There are currently three main routes to join the service as a police constable (PC). The route taken will depend on whether a candidate has a degree or not and what routes the recruiting force offers. Different forces will have specific eligibility requirements but in general candidates need to:
be over 18 years old and there is no upper age limit
be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on stay in the UK
be in good health, including fitness and eyesight
have no criminal record (sometimes a force will consider a candidate with certain offences).
The current Government has committed to recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers in England and Wales by 31 March 2023. As at 31 March 2021 an increase of 9270 from the baseline and of this number:
8771 had been recruited from funding for the Police Uplift programme
499 additional officers had been recruited through other funding streams such as local council tax precepts.
College guidance sets out the eligibility considerations forces should consider in their selection processes. College of Policing Eligibility Criteria for the role of Police Constable
The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) provides a route into policing whilst undergoing degree level training. Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)
Some may join the police force through the pre-join degree route. Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing