Police Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Police Officer, Policeman or Policewoman is a warranted law employee whose job is to promote peace, reduce crime and the fear of crime and encourage confidence in the police force. Their duties include maintaining law and order and protecting members of the public whilst identifying perpetrators of crime and ensuring their prosecution.


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What does a Police Officer do?

The key priorities of a Police Officer are to maintain public order by combating organised crime, countering threats of terrorism and fighting against antisocial behaviour. They partner with the communities that they serve to help protect its members and their property, maintain law and order and improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Police Officers also work closely with criminal justice systems, schools, housing authorities, local businesses, town planners and community groups to provide assistance and guidance to those who want to reduce crime. They also respond promptly to calls and public requests to help assist with incidences.


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Police Officer Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Safeguarding Officer Investigations Grade D - £23,817 - £26,016 St Helens MASH Closing Date: Friday 25th June Internal and External applicants Overview The purpose of this role is to represent Merseyside Police in multi-agency safeguarding meetings by researching Police information and sharing it with relevant partner agencies, making decisions for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, and provide a support service in managing meeting requests and ensuring appropriate attendance at those safeguarding meetings and dealing with partner agency enquiries. This is a full time position, however, if suitable job share candidates are identified this can be considered for a job share role. Please specify in your application if you would like to be considered on a job share basis. If you would like to be considered as full time applicant there is no need to specify this in the application. Key Responsibilities Represent Merseyside Police at a variety of multi-agency safeguarding meetings in order to share police information, and provide updates in respect of any ongoing police involvement in the case. Conduct research and collate safeguarding information in order to create reports for multi-agency meetings, disseminate information to partner agencies, and respond to legitimate requests to share information. Document all information shared with partner agencies and the rationale for doing so in order to provide a professional and efficient service. Assess all information provided police and partner agencies collectively in order to make informed decisions around investigation and intervention. Ensure that meeting outcomes and follow-up actions are accurately recorded and appropriately actioned and re-allocated. Act as point of contact for Police and partner agencies and assist with enquiries and provide advice to colleagues on child protection, vulnerable adult and domestic abuse matters. Identify inappropriate requests for Police information that fall outside the bounds of any information sharing agreement or legislative framework. Knowledge & Experience A good knowledge of Child Protection, Vulnerable Adult and Domestic Abuse offences, processes and best practices. Essential experience of multi-agency safeguarding processes, involving professionals, parents or children. Experience of working in a business area of high demand and high risk. Experience of evaluating information and developing multi-agency risk management plans. Essential to have good communication and inter-personal skills, both written and verbal. Must possess good analytical and problem solving skills to make informed decisions and assist in performing daily tasks and be able to demonstrate high levels of self-motivation and flexibility. Ability to utilise all relevant IT programs including interrogating and researching force systems in order to collate information relevant to the role on a daily basis. Please note due to the volume of applications we receive, we reserve the right to close the vacancy prior to the published closing date. Guidance notes are attached, please ensure that you read these before completing your supporting evidence. Police Officers who have given notice that they are retiring within the next six month period can apply for Police Staff vacancies that are advertised externally. If successful the applicant must be in a position to commence on a date specified by the hiring manager. Please base your evidence on the knowledge and experience on the attached Job Description Questionnaire utilising the competencies contained within the Competency Value Framework Please click here to view the Competencies Values Framework Equality Act 2010 Any candidate who has a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010, is required to inform us, in order to ensure that ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made. Our policy, at the stage of interview, is that we will ask all candidates whether we need to make any ‘reasonable adjustments’ in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act, a disabled person is someone with a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Positive Action Merseyside Police are proud to use Positive Action to redress the balance of under representation our team will offer advice, guidance and support throughout the recruitment process to candidates from under-represented groups. For more information please refer to our Positive Action page

