Police officers maintain law and order. They protect people and property, prevent crime, investigate crime and give evidence in court against offenders.
You could be:
patrolling a community to prevent crime and protect people and their property
attending calls from the public
searching suspects and crime scenes for evidence
helping at road traffic accidents and other emergencies
interviewing witnesses and suspects, and taking statements
investigating crimes and making arrests
writing crime reports and giving evidence in court
controlling crowds at events and demonstrations
taking part in community and public awareness activities.
The salary for newly appointed police officers is £30,039 a year. On completion of 1 year service this rises to £32,685, and after 2 years to £35,330. After 10 years service your salary will be at least £48,237 a year. (As of April 2023).
On the beat you would often work outdoors in all weathers.
You could also be in a patrol car, on a motorcycle or a bicycle.
You would also work indoors - in a police station; at court; when visiting homes, schools, businesses and community centres.
You would normally work a 40 hour shift pattern.
You would work shifts including evenings, nights, weekends and public holidays.
You may have to work longer days and be flexible about your shifts, which can have an impact on your family life.
For most posts you would wear a uniform, which is provided.
The job is physically and mentally demanding and there is some risk of physical injury.
The three tests assess your skills in language, working with numbers and information handling. You will be required to answer 49 questions in 60 minutes.
If you pass, you will take an initial fitness assessment.
If you pass the fitness test then you have an initial interview.
If you are successful at the initial interview, you will go through a thorough background check and references will be taken at this point.
Once this has been done, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre, where you undertake a number of exercises testing your skills, followed by a final interview.
You would then undergo a medical, substance misuse testing and a final fitness assessment.
As well as Police Scotland, you can work with the British Transport Police, which polices railways, and the Ministry of Defence Police which protects Ministry of Defence properties. See their websites for details.
aware of the problems faced by different communities and groups in society
keen to learn and prepared to study
good at collecting and handling information.
You need to be able to:
communicate with people of all backgrounds and ages
work as part of a team and show initiative
face physical danger
observe carefully and pay attention to detail
make decisions, think and react quickly
take, and carry out, orders
accept responsibility and, where necessary, take command of a situation
remain calm and polite under pressure no matter how others react.
All new probationary police officers now complete a two year Modern Apprenticeship in Policing.
Initial training takes place over 12 weeks at Police Scotland Training and Recruitment Centres, the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan.
The remainder of the training takes place in your division.
During this time recruits will work towards a Certificate in Policing at SCQF Level 7.
On completion of the Modern Apprenticeship, you will progress to the role of police constable, a front line response officer.
You will do ongoing training throughout your time in the police force.
There are a variety of specialisms that police constables can be involved in if they undertake further training including authorised firearms officer, roads policing officer and dog handler. Entry to some specialisms is very competitive.
There is a well established promotion structure within the police force.
You must complete the Diploma in Police Service Leadership and Management (PDA) to progress to senior levels and you may have to do further training.
To get promotion, you may have to move to another area of the force. You will usually get relocation expenses.
Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) are groups of up to 24 young people based across Scotland.
Volunteers are aged 13-17, but you can only apply if you are aged between 13 and 15. The programme allows those interested to get an insight into policing in Scotland, and inspire individuals to participate positively within their communities.
Each PSYV group is coordinated by a police officer.