The police officer role
Are you suited to life as a neighbourhood police officer?
Working as a neighbourhood police officer is a demanding but rewarding job. Understanding the what it takes to be successful is important before deciding if you’re up for the challenge.
Working hours – This won’t be a typical 9 to 5 job. Police officers work a varied shift pattern, covering weekends, Bank Holidays, evenings and nights. These working hours can have an impact on your social and personal life but at the same time they can offer flexibility to do the things you want to do.
At times there’s the need to work overtime, perhaps to cover a colleague’s shift or to see an open case through to a key milestone. You’ll be given as much advance notice as possible, but there will be times that you need to be flexible and adaptable. All hours that you do over and above your core hours will be remunerated.
Flexibility – On occasions you’ll be required to move to a different team or shift pattern due to operational requirements, giving you valuable exposure to working with new people in new environments.
Resilience – There will be times when you are exposed to distressing situations, which could affect you emotionally. These can include dealing with vulnerable individuals, mental health issues, domestic assault and deaths. You may be faced with difficult members of public and occasionally find yourself being subjected to verbal intimidation or physical assault. You will experience setbacks while working to resolve long-term societal problems so high levels of emotional resilience are needed.
Impartiality – Working as a neighbourhood police officer you’ll deal with people of different ages and from a range of ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures. You’ll meet individuals whose attitudes and behaviours will challenge your own values. You must always remain impartial and treat everyone with dignity and respect .
Public scrutiny – The actions of police officers is subject to constant public scrutiny so you must behave both professionally and personally in a way that doesn’t comprise you, your force or the wider police service.
Transparency – To apply to become a police officer you need to divulge all convictions, cautions, out of court settlements, disposals, arrests and reprimands regardless of severity. Failure to do so will lead to the invalidation of your application.
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