Police Officer

What is a Police Officer?

Want a job that protects the people? A job where you’re taught to understand what makes people behave the way they do, so you can make good decisions very quickly? A job where no two days are the same, team spirit is vital and you could find yourself in extraordinary situations as well as working very closely with the community in their everyday lives? If so, you could become a police offer. As you might have guessed your job is to protect the public, keep crime down and keep the peace...

DID YOU KNOW: Arresting a lot of people doesn’t make you the best police force. Having the least amount of crime makes you the best. That’s one of the Peelian Principles that Sir Robert Peel came up with when he founded the Metropolitan Police!

STRANGE UK LAWS: Since 1313 it’s illegal to enter Parliament wearing a suit of armour. Yes, really!

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What does a Police Officer do?

Most people have a pretty good idea of what a police officer is. But what does a police officer actually do? Part of your job is to patrol the streets, helping the public to feel safe through local community work and being visible to any would-be criminals. You’ll also update the police information database and help to prosecute offenders.

On a typical day, you could find yourself:

  • Protecting the public from crime or behaviour that might upset the public peace
  • Patrolling a ‘beat’ (area or place that a police officer looks after) to be a reassuring presence and look out for signs of crime
  • Responding to emergencies, including dangerous situations where members of the public might be at risk
  • Carrying an airwave radio, baton, handcuffs and body armour (that’s what most police officers in the UK carry).
  • Working with dogs or horses (if your role is specialised to include dog handling or mounted police work)
  • Updating police records and evidence so that the database of police information is always up-to-date.
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How much could I earn?

Average salary


Example: Police officers (sergeant and below), 2013

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How to become a Police Officer

If you’re 18 or over and a UK or EU resident you can apply for a job with the police. Your local police force will have details of their specific requirements (if you don’t know the name of your police force, you can find it out here). 

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