Police officers play a vital role in keeping our communities safe, whether they’re on the streets, working face to face with the general public, or behind the scenes, delivering a range of specialist services and improving how we police the county.

It’s not easy, but it is rewarding - packed with new and interesting experiences every day.

There are few careers that offer the variety of a police constable. Long term, you might wish to become a detective, a specialist dog handler or firearms officers. You may be a tech wiz and decide to become a cybercrime specialist or financial crime investigator. There are many specialised roles within the force, including supporting victims of child abuse, road traffic collisions, and counter terrorism. But whatever you choose, how far you go, is up to you.

Click on the links below to find out which roles are currently available, which routes into the police suit you best, the responsibilities, pay, benefits and training you’ll receive and how to apply.

Routes into policing

To become a police officer, you can follow one of these routes:

Student officer:

This is the most direct route into policing as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Once recruited, you will undergo extensive training as a student officer. You will be trained under the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP). Every force follows a national curriculum. At the end of a successful two-year period, your appointment in the office of police constable will be confirmed.


Join as a constable, and follow an apprenticeship in professional policing practice - you earn while you learn. This route normally takes three years with both on and off-the-job learning. On successfully finishing the programme, you complete your probation and achieve a degree. This if referred to as Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

Degree-holder entry:

 If you have a degree in any subject, you can join and follow a work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning.  This route normally takes two years, and the learning you have undergone is recognised in a graduate diploma in professional policing practice when you complete your probation.

Policing degree:

 If you want to study first, you can do a three year degree in professional policing at your own expense, and then apply to a force and follow a shorter on-the-job training programme.