careers

Police Officer

What does a Police Officer do?

Police officers work in partnership with the communities they serve to prevent crime and ensure the successful prosecution of those who break the law. Uniformed officers work alongside other police officers and staff such as police community support officers, and investigators for crime scenes and road traffic accidents. They also work closely with members of the criminal justice system, social workers, schools, local businesses, health trusts, housing authorities and community groups.

Each day the working environment is variable; they may be in a patrol car, patrolling a public area, at the police station or attending court. Therefore, the environment can be both physically and emotionally demanding. Work conditions may be influenced by regional factors such as local terrain, culture and size of the local force.

You will need to complete two years as a student officer before becoming a police constable and then you can decide whether to specialise in a particular area of policing. As of 2020, the College of Policing has said that all new police officers in England and Wales will need to be educated to degree level.

Recommended courses

BSc Professional Policing
BA Criminology
BA Criminology and Sociology
Law with Criminology
Law with Criminal Justice

What skills does a Police Officer need?

  • Effective communication skills, including tact and diplomacy for dealing with sensitive situations
  • Community focus
  • A sense of personal responsibility, integrity and resilience
  • Problem-solving skills
  • A confident and calm manner
  • Good literacy skills in order to accurately record details and write reports
  • Respect for diversity
  • Teamwork skills and the ability to work independently
  • Professionalism, honesty and trustworthiness
  • Sound judgement and respect for confidentiality
  • The ability to act with resolve, tolerance and restraint.

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