Police forces in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland consist of more than 50 independent police departments supervised by local authorities. The British Police Services have the same uniform and structure, though they are similar in England and Wales and a bit different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The liberal British history created a decentralized police (as it was considered traditionally that the centralized police could be a useful tool of dictatorship). So after years of improvement it came to the actual form of locally organized, unarmed civilian police. There are only 5 countries in the world, whose police is unarmed. Well, with the exception is made for Northern Ireland.
Today this occupation is accessible to graduates, those with an HND titles. Selection and enlistment are realized by police forces at a local level. You need to do the following steps so as to become a recruit: to submit an application, to undergo the selection procedure, to pass medical and fitness evaluation, as well as security background checks.
This employment is available to British and Commonwealth nationals, European Community citizens and foreigners with no bans to stay in the UK.
During the first two years of service all policemen are on trial, they are engaged into professional training – Initial Police Learning and Development Programme, aimed to provide the required qualification level.
After the probationary period is successfully finished, officers can apply for jobs in specialist units such as: traffic, drugs, criminal investigation, fraud, firearms, child protection, mounted branches and so on. They can choose the area to feel more comfortable and useful.
If you are diligent and ambitious enough, you will progress accordingly to the transparent and well defined rank structure which includes: constable, sergeant, inspector, chief inspector, superintendent, chief superintendent, assistant chief constable, deputy chief constable and, finally, chief constable.
The policeman job in UK is not much different from that of any other civilized country and is aimed to provide a visible presence to stop crime and guarantee the social security. It normally involves patrolling duties realized on foot, by car or bicycle and done by responding to public calls and demands, including assistance at incidents and peacekeeping at public and social events or strikes, processions, trade disputes. Of course, the job also involves initial crime investigations, evidence and statements´ recollection and so on.
A working week for a full-time cops is normally of forty duty hours, in eight or ten hour shifts. As they provide a 24-hour public service, obviously, there is no chance to avoid shift work, uncomfortable hours and emergency call-outs.
The starting salary for policeman in the UK vary from nineteen to twenty two thousand pounds per year, rising to thirty seven thousands at the top of the scale. You can achieve this level in seven years. Besides, police officers retire at the age of 55 and have a very good pension.