Definitive Police Recruitment Guide

Definitive Police Recruitment Guide


police recruitment

Police recruitment across England and Wales has never been better for aspiring police officers, transferee police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables.

Forces are now recruiting large numbers of officers just to keep their numbers from dropping any lower. Over the next 12-18 months forces across England and Wales will recruit in excess of 3000 regular police officers. The numbers are greater if PCSO and Special Constabulary recruitment are considered.

The below table is the current recruitment situation, updated very week, for all 43 police forces in England and Wales including Regular PC, Transferee, Special Constable and PCSO vacancies.

Now is the time to start preparing for when your chosen force opens its recruitment window. Enter your details on this webpage to receive my newsletter and a free guide containing my six top tips to help you prepare for the police recruitment process.

To ensure your application form succeeds, Bluelight also provides a support and guidance service, which includes a, ‘how to’ guide (includes guidance for online assessment tests) and two personal feedback checks of your form to ensure you have the very best chance of success at this stage. Forces will whittle the numbers down at this stage by up to 80% and if you fail at this stage you cannot apply for another six months.

If you are invited to the National Police SEARCH Assessment Centre Bluelight’s online assessment centre preparation courses (you can access the first two modules for free) and assessment centre seminars will guarantee your success (our pass rate is 98%). If you don’t pass we will provide you with a partial or full refund (of course, sensible terms and conditions apply).

And when you are invited to a final interview – Bluelight’s Final Interview Coaching has a success rate of about 85%.

PS – Thanks for my Twitter follower who pointed out that Durham is missing from the below table.

They’ll be added to the table soon, but in the meantime, they’re not recruiting!

Good luck in the recruitment process for your chosen force, actually, with my support, you won’t need it!


Police Recruitment England

Force Regulars Specials PCSOs
Avon and Somerset Closed for external applications on 16th Feb

Force has indicated on its website will recruit 120 officers per year until 2020.

Require 60% at assessment centre as well as 60% in Working with Others and Oral Comms at Assessment Centre.

Transferee window open for Inspectors and on promotion

Open – constantly recruiting Closed
Bedfordshire Opens on 3rd May and closes on 15th May for 80 officers.

Actively recruiting transferee and rejoicers.

Closed on 31st March – however, website still allows you to apply Open until 29th April 16
Cambridgeshire Recruitment event on 18th May for aspiring constables. You must attend this to be be able to access an application form. Blink and you’ll miss it – here’s the link, it’s hard to find on the site!

Require 60% plus at assessment centre

Open until 30th April Open until 29th April
Cheshire Opened on 18th April, closes 2nd May.

In local media PCC states another 70 to be recruited in 16/17 – from start dates this could be last time they recruit this year.

Short notice between successful application notification and assessment centre (end of June and beg. July) – just 2 weeks to prepare last time.

Open until 26th June Closed on 10th April
City of London Closed Closed Closed
Cleveland Just closed (Feb) after campaign to recruit 60 officers


Closed Opened on 7th March – Closed 20th March. Story about recruitment drive in local press
Cumbria Was open until 19th Feb to recruit 108 PCs. Unknown if they will open window again this year. Open – ‘actively’ recruiting for SCs. Was open until 19th Feb to recruit  20 PCSOs.
Derbyshire Closed. Force website states how they plan to recruit in the Autumn.

In local press interview Chief Constable Mick Creedon reveals plans for one recruitment campaign in 2016 and two or three in 2017.

Open for detective constable transferees

Open Closed on 29th March. Local news report states 32 to be recruited. Unlikely to re-open this year
Devon and Cornwall Closed. Last campaign in Summer 15 attracted 2000 applications in 36 hours. NB – you must be a proficient swimmer for this force Closed but website states reviewing situation in April (it previously stated Feb) Opened for short period of time in March 16. Now closed.
Dorset Opened on 8th Feb and closed on 12th Feb for 32 vacancies – first intake of 16 in Oct 16 and second in Jan 17 so unlikely to recruit again for while.

Open for transferee PCs and ARV officers

Closed but can register your interest in future campaign Was open until March 9th for two intakes of 16, one in June 16 and one in 2017. Unlikely to recruit again for a while
Essex Closed in March. Open for range of transferee opportunities Open Closed – unlikely to open any time soon as PCC has made massive cuts (160) to numbers of PCSOs. See story in local press
Gloucestershire Opens on 3rd May at 0900 and closes on Monday 9th May at 1600.

