Becoming a police officer opens up opportunities to develop personally and professionally and make a positive difference in your community. You’ll protect the public, prevent crime, and provide support to victims. It’s a varied, rewarding and challenging job, where you get to see the direct impact of your work.
Police officers need a range of skills that you may already have through your studies or work experience.
You can access the full details on application process, tips and advice that will help you take your first steps to be the difference on the national website: Application process | Join The Police
And here below are some of the skills you’ll need:
You’ll be responsible for interviewing suspects and gathering witness testimony or evidence and writing reports. Good interpersonal skills and a good memory are key when recording details which can make or break a case.
PROBLEM SOLVING AND QUICK THINKING
In this line of work, you’ll need to think on your feet. Being a police officer means you are often the first person to respond to a call for help. This means you will need to make quick decisions under pressure. You’ll get the necessary training to handle these situations, so you feel confident when making that call.
TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION
You won’t be alone. As a police officer, you will be supported by your colleagues and your entire local force. You’ll need to support them too, which is why working within a team for the greater good is essential. Looking out for your fellow officers can make all the difference in a challenging situation.
MOTIVATION AND DRIVE
When you sign up to become a police officer, you’ll be committing to a job that gives you something new every day. It’s not your standard 9-to-5 – and you’ll continue to learn and develop.
Being self-motivated and having the drive to get the job done is crucial. Being a police officer means you will encounter challenging situations, so persevering in the knowledge you are helping people is vital to get through more difficult times.
EMPATHY, COMPASSION AND PATIENCE
Officers need to be able to empathise with a broad range of people; whether consoling a person in shock, or interviewing somebody.
Even though your role is to serve and protect, sometimes the actions of the public will test you. Your patience could make you a great police officer.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ALL OF THESE SKILLS?
Having many of these attributes is a great start, but it’s not expected or required- the police service offers a variety of training and learning on the job.
Whatever you have studied or gained experience in, you will already have many transferable skills. The police service benefits from recruiting people with a range of experience and backgrounds, reflecting the diverse communities it serves.
Find out what’s involved by reading about what’s inspired some officers and where their career has taken them in policing: Our Stories | Join The Police (joiningthepolice.co.uk)
HOW DO I apply?
The police force welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures and experiences and there’s a number of ways to join the police:
- Apprenticeships: if you don’t currently have a degree, you can earn a while you learn and gain a degree via the Apprenticeship and Traditional Entry route
- Graduate entry: if you already have a degree (in any subject), there’s the option of a two-year work-based training programme Police Degree Holder Entry route
- Degree in Professional Policing: some forces offer a dedicated entry programme for graduates where you’ll earn a diploma once you’ve completed your probation Professional Policing Degree Holder
- Police Now: you could also apply to the Police Now graduate programme Police Now Graduate Scheme
Find out what’s the best route for you by visiting: Ways in to policing (joiningthepolice.co.uk)