what age is too old to become a police officer?

(10 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:31:55

I know there is no official upper age but generally speaking if health etc is good?

DeepPurple Sat 28-Sep-13 11:35:39

I know people that joined in their mid to late 40's. I would say 52 probably the limit since compulsory retirement is 60 and it takes a few years to get in and 2 years of probation. It took me 18 months from first application to starting and I believe it has since more than doubled depending on the force. So what I mean is 52 should probably the oldest to consider applying, not 52 to actually start.

PavlovtheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:41:09

Really that old? Gives Me hope then! So you are s police officer? Is there opportunity for career progression with the right aptitude? I know age should not be a problem but do you think from experience that older start will impact on career progression ? If starting in mid thirties?

PavlovtheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:43:54

I know the kind of role I would like to do eventually but don't want to think it remotely possible if it takes longer than I have and favours younger officers.

DeepPurple Sat 28-Sep-13 19:34:52

I was a police officer. I am currently on a career break as I moved abroad. Age doesn't come in to it when looking to move departments or get promoted. With all of the current budget cuts there are less roles available within specialist departments, recruitment has been cut and the number of people that are part 1 & 2 qualified to be sergeants with no role to go to is phenomenal!

There is no quick path in to a specific department. You must have completed your probation before you can even think about applying to move and then it would only be when a role becomes available. Some departments have surprisingly few people in them. For example, in the robbery squad there may be only one sergeant and two PC/DCs for an entire city. A lot of grunt work is done by civilians and response officers.

The role you would be given would be as a response officer and you would need to apply to move from that role in to the one you want. If you think you could be happy as a response officer then definitely go for it! If you specifically want the role you have your eye on then maybe not. I would work on 5 years from the day you join to the day you start in a specific department.

HometownUnicorn Sat 28-Sep-13 19:38:52

there was a woman on DH's course at Hendon who was 47 when she went in

I would bear in mind the physical demands of the job, both in terms of the fitness tests, and some very gruelling shift patterns. Nowadays they are moving most specialist posts, including most CID, onto the same horrid shifts as neighbourhood policing teams, so there are far fewer posts that are mostly 9-5s.

PavlovtheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 20:31:00

deep I think, yes, I could be a response officer. I have ideas about what I would like to happen, and would be prepared to work for 5 years or more to get even close to that, but I am not fixed, I know life and careers take turns and twists along the way and there may be other opportunities that present itself in the lifetime of a police officer.

I have, if I am honest, always wanted to be a police officer. I started my application when I was very young, and was told by police careers officer who I chatted with that I was quite young and I might want to think about it for a while. So I went to uni, and my direction changed. I then wobbled about it, and ended up working in a criminal justice capacity in civilian street, got married, had my two children and it sorted got put to one side as something I never did. I am now at a cross roads in my career through circumstances beyond my control (thank Grayling wink) and for the last 2 years or more I keep returning to this, in fact, more than that, as I am in contact with police officers in my line of work and I continue to find it a rewarding, fascinating, challenging career. I look at my choices in the past with some regret and DH has said he would support me going down this route, and he doesn't think it is too late.

I keep feeling I have missed the boat, a career I should have had but didn't so should move on. But, the more I think about it the more I want to do it. I feel right, even if I put aside my own personal aspirations to move up the ladder. I feel almost tearful thinking about not doing it. And the more I look into it, the more I feel excited that it could work.

I personally think I would make a fucking good response officer, and more. Much more.

hometown the physical thing is the only thing holding back, and adding to my regret! I have recently suffered from a disability, spinal related, which has screwed up my mobility for almost 2 years. I have had surgery and slowly getting my health back. Prior to this I was very fit and healthy, and now, I am getting there again. I think I can get myself to the right standard of fitness, and beyond, I am certainly capable in terms of my general fitness and can manage the physical expectations. However, I don't yet know if my spinal issue is fully fixed yet, or whether there will be lasting issues. If so, then that will be the fly in the ointment as, no matter how fit I can get myself, if my back is liable to deteriorate again, I can't do the job. So, even with me mulling this over as something serious, I need to give my back a year to work out whether it will recover fully.

In fact, would that even exclude me straight away, having a spinal condition which has been classed as a 'disability' for work purposes? Even if I 'recover' (I am working so hard on that recovery). Because, if it's an automatic no for that type of disability then I can stop thinking about it now!

In terms of the shifts. I think that will be the one thing that might break me wink but, i have a non-sleeping DS and I am fine so I have hope! I have absolutely no expectations of working 9-5 at any point! I also don't expect any kind of leniency for having children, I expect it will be full time, shift work, hard work.

HometownUnicorn Sat 28-Sep-13 21:08:17

Pav, do you have a partner/MIL/sympathetic other who is able to drop things to pick up where your childcare leaves off? If you have a look at the Coppers' Wives thread this is something a lot of people struggle with.

If you have experience in Criminal Justice (probation I am guessing from your comments re Grayling), have you considered going into Forensic Mental Health? IMO the life of an RMN in a Medium Secure Unit, or psychologist (assistant or qualified), CBT therapist, or forensic social worker (which you could probably walk right into if you've been a probation officer) is far easier. This is an expanding area currently, at least in my part of the world. we have been increasing our patient capacity slowly but surely over the last few years.

PavlovtheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 21:49:41

hometown I can manage the childcare side of things, I am sure. the children are a little older now, my husband is setting his own business up, we can work that out, if it's the right move for the family.

Social work is out without re-training. And, you know, I am not sure that won't be farmed out in the future either so that scares me, although I do really enjoy safeguarding work (can you enjoy it? you know what I mean!), otherwise, I could turn my degree into a relevant one easily enough. Wouldn't I need to train as a nurse to work in FMH? I am not sure I could do mental health as my soul role, happy to work within MH as a field, but as part of a broader role, but even if I did, I couldn't be a nurse, that would involve blood and stuff grin. I am definitely prepared to explore avenues, thanks you for some suggestions to think about.

What I do know, is I no longer want to work on a treadmill, and that is only going to become more likely in my current role, if there even is one in the future.

Canthaveitall Sun 29-Sep-13 08:30:51

How much of the 2500 would be available after expenses? Tbh I have older children and find they need me more now so if a year it 2 of working hard now gives you the ability to be around more later then go for that.

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