Police Officer Job roles, responsibilities, descriptions and duties

Date of posting: 13 Jan 20

What are the job roles and responsibilities of an Police Officer?

Duties can include:

  • interviewing suspected criminals

  • taking statements

  • writing crime reports

  • dealing with paperwork

  • gathering prosecution evidence

  • giving evidence in court

  • fostering good relationships with the public

  • patrolling areas by foot and car

  • making and processing arrests

  • searching suspects

  • responding to emergencies

  • offering advice and reassurance to the public

  • controlling traffic/crowds

  • keeping the peace/mediating in tense situations

Typical employers of police officers

  • Local police forces

  • Specialist forces

  • The Ministry of Defence Police

Qualifications and training required

You can become a police officer with or without a degree, although applicants must pass standard police initial recruitment tests (fitness, medical and educational). There are no upper age limits.

It is recommended to contact your chosen police force in order to find out their eligibility requirements; some will ask that applicants hold a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing, have acceptable A levels, or have experience in a relevant role. Previous experience is not always expected, but attendance at familiarisation events and involvement in local police work can be advantageous. Visible tattoos and certain criminal convictions may prevent entry. 

Key skills for police officers

  • Open-mindedness

  • Resilience

  • Assertiveness

  • Able to handle responsibilities

  • Able to remain calm in dangerous situations

  • Good interpersonal skills

  • Communication skills

  • Team Working skills

  • Negotiating skills