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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about our roles in policing

Can I apply if I am not a British Citizen?

To be eligible for appointment, you must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions.

If you are a Commonwealth citizen or other foreign national, you must provide proof that you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK. You should therefore send a copy of your passport showing that your stay is free of restrictions.

I have visible tattoos, can I still join?

Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable.  Please supply photos, measurements and explain any symbols of any tattoos along with your application and a decision will be made.

Do you have to live in Bedfordshire to work for Bedfordshire Police?

There is no restriction on where you live, however, take into consideration that you could be posted anywhere within Bedfordshire.

Is there support available throughout the application process?

The Recruitment Team are on hand to help you during the application process, you can contact them via email. They can assist with application support, online assessment centre support and interview support. They can answer any questions you have and are more than happy to help in any way they can.

Do I need a driving licence to join?

Due to the cancellations of driving lessons and testing during Covid-19 candidates can start in the role before having a full manual driving licence. However, all applicants MUST have a full UK Driving Licence at the time of completion of the probationary period otherwise their service can be terminated.

How long before I hear if my application was successful?

The application form will be assessed by trained assessors and you will be informed within 4 weeks of submitting your application as to whether you have been successful.

I have medical conditions? Will that prevent me from joining?

Bedfordshire is an inclusive organisation and each candidates medical declaration will be taken on a case by case basis.

Can you join if you have been in trouble with the police in the past?

If you have had any previous cautions or convictions please detail these on your application form.  Each application will be judged on a case by case basis; however, it is essential that you disclose all previous cautions or convictions, regardless of whether you believe they are relevant. 

Where training is held and is there accommodation?

The initial training for police officers, PCSOs and ADCP students is held at Dunstable Police Station (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) and there is no accommodation provided.

I’ve applied for multiple forces when do I need to commit to one?

Although you can apply for multiple forces, should you make it to the College of Policing Online      Assessment Centre stage you will need to commit to your chosen force prior to sitting the assessment.

How long do I have to wait to re-apply if I am unsuccessful at the application stage?  

If you have been unsuccessful during your application you will need to wait three month before you can re-apply.

What is involved in the fitness test?

Your fitness is tested by way of the bleep test. You will be required to run to level 5.4 to pass.

Does my BMI matter when joining a policing role?

Your BMI is required to be between 18 and 30. This is worked out by your height and weight. You can find out you BMI by using the BMI calculator on the NHS website

What can I do to prepare for a role in policing?

Research the role online, talk to serving or retired police officers, detectives or PCSOs, attend our information events, exercise and keep fit. It is on you to know all about the role you are applying for.

I am currently studying when should I apply?

You are able to apply whilst studying, but would need to be able to join full time on your start date. If you have not completed your studies but the start date we can put you in touch with our HR team who will work with you to determine if there is a later start date available instead. We will work with you to try and come to a positive conclusion.

Police Officer FAQs

What qualifications do I need to join?

At the present time specific educational qualifications are NOT a requirement for the role. Although a good understanding of written and spoken English is required. We will be introducing a new route into policing where you will need A-Levels to join.

What is the starting salary?

The starting salary for a police officer is £24,780 (plus an additional annual £1000 location payment). There will be annual increments up to a salary of £40,128.

How long would it be before I could join a specialist team (firearms/traffic/dogs/crime etc.)?

You are required to complete two years in post as a police officer before you are able to apply for promotion or other internal teams/positions within the force. 

How long does the whole application process take?

The process can take anywhere from six to nine months from submission of application to your start date.

Where will I be based?

Inital training is held at Dunstable Police Station. After training you will be posted and be based out of either Luton Police Station or Bedfordshire Police HQ  in Kempston.

What are the shift patterns like?

The shift patterns change for different departments you work in.  During your first two years you will work on Response which has a four days on fours days off pattern. It will have a mixture of days and nights which are typically 11/12 hour shifts.  Once you progress through your student journey you will be posted to a Crime Investigation Team and they work earlies and lates on a rota.  

Both roles include weekend working along with Bank Holidays etc, plus the possibility of being late off work at times too.

Will I need to work nights?

Yes you will be required to work night shifts whilst on Response

ADCP FAQs

Why do I have two additional questions to answer on the application form?

The two additional questions are there to test your understanding of the role of a detective constable and the force you are applying to work with. It also gives the opportunity for you to evidence that you have an investigative mindset, we aren’t necessarily looking for examples regarding crime, but anything that shows the want to investigate and asking questions to find out detail.

