Police officers | Suffolk Constabulary

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If you would like to apply, please complete the eligibility criteria form

The job of being a police officer will take you beyond your own expectations and give you more variety, challenge and reward than you could ever expect from any other career. 

Ultimately, your role will be to prevent and solve crime. But it is also about working in partnership with communities to make a real difference and improve the quality of life for everyone, making your local community feel safe and protected.


Am I eligible?

It takes a special blend of skills and qualities to become an effective police officer, because it is a career unlike any other.

The following will help you decide whether you meet the necessary requirements:

Age requirements:  You must be aged between 17 and 57 years to apply. If you are aged 17, an offer of appointment will not be made until after your 18th birthday.

Height: There are no minimum or maximum height requirements.

Nationality requirements: You must be either a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EEA, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Entry qualifications:  Level 3 qualification gained in England and Wales, within the meaning of the Education & Skills Act 2008 e.g. 'A' Level/ AS Level, National Diploma, National Certificate, Level 3 NVQ or City & Guilds, Access to Higher Education Diploma or an academic or vocational qualification gained outside of England or Wales which is considered to be equivalent to a Level 3 qualification.

Health: You must physically and mentally be able to undertake police duties and be able to pass a police fitness test and medical check.

Eyesight:  All applicants will have their eyesight examined and should meet the required standard.

Driving licence: As Suffolk is a rural force, driving is a requirement. You must have a full manual licence before you are eligible to apply. We cannot accept applicants with Provisional or Automatic driving licences. You must also meet the DVLA Group 2 driving standards, full details can be found here

Tattoos: Tattoos are not acceptable if they could cause offence and/or invite provocation from members of the public or colleagues, or if they are garish or numerous, e.g. those which:

  • Undermine the dignity and authority of the office of constable.
  • Could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or incite provocation.
  • Are garish, numerous or particularly prominent (i.e. on the face or hands).
  • Indicate unacceptable attitudes towards the opposite sex, minority groups or any other section of the community.

Previous convictions: Although you may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible.

Eligibility questionnaire: Before you apply to become a police officer, please complete our eligibility questionnaire.


How to apply

Step one: Application
To apply to become a police officer, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. If our recruitment lines are open, upon successful completion, you will be able to request an application pack. 

Step two: Paper sift
Your application will go through a formal paper sift process. This will include marking your competency-based answers.  The recruitment team endeavours to confirm receipt of your application within two to four weeks of receiving it.  They will keep you informed of your progress at each of the recruitment stages.

Step three: Assessment centre
If successful, you will attend our assessment centre for half a day. This is held at Martlesham Heath in Suffolk. The assessment consists of four main elements: interactive, written, interview and psychometric tests.

Step four: Final board interviews
If you obtain the relevant pass mark at the assessment centre, you will be invited to attend a final board interview with an interview panel. This will include a 10-minute presentation by you, on a given subject.

Step five: Fitness test
If you pass, you will then be invited to attend a fitness assessment which is carried out at our headquarters in Martlesham. You will complete an endurance fitness test and will be told the result on the day.

The endurance test requires you to run to and from along a 15-metre track in time with a series of bleeps. If you arrive at the end line before the bleep sounds you need to wait for the bleep before resuming running and adjust your speed. The timing between bleeps is slow at first but the bleep becomes faster as the test progresses and it becomes more difficult to keep up with the required speed. You will run until you can no longer keep up with the set pace. You will need to reach a minimum of four shuttles at level five to pass. 

To help with the fitness test, you should improve your stamina. For example, you could take part in sporting activities which last 30 minutes or more and get you out of breath, such as football, netball, or squash.

You can also make rapid improvements by engaging in activities which create a large aerobic demand such as jogging, cycling, swimming and rowing. Try jogging for 20 minutes or more and as you improve, try to increase the distance covered in that time. Alternatively jog a set distance from home and back again and try to reduce the time taken to cover the distance.

You should exercise three times a week for 20 minutes, but if you are not used to exercise you should start with gentle sessions lasting no more than 15 minutes.

Step six: Medical assessment/uniform fitting
The medical assessment is carried out at Capel St Mary Police Station and will include a full medical examination and eyesight test. You will be required to be signed off as fit by the force medical advisor.

If you have passed your interview and medical, you will be invited to a uniform fitting and booked on to the next available intake date to start your formal training as a student police officer.

Suffolk Police require all police constable entrants to service to achieve medical clearance to response drive.  All applicants will be required to pass the force medical standard for response driving.

Step seven: Security vetting and referencing
If you pass the final board interview, a comprehensive security vetting process will be undertaken, together with taking up references (current employer references will not be taken at this stage, unless you specify they can be).

Can I re-apply?

Applications will not be accepted from people who have been unsuccessful at the application stage of police officer recruitment within the past 3 months (at the point of submitting an application), or from people who have been unsuccessful at a SEARCH assessment centre within the past 6 months (at the point of being unsuccessful).

If you would like further information, please telephone the recruitment team on 01953 425699 and dial extension 2312 or 2334. Alternatively, email: [email protected] or visit the College of Policing website.

Pay and benefits

The starting salary for Police Officers is £24,177.

When and how will I get paid?

You will get paid monthly by automatic credit to your bank or building society account.

Child care support
A child care voucher scheme providing tax benefits is available.

Pension scheme
Suffolk Police participates in the National Police Pension Scheme.

Specialist areas
Once you have completed your two years probation as a student officer, there are a number of different areas you can specialise in. The following are just a few examples:

  • Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults working alongside professionals from partner agencies to reduce harm to the most at risk from violence or exploitation, including ‘online’ crimes, hate crimes and mental health issues
  • Public Order Policing tackling risk of serious disorder both in Suffolk and Norfolk and assisting in other areas of the country as part of a national response to key events
  • Neighbourhood and Problem Solving Policing, taking on issues impacting our communities with a ‘holistic’ approach including partner agency working
  • Opportunities to work on Collaborative, Regional and National Units such as Financial Investigation, Intelligence, Covert Policing, Air Operations and Counter Terrorism

Student officer training

The starting salary for Police Officers is £24,177.

Once you have been appointed you will be a student officer for two years. All of your training will take place in Suffolk, and is divided into three phases:

Phase one: Initial training (10 weeks)
During this time you will cover the legislation you need to be a police constable and learn how to apply it in a safe learning environment.  

Phase two: Tutorship (10 weeks)
You will be based at a police station, working one-to-one with your tutor, who will be an experienced police constable. You will learn how to deal with live situations and receive detailed feedback so that you build your skills and confidence to apply the knowledge you have gained. The aim of this phase is to ensure you are legal and safe to operate as a police constable.  

Phase three: Independent patrol
Here you will further develop your skills and you’ll have the opportunity to undertake attachments in specialist areas of policing.  You will also take your driving course to learn how to drive to police standards.

At the end of your training you will be a competent police constable and also attain the Level 4 Diploma in Policing qualification. To mark the occasion, you will attend a passing out celebration with a member of the chief officer team, to which members of your family or friends will be invited.

You will continue to be evaluated throughout your career as a police officer.

Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP)

The CKP gives candidates an official qualification and allows future police officers to take responsibility for their learning. Find out more on the College of Policing Website 

Please note CKP is only a recommendation for Suffolk Constabulary, and we do not require you to be registered or have completed this prior to submitting your application.

Further information

If you would like further information, please have a look at our FAQ page, or telephone the recruitment team on 01953 425699 and dial extension 2334. Alternatively, email: [email protected] or visit the following websites:

College of Policing
Join The Police