intense training at a fast pace. You will become a fully warranted Police Officer and could have responsibility for an area with as many as 20,000 residents.
No two days are the same. The job is as variable as the roles within the force.
Get some work experience, something within your local community – either voluntary or paid, that demonstrates how you can interact positively with members of the public.
Where can I get more information?
For roles within the Metropolitan police force – have a look here https://www.met.police.uk/
Each force will have its own website – Surrey’s is here https://www.surrey.police.uk and Manchester’s here http://www.gmp.police.uk