How long does the whole application process take?

The process can take anywhere from six to nine months from submission of application to your start date.

Will I have to complete any additional training or further exams than a standard police officer student?

Yes, there is a requirement for all detectives to be qualified to PIP level 2, this means that you will need to study and pass the National Investigators Exam (NIE) (roughly 6 months from your start date). We will provide you with the study material.

Once you have passed this exam you will attend further training to enable you to complete a PIP level 2 portfolio, which will give you the status of detective constable.

Will I be required to wear police uniform and be on the streets?

Yes, you will need to pass the diploma in policing as a standard officer but the ADCP is designed for this process to be accelerated. You will be in uniform for the majority of your first year where you will spend time on response as a Police Officer. As one of the smaller forces, detectives are semi regularly asked to assist our uniform colleagues with duties such as supporting the night time economy, policing Luton town football club as well as the larger events within the county.

Will I have the choice of where and what role I have as a detective?

As a force we have to protect the people of Bedfordshire first and foremost. Therefore, we have to make sure that all business areas are sufficiently staffed. However, you will be eligible to apply for many different areas within policing and you will not be constrained to only one position for the entirety of your career.

As a student officer though, your journey is carefully planned out to maximise your exposure to different teams and locations within the county to truly give you an idea of the options that could lay ahead for you.

Where will I be based?

Inital training is held at Dunstable Police Station. After training you will be posted and be based out of either Luton Police Station or Bedfordshire Police HQ  in Kempston to complete the remainder of your police officer training. Once you have compeleted that period you will be posted to different crime teams within those stations.

What are the shift patterns like?

The shift patterns change for different departments you work in.  During your first two years you will work on response which has a four days on foursdays off pattern. It will have a mixture of days and nights which are typically 11/12 hour shifts.  Once you progress through your student journey you will be posted to a Crime Investigation Team and they work earlies and lates on a rota.  

Both roles include weekend working along with Bank Holidays etc, plus the possibility of being late off work at times too.

Will I need to work nights?

Yes you will be required to work night shifts whilst on Response

 

 

PCSO FAQs

What is the difference between a PCSO and a police officer?

PCSOs are able to plan their day and proactively tackle issues within the community they serve. This could be speaking with concerned residents, providing information on how they can protect themselves from being victims of crime or patrolling hotspot crime areas. They are the eyes and ears of the community without the demand that police officers may face. PCSOs work set times a day, shorter shifts and don’t usually work overtime, which can work well with family life.

Police officers aren’t always able to plan what their day may look like as they often respond to 999 and 101 calls. Police officers working hours can be unpredictable and may mean working overtime or leaving a shift later than expected. If you are someone who likes to have their day planned out or have commitments outside of work, the PCSO role may be for you.

What do PCSOs do?

PCSOs have an important role within the force. They are the relationship builders between the force and the community, they help implement crime reducing initiatives, patrol high issue areas, gather intel and lots more. It is a very versatile role where no two days are the same.

What are the career prospects for PCSOs?

The PCSO role is not a stepping stone for the police officer role within Bedfordshire. Many of our PCSOs have made it into a long-term career and become an integral part of the community they serve.

Can PCSOs make arrests?

No, PCSOs do not have the power to arrest.

What requirements and qualifications do you need to apply?

You do not need any qualifications but you do need to have a full UK manual driving licence and pass the fitness test. If you do not have a driving licence but are ready to take the driving test you can proceed with the application and training process, however you cannot start until you have passed.

What is the application process?

To apply for the PCSO role you will need to fill out the online application form which will be assessed against our core competencies and values framework. Please use the word count as a target to aim for, give us as much detail and information as possible. If you are successful you will be invited for an in-force interview. The next stages will be vetting, occupational health and a fitness test.

Do PCSOs carry any items to defend themselves?

No, they are in a non-conflict role. They are trained speak with people to diffuse any volatile situations, if they need support they can call on police officers to assist.

 

What are the working hours of a PCSO?

PCSOs work roughly 9 – 10 hours a day, either 8am – 6pm or 1pm -10pm. Shift patterns will include weekend work, you will be able to apply for work life balance if you need an altered working pattern.

What training do PCSOs receive?

PCSOs go on a 7-week training course (Mon - Fri) where they learn about law, self-defence, first aid, the different computer systems and more.

Do PCSOs get paid?

Yes, PCSOs do earn a salary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions that have not been included or would like any advice or guidance with your application please email r.recruitment@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

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