- Thoughts on joining the Police
Like any job it has it’s good points and bad points, good days and bad days. More often than not I quite enjoy what I do now (CID) but the key is finding what you like/are suited to and then getting that job – probably (?) greater variety of roles within the police than anywhere else besides the military.
I quite like shifts – days and lates only for me – because I have been able to spend lots of time with my kids in the week etc. that other dads can’t always do. Its a bit crap for them if something major happens and they don’t see me for a week but that’s rare. Smallest has started nursery now so 3hrs to myself every afternoon on rest days – get in.
Admin/pensions/Police Scotland etc. – yeah, none of its perfect. Up to you if you if you want to gripe about or just get on and make the best of it! I know which I prefer to do.
Bottom line, it’s not for everyone, but you only know if you give it a shot. At 35 you’ve still got 25 yrs or more anyway!Posted 4 years agoglobaltiMember
Must admit that for a time I considered joining the Met through graduate entry. I even had an initial interview but somehow we didn’t gel.
My cycling neighbour is a copper and from what I know of his lifestyle I’d say that 35 is too late. It would be the equivalent of becoming a houseman in a busy hospital – you’d be knackered most of the time and your family life would be turned upside-down.Posted 4 years agotimidwheelerSubscriber
I would think very carefully about it especially if you have young kids. To begin with most forces would expect you to do at least 2 years on response. After that you might be able to look for a job that allows a flexible shift pattern. You might find that not working 24/7 impacts your income (Winsor’s “reforms” all still being worked out).Posted 4 years ago
There are a lot of changes going on at the moment and the feeling in the ranks is that the government want a young (mostly male) paramilitary style frontline police with most other roles civilianised (privatised). This could be a huge problem for a family man joining in his mid 30s.
Which force are you considering?atlazMember
My dad loved his time as a police officer but he joined as a cadet when he was 16 so was out in his late 40s. My cousin joined 7 or 8 years ago after work dried up in his chosen field. After a couple of years of adjusting from “police as a job” to “being police” he’s loving it.Posted 4 years agofranksinatraSubscriber
I know there are a few police on here so looking for some honest opinions.
Police is a career that has always interested me but has previously be closed to me. Rules around colour sight now seem to have changed which mean that I should pass medical (which I failed years ago for same reason)
I’m now 35 so would be a complete career changed for me from a secure, flexible and well paid job.
Things I’m interested in:
– Often hear complaints about admin / bureaucracy / police merger (Scotland), pension etc. Are these reasons to not apply or are they just usual grumbles similar to any career or workplace?
– How big an impact on family life could I expect? I worked shifts for years but not since having kids. Mine are primary school age and I don’t want to miss out on too much. Is there any such thing as a regular shift pattern, what could I expect?
Any other honest opinions very much appreciatedPosted 4 years agosatchm00Member
Depends what job you do currently changing from 9 to 5 to a shift rota of 2 earlies 2 lates 2 nights and four off makes it difficult to manage social/family commitments sometimes. Also need to accept the fact leave gets cancelled and good luck getting time off at Christmas. Shifts vary between forces and also need to factor being called to court. You can’t get out of it even if it is sports day for your kids for example.
There will always be admin and bureaucracy, some shout louder than others whilst some just accept it and take each day as it comes.
I remember seeing a probationer at 35 he did all right, loved the change.
Pension wise just work it all out and also remember wage wise it might be a pay cut and take in account of all the out goings. Fed membership etc etc it all adds up and student officers take home pay really isn’t that good. First few years will be hard work after that its easy.Posted 4 years agozigzag69Member
You’re not too old at 35. Friend joined up when she was 39 (43 now, she loves it). A bit of life experience can be a real asset, you’ve been around the block whereas all the 20-somethings you are up against haven’t got that. Don’t be put off by the age thing, play to your strengths.Posted 4 years agoslowoldgitMember
Someone I know is a copper in an interesting and demanding role. The shifts are awful and can over-run, the pension has been stiffed and the government are playing games. But it’s exactly the right job for him. Does your local force offer ride alongs where you can see what the job is really like, and get quality time with a working copper?Posted 4 years ago
If you’ve ever thought about it then do it .. or you’ll spend the later years in life wondering what if. Remember you can always quit if you decide it isn’t for you and you’ll have built up a huge amount of additional skills that you might not necessarily have had before.
Joining at 35 is irrelevant, you’ll have life skills, may be able to communicate better, empathise etc etc and they can’t discriminate because of your age .
yes we do shift work but it’ll all depend on the pattern in your area. I’m back on front line policing having recently got promoted the shift pattern is pretty awful but having 4 days off in a row beats Mon-Fri rat run.
no idea what starting salary is now but you certainly don’t join the police for the pay!
I love my job and have done a variety of stuff over 10 years, rural response, city response, town centre foot beat patrol constantly, pro-active cycle team, auto crime team, robbery team, CID and homicide team, now I’m back in response as a Sgt. There are high and lows and you’ll hear coppers whinge whinge whinge..but in the same breath they won’t quit because the highs are fantastic!! (I hate the moaners!)