Will be recruiting 100 officers. 70 new and 30 transferees. Local news story about what qualities they are looking for here

Open – subject to budget approval PCC hopes to recruit an extra 200 SCs in 2016 Closed
Greater Manchester Police Closed for transferees on 15th March. From an A11 source (trust me, it’s the most reliable you’ll find in the force!) 120 applied with first intake starting in May

Internal recruitment currently ongoing

On 16th Feb PCC agreed a budget to recruit 500 constables.

Expect external recruitment to open soon

Internal application asks two questions: Why you want to be a police officer and how skills, experience and knowledge will link to role and an example of when you have made a difference to community.

Worth bearing in mind for external when window opens.

Closed but opens on regular basis. Have to attend open evening first  Keep checking Closed
Hampshire First 2016 window closed one day prior to formal classing date in Feb 16. 108 vacancies initially, however, PCC has stated on 24th Feb in local press that this number will now be 198.

Second recruitment window closed 13th March

Website states further intakes planned in 16/17 and to watch website for updates

Will be a residency requirement or strong ties to county

Open for Isle of Wight and indication will open for elsewhere in County in April.


Open – An ideal route to PC if you don’t possess county residency.

Window closes 31st July!

Hertfordshire Closed (but indicates opens once a year. PCC sates they have £48M in reserves for recruitment). When it does open you will need CKP and will have to achieve 60% at assessment centre. Open – SC info evening on 26th April – you have to attend this to be able to apply Open until 29th April
Humberside First recruitment round was open for 3 days 1st-3rd March. Require 60% at Assessment Centre prior to final interview.

Just under 2000 applied for first 100 roles according to local press story

You can register your interest for next recruitment round.

Transferee opportunities for PC/DCs

Open but not for Hull area Opened in March for 18 South Bank postings –  local press story indicates will have to recruit again as many PCSOs will become police officers in the latest recruitment round.

States will close on 7th April but website still shows as open?

Kent Open for Regulars and transferees (has been permanently open for past couple of years) Open Closed
Lancashire Closed (unlikely to be open soon as campaign for 120 places opened in Oct 15 – believed that force will now recruit 180 from this pool of candidates) Closed Opened on 8th April and was meant to close on 25th April. However, has closed early.
Leicestershire Closed – however, in this Vlog Chief stands buy the uniform that has been bought for recruits (its for a police officer) and announces they will recruit soon.

Do not expect numbers to be great as PCC Decision Log, item 66 shows planned reductions of officers from 1839 now to 1726 in Aug 17

Recruiting for transferee Safeguarding DCs

Open Closed on 29th March (website is confusing as it states it is open with a poster advertising this from 2014!)
Lincolnshire Closed for external. Opened for internal applications only on Sat 27th Feb. Believed this could be followed by external recruitment.

Recruiting for transferee Safeguarding DCs

Open Closed (Open for volunteer PCSOs)
Merseyside Opened on 1st March for online applications. Initial closing date was 11th March but was extended to 18th March.

Local press story outlines how they will accept 2000 applications for 200 places.

Appear to be marking application forms quickly and hard.

Now accepting applications from transferee PC/DCs

Open but need to attend recruitment event – next one not on site yet Closed
Metropolitan Open without second language requirement.

Residency condition applies and must have CKP prior to joining

Open – this is a route into the MPS as a Regular. Complete 200 hours of volunteering and gain independent patrol status and you can apply to be a Regular. See MPS MSC recruitment site Closed
Norfolk Opened on 23rd March, closed 8th April Open – next recruitment event is 17th May Closed
North Yorkshire Opened for external recruitment 25th April – my best guess is for about 25-30 officers

PCC plans to recruit what looks like about 100 officers over next two years. Currently recruiting internally from pool of SCs and from transferees.

Closed on 1st Feb after 276 applications received for 70 vacancies.

Likely to re-open as have a few intakes every year.

For this force this is the main route into the Regulars.

