The traditional view of the police is of a uniformed officer patrolling the streets on foot or by car. However, the police force is a large organisation with varied needs, and there are many other positions available, both in and out of uniform. Police analysts collect and study information relating to cases, call takers and front counter personnel deal with enquiries from the public, while dispatchers send officers to the scene of an accident or crime and keep communications open. A good stepping stone towards becoming a police officer would be having work experience in the security industry, such as being a body guard.
Police Job Requirements
The minimum joining age is 18, with no upper limit. Applicants must be British citizens, from a member country of the EU or the Commonwealth, or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Expect a personal and financial background check, as well as a medical assessment. There are no minimum educational requirements. In some areas, applicants may need a driving licence. Police work requires physical fitness, as well as the mental ability to cope with stressful situations. The police training course is rigorous and includes written tests as well as fitness training. There is a two-year probation period, after which officers can choose whether to remain as a patrol officer or specialise in an area such as child protection, driving, or working with dogs. The strongest candidates may join the Fast Track programme for accelerated progress through the ranks. The police force welcomes applicants from minority groups and diverse backgrounds. Because the police force is structured, there is a straightforward career path for officers, from police constable to sergeant to inspector and beyond. Officers aiming for promotion to the next rank must take an exam.
Police Job Market
According to statistics from the National Careers Service, the number of people working in the security industry is looking to decrease in the coming years. Regional differences in the number of jobs available may occur - there are fifty police services throughout the UK. If jobs are currently unavailable, applicants may like to consider alternatives, such as looking to Overseas Security Jobs.
Police Job Salary Information
Because of the structured nature of the police force, there is also a structured pay scheme. Salaries vary between areas, but usually start at around £23,000 per year. Benefits include paid overtime and competitive pension plans. The usual retirement age for a police constable or sergeant is 60.