Ever considered becoming a bobby?
Enforcing law, tackling crime and saving lives will no doubt appeal to many.
And in the capital city too – what more could you want?
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But this isn’t any game, and if you’re serious about becoming a police officer, you’ll first have to prove it – ticking a lengthy list of boxes to get in.
These are the requirements needed if you want to become a police officer with the Metropolitan Police force:
Reasons you cannot become a police officer for the Met
It’s worth noting that a range of roles are available at Met which have different requirements.
You must be aged 17 or older when applying to be a police officer.
Even then, applicants who are 17 will progress through the recruitment process, but will not be able to take up appointment until they are 18 years old.
And it turns out, you can actually be too old! The upper age limit is typically 57 years old, allowing for completion of the probationary period before the compulsory retirement age of 60.
You can’t apply for the Met if you have tattoos on the sides and front of your neck above the collar line, or your face.
Think this is too harsh? Well, the rules used to be stricter than this!
But it’s not the end of the road for you inked up applicants: if you were unable to apply for a Met Police role because of your tattoos before October 2018, you might be able to now under the new rules.
Now, you are allowed to work for the Met if you have tattoos on your hands, on the back of your neck, below your collar line, on your ears or behind your ears. Sometimes you’ll need to cover them up for policing events, so if you can’t cover them this may be an issue.
If they are discriminatory, offensive, violent, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, intimidating, or political in nature, it’s also time to say goodbye to joining the force.
“Decisions regarding appropriateness of tattoos are made at the sole discretion of the Met,” the website adds.
Ideally, you shouldn’t have a criminal conviction or cautions record.
And if you do have one, eligibility will depend on the age and nature of the offence.
Whatever the situation, it’s best to be open about it, because you could be refused if you’re not up front about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you.
“If in any doubt, disclose the information,” the Met website says.
You must meet the police eyesight standards agreed by the College of Policing.
People who are colour blind, for example, “should be rejected” according to the website.
And your vision must meet a number of other requirements (check out the Met Police website for more details).
It’s important that you’re not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities, according to the Met.
You must also be able to manage loans and debts “sensibly”, the website states.
When we think about applying for the force, many of us will picture having to run endlessly back and fourth to pass a seriously hard fitness test.
But it turns out health and fitness requirements “are not nearly as demanding as is often assumed”, according to the force.
“You will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job,” according to the website, which certain medical conditions may prevent.
But you certainly don’t need to be able to life like a body builder, or run like Mo Farah, and if you undertake some form of regular exercise, there should be no issue.
Membership of prohibited groups or organisations
If you’re a member of a group or organisation that contradicts the Met’s competencies, values or ethics, as well as its responsibility to promote race equality (the British National Party or National Front, for example), forget it.
Which we hope and assume none of our lovely readers would even think about being part of anyway!
“This contradicts everything the role of a police officer stands for” the Met Police website states.
So, if you are currently using any illegal drugs, you’ll be automatically ruled out for the role.
You won’t get away with fibbing either – the substance misuse test you’re required to take as a part of the pre-employment checks will catch you out.
Nationality and living in the UK
If you’re from outside the EEA, it’s essential that you have indefinite leave to enter or to remain in the UK.
And while you can be of any nationality to join the Met, you must have lived in the UK for at least the three years immediately prior to applying for the role.
If you’re not a British citizen, member of the EEA or a Swiss National, you must have a visa entitlement to live and work in the UK for a period of time sufficient to recoup recruitment and training costs for the role. Check the Met Police website for timescales.
Living in London
If you’re applying to join the Met as a uniform police constable on certain apprenticeships and programmes, you should have lived or studied in London for a minimum of three out of the last six years at the point of application. BUT if you enter as a detective constable, for example, this is not a requirement, so don’t be put off if you haven’t lived here for that long!
Other police applications
You are able to apply to more than one police service at a time, but you will only be able to sit an assessment centre with one service.
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