We have a good job, ok pay, and still have a good pension despite Winsor messing with everything. Yes you sometimes have rest days cancelled but where I am that’s rare. It can be hard to get Christmas off but that’s only (IMO) if you’re an unorganised muppet! you can submit leave 15 months in advance…me and Mr MC have put in all our annual leave for 2014 already as both doing different shift patterns trying to get time off together can be hard, get in early and there are no problems.
I say do it, if you want to email me with any more Q’s feel free, email in profile.Posted 4 years ago
PS As it stands we do still have a secure job and can’t be made redundant so what someone said about “first in last out” is drivel!
I would also say make sure your wife/partner is on board as she needs to be understanding that on a night shift you’ll come home and sleep until 1600 (I wish only slept until 12.30 these last few days) and might not want to get up and do DIY!Posted 4 years agoPigfaceMember
All the coppers I met in Oxfordshire were all fooling about with affairs and cheating etc, quite unbelievable.
Dont know if Munqe-chick would agree but it becomes your life, you socialise with other cops, just seems to take over. Like a huge family.
You can use the immortal line “I am job” when calling 999 when off duty though.Posted 4 years agoiaincSubscriber
no idea what starting salary is now but you certainly don’t join the police for the pay!
a good mate retires next year, aged 51, after his 30 yrs. Yes, he has been very successful and is a Super in Police Scotland, but retiring on 40k plus per annum index linked pension and a few hundred k lump sum at that age sure beats the hell out of most private sector ‘whole career deals’ surely…Posted 4 years agoScottCheggMember
I considered joining the Met through graduate entry
I did that. Lasted 3 years. Being thought of as ‘the brains trust’ and being on the fast track to Chief Constable put a lot of the old guards back up like you would not believe.
I had an epiphany one Friday night when I realised I’d either spend the rest of my career fighting the idle who did the minimum possible; or I’d have to go with the flow and not try and do my best to ‘fit in’
Can’t say I regret either going in or leaving; so both must have been the right thing at the time.
Only you know if it’s right for you.
And the pay was spectacular with overtime etc. I was 21 and had never had so much money.Posted 4 years agoNonsenseMember
Quite a lot of rubbish being spoken by people who aren’t police officers, only to be expected I suppose. If you want to try it then do it. I’m doing pretty much the most interesting job I could ever think of (specialist unit), I get paid well and I can try all sorts of other things if I get bored. Loads of negatives of course. Shifts, public perception (which is usually incorrect), sometimes having to deal with the worst possible aspects of life and humanity, being undervalued by pretty much everyone. Overall though, I’d do it all again.Posted 4 years agorobarnoldMember
I joined two and a half years ago aged 28, a lad I joined with was 42 at the time. If I was a single bloke it’d be the best job in the world. As it stands we have a two year old and another due shortly and it certainly puts strain on home life. I work for IOM constabulary and we have to do 2 years 24/7 shifts before thinking about doing anything else. I’ll be looking to move sideways in to CID as soon as I can get my foot in the door not purely for professional reasons but because it will suit my home life so much better, my missus often feels like a single mum at weekends at the minute.
The recent reforms are taking a lot of the old perks away and the old guard will tell you it’s not a patch on what it used to be. But what is? As it stands I can’t be made redundant, the pay is average (i take home about 22k after the raft of deductions) and sometimes the job is a hoot. Sometimes it’s shit but again, what job isn’t? It’s about the most diverse job out there, if your face fits the possibilities are endless.
Do it. What’s to lose?Posted 4 years agoBreganteSubscriber
I started the first of the two threads that Mildred has linked on the previous page and my opinion hasn’t really changed much.
Just coming up to 18 years in now and have been fortunate enough to work in a wide variety of specialist roles including major incident investigation. I absolutely live my work and am lucky enough to lead a small team of equally committed staff in an area of work that interests me greatly. There are certainly some lazy unfit individuals but I would say these are now a small minority that give the rest of us a bad name and with ever increasing fitness requirements these will no doubt decrease over time.
Don’t underestimate the strain that it can put on a marriage, especially in the early years while you and your family learn to adjust to the commitment you have undertaken. It brought my marriage to an abrupt end within two years of joining (not saying it was all blissful beforehand!)
I joined at 28 having previously owned my own small business and I thought that had been a life consuming commitment but it was nothing compared to joining the police. You certainly find out who your friends are.
Over the last 18 years the number of “pre-police” friends that I had has dwindled into single figures. Almost all of the people I now socialise with are people I have met through work. I’m not really sure how that has come about but there it is.Posted 4 years ago
Yet in the same vein I don’t socialise with many work people, I used to when I was younger and the job was a bit all consuming! Now I love going home and forgetting about work, so got friends from all walks of life and rarely socialise with work people.
Pigface there is no more affairs/cheating going on than in a lot of other jobs. It is just more open I thinka s people talk about it because we often spent more hours with a crew mate than with a wife/husband/partner.Posted 4 years ago
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