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How To Become A Police Officer - Who can apply?

Age Requirements

Applications can be accepted at the age of 18 for appointment at 18½. There's no upper age limit for applying to the police service.

  • Candidates who have reached the age of 18 years may apply to become a police officer and can take up appointment on reaching the age of 18½.
  • There is no upper age limit for appointment, but bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 55 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.

Height Requirements

There are no minimum or maximum height requirements to join the police force.


There are no formal educational requirements for recruitment to the police service, but applicants must take two written tests to ensure they have a reasonable standard of English, as well as a numeracy test. You'll also need to be able pass our selection process and complete initial training (see below).

Nationality Requirements

You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.

Driving and Swimming

You will not be rejected because you cannot drive or swim.

Previous Applications

You can only apply to one force at any one time. If you have previously applied to join the police service and been unsuccessful, you may not reapply for six months from the time you were notified of the outcome of your last application.

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