View Full Version : Police Recruitment (UK)

09-28-2009, 03:14 PM

I was wondering if anyone here had ever attempted, or knows someone who has attempted, to join the police force here in the UK.

I'm about to write a character who was unsuccessful in his attempts to join so if anyone has any experiences of not quite making it, what kind of reasons do they give out, what are the hardest elements of the application, what kind of advice/support do they offer (if any).

Also, for those who made it in, what are the normal procedures for making it in? Written exams? Physical tests? Knowledge of key areas?

I probably won't need anything really specific, but any pointers on this kind of thing I can use to flesh out and give my character some thoughts on the matter would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


09-28-2009, 03:26 PM
A mate of mine was turned down because he failed the written communication test.

09-28-2009, 03:36 PM
My brother has been going through the police recruitment process over the last few months. Unfortunately, we aren't on friendly terms, and my memory is a little sketchy. I know that my brother (who's applying to join the Met) did a physical test - the bleep test - among others. I believe there's a roleplay and an interview. There seems to be a whole industry of companies who do practice and tuition for the police recruitment tests.

Having passed all of the above, he's being left hanging for months and months because they won't actually take him on until January. Interesting approach. :Huh:

09-28-2009, 05:01 PM
My brother is a recent recruit - within the last year. But he first started the process 2 1/2 years ago. He heard that they have this unwritten rule that they make you apply at least twice. So first time he applied, he was rejected at interview stage, it was his response to a question on breaking up a fight, they felt he was a bit immature at the time. Then they want to see if you will go through the process again -have to wait 6 months to reapply and redo the whole the tedious application form again. Then they can see if you are actually committed. It is quite tough as in our county they only take 16 new recruits every 3 months (we are just North of London)

Actual application form is really tough - all sorts of 'if you were in this situation' type questions. They make you handwrite it, to check that competency as well. I remember some of the competency based questions, for example 'give us as example of when you have reacted to someone being discriminatory or bullying of someone on the street' It's all about being able to put it in words.

Once they have accepted the app form, they interview you and you have a fitness test (bleep test). The interview is in front of a board of 3 and then there are some one-to-one chats. It is a long drawn out process like Parametric says, my bro was eventually accepted in March, but they did not have an intake until July.

Actual process once recruited is 12 weeks of in-school training - learning all the basic rules and regulations. They do things like going into a local supermarket and role-playing things like catching a shoplifter - how you would caution them, how do you deal with the public interjecting etc. After this you go and do various placements with a mentor in each division - traffic, community, tack, etc - I think it was 6 weeks in each. Then after approx week 42, they are placed in a particular station for a term to do 'beat work' - driving in area car, attending crime scenes, going to minor incidents (shoplifting) alone, talking in court.

My bro has been at his station for 2 months and has seen 3 dead bodies, a fatal stabbing, tons of domestic violence cases. And a bad road traffic accident where a motorcyclists head was sheared off. But he says that the training was great and he feels well prepared, so maybe it's good they make them jump through all these hoops! They spend 2 years at this level and then can apply for more specialist roles: armed squad, dogs, rapid response.

I'm sure I can think of other stuff, if you need more particulars, or ask him. FYI every county is different, this is just the process for mine. Good luck with your story.

09-29-2009, 01:04 AM
You guys are great.

This is already putting me in a great position to proceed with my character.

Many, many and many more thanks!