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What you need

As a Police Officer, your job is to reduce crime and make a real difference to the communities in Avon and Somerset.

You will provide support and reassurance to people who have been subjected to a crime or anti-social behaviour. And many will look to you for guidance and protection.

We want people who will provide an outstanding service to our communities - somebody with integrity and the values to hold a position of trust and responsibility.

You need to care about making a difference, enjoy helping people, and want to actively engage in partnership with others, understanding their needs, whatever their background or situation.

We want someone who is professional, friendly and can build relationships with their colleagues and their communities. You need to be enthusiastic, reliable, self-disciplined, flexible and confident enough to take control of situations.

We want people who take pride in their work and who will be proud to say they are a police officer.

There are a few basic requirements you need to meet if you want to become a police officer.

We want to encourage people of diverse backgrounds, experience and beliefs, who share our value of caring and want to make a difference in the community, to consider working for us.

Applicants are not limited to any particular age group - in fact, we welcome those who are looking for a career change.

The minimum age to apply is 18 and, although there is no upper age limit, you should bear in mind that the normal retirement age for police officers is 60.

You should also be aware that all new recruits, whatever their age, are required to undertake a two-year probationary period. This is currently in the process of being extended to three years.

Basic guidelines for applicants

Applicant guidelines are fairly comprehensive. Here are a few of the requirements:

  • The minimum age to apply is 18
  • There are no minimum or maximum height requirements
  • You must have at least a level 3 qualification, for example, an A Level or L3 NVQ or equivalent. Find out more about level 3 qualifications
  • If you already work for the police service you must have either the level 3 qualification or have been a Special Constable for the last 18 months and have achieved independent patrol status or have been in a police staff post with operational experience for at least 18 months
  • You must be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EEA, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK and must have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 3 years immediately prior to submitting your application
  • Although you may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions or cautions, there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible
  • You must physically and mentally be able to undertake police duties
  • You must live within the boundaries of the Constabulary area by the time you begin your police officer training course
  • You will need to hold a driving licence before appointment but not application

You will not be eligible if:

  • You have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) which has not been satisfied
  • You are currently declared bankrupt and for a period of three years afterwards
  • You are subject to a Debt Relief Order and for a period of three years afterwards

Individuals placed on the Police Barred and Advisory Lists will not be considered for employment by the police for a minimum of:

  • 5 years from the date of listing in the case of gross misconduct
  • 3 years from the date of listing in the case of poor performance

Avon and Somerset carry out a social media check when vetting takes place.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Police Officer Recruitment Questions and Answers
    Last updated: 25 May 2018
  • PDF icon Police Officer Personal Qualities
    Last updated: 12 February 2018