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Recruitment within the Police Sector

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 August 2021 an increase of 9814 from the baseline:

  • 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

  • 6033 female officers have been recruited since April 2020, making up more than 4 in 10 new recruits

  • 11.3% of the new recruits are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Recruitment within the Police Sector: Quick Facts