Example 2

Force Gwent Police Role Type Police Officer Business Area Local Area Policing Department Local Area Policing Location Forcewide Rank Police Constable Hours per Week 40 Level of Welsh language ability required? 1 Job Advert Description Gwent Police – Police Officer Recruitment now open! Based at: Gwent Police, Forcewide Closing Date: Friday 18th June 2021 @ 13:00 hours Pay Scale: Commencing on £21,402 rising to £41,130 within 8 years Gwent Police are seeking to recruit new probationer Constables to join via our PCDA and DHEP routes. As a Police Constable every day is different with new challenges, it’s a chance to make a real difference to the community. We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people who will be committed to our vision; to be the best at understanding and responding to the needs of the community; to protecting the most vulnerable, catching criminals and keeping the public safe, whilst also abiding by the policing Code of Ethics and Gwent Values. Requirements:- Candidates must be 17yrs at the time of submitting an application but MUST be 18 years of age at the time of commencing employment. Candidates must hold a full manual driving licence, prior to an offer letter being issued. Candidates must be within a BMI range of between 18 - 30, or be able to achieve being in this range by January 2022. Candidates must be able to complete a shuttle run (bleep test) up to level 5:4. Candidates must be able to fully commit to the course. There is a busy schedule of work related training in addition to completing University led learning (please review the PEQF Fact Sheet & FAQ document at the bottom of this page). For Information: The Online Assessment Centre will take place between 21st July 2021 - 27th July 2021. Force Interviews will take place between 13th September 2021 - 21st September 2021. The earliest available intake will be 3rd January 2022. You will be required to log back in to your candidate portal throughout the recruitment process to submit further information and to book onto appointments should you be successful. We advise candidates to access their portal via our website. Please do not use Google search. Candidates must understand there is a requirement to work shift work (including nights) after the initial 26 weeks training. Please note: All queries and correspondence including documentation throughout the whole process will be sent and received from centralrecruitment@[website] as well as noreply@[website] Please add these to your favourites/approved sender list within your emails. We are welcoming applications from diverse or minority groups who are underrepresented in the force. To find out more please contact For details of the role and recruitment process please visit Police officers | Gwent Police Assessment Centre Re-sits for Candidates Candidates are not permitted to take the assessment process more than once in any three month period. Unsuccessful candidates can reapply three months after completing the process (from the date they received their results). They will be required to retake the whole process. It should be noted that unsuccessful candidates can only apply to retake once in a 12-month period.

Police Officer duties and responsibilities

A Police Officer’s main duty is to maintain law and order and protect members of a community and their property. They provide a visible presence to help deter crime and provide reassurance to the community. Their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Conducting patrol duties on foot and by car across the community areas that they serve
  • Interacting with communities, developing community knowledge and identifying individuals and places at risk of crime involvement
  • Working alongside communities and liaising with individuals and groups
  • Diffusing potentially volatile situations and ensuring the safety of everyone involved
  • Conducting investigations, gathering evidence and taking statements whilst ensuring compliance with legal requirements
  • Interviewing suspects, witnesses and victims
  • Conducting arrests without disregard for human rights, security, health and safety of their colleagues, members of the public and detained individuals
  • Preparing crime reports and presenting case files to senior officers, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Public Prosecution Service
  • If needed,  direct traffic and issue tickets related to traffic violations


Police Officer skills and qualifications

The job of a Police Officer is incredibly challenging and it demands superior interpersonal skills. A successful Police Officer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • A deep sense of personal responsibility, resilience and integrity
  • Problem-solving skills and a community-focused mentality
  • Ability to take records accurately and write reports
  • Ability to remain calm and confident in high-pressure situations
  • Teamwork mentality and the ability to work independently
  • Ability to make sound judgements and proper respect for confidentiality
  • Ability to act with tolerance, restraint and resolve
  • Honesty, integrity and trustworthiness


Police Officer experience requirements

In the police force, pre-entry experience is not essential. However, candidates with experience of working with groups in the community, such as sports coaching, are preferred. Some Police Officers may have experience as Volunteer Police Cadets or Police Community Support Officers. Previous experience with the police force provides candidates with demonstrative knowledge of the local police, the areas which it covers, its structure and key challenges.


Police Officer education and training requirements

The minimum education requirement for Police Officers is an A-level GCSE. Graduates are also welcome to take part in the recruitment process in the police academy. There are three main stages to becoming a Police Officer. The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship takes three years to complete and participants can earn while learning. The others include the degree-holder entries and the pre-joining degree. Police Officers who have participated in the National Leadership Development Program have developed negotiation, problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence.


Police Officer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Police Officer in the UK is £27,770 per year, depending on factors like experience, education, location and company.


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Police Officer job description FAQs


What is the right probation training for Police Officers?

New Police Officers need to complete a mandatory probation training. The training involves practical sessions, role plays and classroom learning. The type of probation training that you offer will depend on your assessment of the candidates. Police Officers also undertake ongoing training throughout their careers with emphasis on guidance, support and supervision.


What is the difference between a Police Officer and a Constable?

A Constable is the lowest rank of a Police Officer. While Police Officers deal with communities and perform criminal investigations, Constables mostly deal with police paperwork. They interview suspected criminals, take statements, write criminal reports and gather prosecution evidence.


Must a candidate be a UK citizen to become a Police Officer?

Non-UK citizens can join the police force. However, there are some conditions that must be met. Foreign nationals should have an indefinite leave to remain in the UK without restrictions, lived in the UK for at least three years and possess educational qualifications equivalent to A-levels.

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