Closed but will soon open as plans to recruit what looks like might be 20 or so over next two years
Northamptonshire Closed (had recruitment drive in Aug 15 for student officer places in Summer 16). Open – looking to increase from 630 to 900 by May 16. Very professional looking recruitment page Closed
Northumbria Currently closed. B21 (Intelligence language here, means relaible!): On 19th Feb Chief Constable made internal announcement that external recruitment would resume soon. Open – have highlighted on website to spell check your application! They’ll reject it otherwise Closed
Nottinghamshire Closed. Unlikely top open anytime soon as the Force has to lose 90 officers over the next year. See local news story Closed on 3rd March. Currently have 288 SCs and looking to increase numbers to 500. Force Finance Director has warned of over reliance on volunteers Closed but according to local press story exploring concept of Special PCSO Volunteers
South Yorkshire First recruitment round was open for 3 days 1st-3rd March. Chief Constable states in local press needs to recruit 500 officers over next 3 years with 112 to be recruited immediately.

More recent press story indicates how 3117 people applied for 369 posts.

Website states only highest scoring at assessment centre will go to next stage

Inviting transferee applications for PCs / DCs – closing date 30th April

Open Closed
Staffordshire Closed (had a recruitment drive over Summer / Autumn 15 so unlikely to resume soon) Open – info evening on 28th April Closed – following recent (Feb 16) recruitment drive
Suffolk Closed

Window closed on 8th April.

It is believed 80% of applicants failed at online assessment and application form stage. Plan is for 100 officers to be recruited in phased programme over next year. From previous news, this first intake likely to be for 20-30 officers.

Open – Suffolk Police website indicates joining Specials might be a ‘good way to try police work if you are considering being a police officer’

Numerous information evenings over next month


Unlikely to go ahead as another press report tells of how 68 PCSO positions will have to go by April 16

Surrey Open – closes 29th May

Surrey regularly recruit

CKP required by job offer date.

Looking for transferee PC/DCs

Open – closes 15th May Closed on 3rd March
Sussex Opened on 29th Feb for first time in 2 years – closing date was 13th March. 70 vacancies this year and 100 over financial year. No dates for assessment centre yet but from the ‘6 month fail rule’  info will be after 20th June.

Local press story articulates what Chief is looking for in applicants

Closed but opens several times over year Closed on 17th April
Thames Valley Open for ‘Limited numbers’ until 6th May. Must attend recruitment event which needs to be booked. Must have 2 A levels and CKP as minimum. Residency requirement – must live in TVP area

Looking for transferee PC/DCs and rejoicers

Open Closed
Warwickshire Closed after 67 officers recruited last year, but indication on website will re-open in 2016

However, see below FOI log on recruitment situation for 2016

Open Closed
West Mercia Closed but indicates will re-open in 2016

According to this Freedom of Information log West Mercia and Warwickshire Alliance has over 300 potential recruits waiting for start dates and assessment dates with student offer intakes planned through to 2017. If they do recruit this year it will be at the end of 2016.

Open Closed
West Midlands Closed but PCC has pledged to increase another 550 police officers in the local press. A recruitment drive last year has 450 potential officers ‘in the bank.’ Closed Closed
West Yorkshire Recruitment window closed on 21st Feb 16. Website intimates will re-open again ‘shortly.’

Invites you to register for updates

Final interview has developed a reputation internally for failing people. It’s not true – they just weren’t prepared!

Closed following recent (Feb/March) campaign Closed
Wiltshire Closed but website indicates situation being reviewed.

Chief Constable still has £3 Million of cuts to make according to local news report

Open Closed


Police Recruitment Wales
Dyfed-Powys Closed Open – Chief Constable hints that this is a route into Regulars in recent press story on SC recruitment Closed on 5th Jan so may not resume for a while
Gwent Closed on 1st Feb, 4 days earlier than stated. Possibility of further 40 places to be staggered over next year. CKP required Closed Closed
North Wales Closed but indicates to check back as opens regularly (it last closed beginning of April)


Closed Was open until 15th March. Force had received funding for 100 additional PCSOs. Barred from applying for PC role for two years once in.
South Wales Need to complete CKP qualification with SWP before you can apply at a cost of £944. Applications for CKP ended on 29th March. If have CKP from elsewhere will also need to sit an additional South Wales exam. Recruiting 60 in 2016 and 40 across 2017/18 Closed Closed





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