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Ride Along Scheme

The Ride Along Scheme is the opportunity to follow police staff for a single shift and it is open to people living in Avon and Somerset area. Whether you are thinking about a job working with the police or you have a general interest in the day to day work that we do, the Ride Along scheme is an excellent way to find out.

Under 18's

If you are aged 16 to 17 years old, you will only be able to apply for the Communications Centre Ride Along.

Under 16's

We do not offer the Ride Along scheme to anyone under the age of 16. However, if you are interested in becoming involved with the police, see our Police Cadets pages.

What would you like to observe?

  • Communications Centre – Sit alongside our communications staff and see how they deal with over 2000 calls a day ranging from general enquiries to life and death situations, every call is a member of the public needing our help. Also see how we deploy our staff to the scenes of these incidents using both Patrol and Neighbourhood officers as well as specialist resources when required. This department is where key decisions are made that set out how we respond to all our calls for service.
  • Neighbourhood Policing Team – Join our police officers and Police Community Support Officers on the beat in the local community and see how they deal with offenders and victims, this may include arrests, questioning and stop and searches.
  • Operational Support Unit – Join our specialist officers to learn about the variety of roles they undertake. Their activities can include tracking down the Force’s most wanted suspects, searching crime scenes, forcing entry into properties, missing person searches, public order deployments and underwater searches. Please note that due to the varied and reactive nature of the work undertaken by this team there is the possibility (as with any Police Ride Along) that it may be cancelled at short notice. If so, the Ride Along will be rearranged. 
  • Response – Join our response officers as they are called to any number of jobs and incidents in a shift, including dealing with vulnerable people, sudden deaths, anti-social behaviour, missing people, and taking people into custody to name just a few.

Unfortunately not all our departments are able to offer a Ride Along experience. Our dog and mounted sections, our serious crime investigation teams and our crime scene investigators do not offer this scheme.

Confidentiality and Observer Briefing

All Ride Along experiences are risk-assessed to ensure that your personal safety is not compromised. Participants in the scheme must read and agree to the Confidentiality Agreement and Observer Briefing Sheet.

Confidentiality Agreement

Before you spend some time with the Police on the Ride Along Scheme you should read this notice carefully.

The Police Service is a very professional and caring organisation that places great emphasis on confidentiality. Our success in reducing crime, bringing offenders to justice and developing trust and confidence amongst all sections of the community depends on our reputation for confidentiality.

This means that any information about individuals and operations MUST remain inside the constabulary.

To gain maximum benefit from their placement, Ride Along Scheme observers need to be as close as possible to the activity they are watching. This means they may become aware of sensitive information.

Therefore, as a participant in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Ride Along Scheme, you must observe strict confidentiality in respect of any information or documentation which you see, hear or read. For the purposes of this agreement information includes but is not limited to: Spoken word, including radio communications, written and printed material, computer systems and confidential waste.

Discussion or further disclosure of such information or retention of any documentation received during the Ride Along Scheme is a breach of the Data Protection Act and the Constabulary Information Security Policy. Such improper use may also constitute an offence under the Data Protection Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Computer Misuse Act.

Persons applying for the Ride Along Scheme will be subject to security checks.

Observer Briefing Sheet

On the day of your placement, please bring with you a form of photo identification.

You are to comply strictly with all instructions given by the member of staff you are observing.

When attending operational incidents, you must remain in the vehicle at all times, until the Escorting Officer directs otherwise. If the Escorting Officer directs you to a place of safety, please comply fully with their instructions.

You must wear appropriate clothing and footwear that is suitable to the task you are observing.

If observing the work of operational staff you will be provided with a high-visibility jacket marked “Observer”. Please wear this when requested by the Escorting Officer – for example if you attend a road traffic collision or other incident in a public place.

You must declare to the member of staff you are observing any illness or injury (including mental illness) which they may need to be aware of and which may place you at any additional risk of harm and affect your participation in the scheme. For example, you must say if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, suffer from epilepsy or diabetes or have a back/neck injury. However, this is not an exhaustive list of medical conditions.

The Health & Safety of ride along scheme observers is important to us and observers will not volunteer or be directed to get involved in any police operatives or services.


Apply now

If you are a resident of Avon and Somerset, you can fill in this form to apply to follow the police for a shift to observe the work we do (the Ride Along Scheme).