Application Form: Section 1 - Basic Details
This bit should be relatively straightforward - they are after your basic information such as name, address, date of birth and the like.
Be sure to include any previous surnames or names that you have used or gone under. If you are a married woman, this means including your maiden name.
Note that you can apply from age 18 onwards, although you won't be appointed until you are at least 18 and a half. If you try applying before you reach 18 years of age your application will be rejected.
Enter the proper name of the police force you are applying to (e.g. "Metropolitan Police", not "the met").
Consider whether you want to apply at this stage to be considered for the High Potential Development Scheme (see link below). If you don't apply now, it's no problem you can apply later.
The police service is an equal opportunities employer, and will not discriminate against those who are disabled. If you have a disability, you should declare it here.
The nationality requirements were relaxed a few years ago, and you can now apply if you are:
- a British national, or
- a national of any country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or
- a Commonwealth or foreign national provided you have indefinite leave to stay in the UK
If the latter, you must include with your application a photocopy of your passport to prove your leave to stay.
Convictions and Cautions
Uh-oh... truth time! You must declare any caution or conviction in this section. That includes:
- juvenile cautions (those received when aged under 18)
- any bind-overs from a court (not a conviction, but you have to declare it anyway!)
- traffic convictions (like speeding or drink/driving)
- fixed penalty notices (for motoring offences and those new £50 or £80 fines for public order offences like drunk & disorderly)
- appearances before a Court Martial
- pending court appearances or proceedings against you
- all spent convictions
- your involvement as a suspect in any criminal investigation, regardless of the outcome
Your past history (going back years and years!) will be checked on the police national computer and if you've failed to declare anything, then your application is headed straight for the bin. So total honesty is needed here - not all convictions or cautions will scupper your application, but trying to hide them definitely will.
The other thing you should be aware of is that the same criminal history checks will be carried out against your immediate family and associates. You should make these people aware of these checks. If any of your close friends or family have recent or pending criminal convictions, this could have a negative effect on your application I'm afraid.
If you have tattoos on your hands, neck, forearms or face then you'll have to declare and describe them here. The police service will only accept you as a recruit if any tattoos are inoffensive and will be covered by your uniform. The Met's advice says, "Not all tattoos are taboo. But they do have to be conducive with the standards expected of a police officer. A tattoo on the face clearly could not be accepted nor would ones that are rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist or homophobic be acceptable."
Membership of BNP or similar
The British National Party is an organisation whose aims and objectives are contrary to a police officer's duty to promote racial equality. If you're a member of the BNP or a similar organisation, this is the point at which you should screw up your application and chuck it in the nearest bin. You will not be successful.