Police Officer

Policing really is a job like no other.

But what is ‘the job’?

It’s much more than blue lights and fast cars. It’s protecting the vulnerable when they need you most. It’s working in partnership to tackle serious and organised crime and it’s making critical decisions that will change lives forever. You will investigate a wide range of crimes such as burglaries and assaults, going that extra mile to ensure the best chance of securing a conviction.

Policing the Thames Valley 24/7, 365, is both challenging and rewarding. You’ll be tested, more so than you have before – resilience is key, alongside your ability to empathise, listen and communicate.

It’s a position of responsibility, of trust, of purpose. Above all, it’s working as part of a family, a policing family. A team that pulls together as one, rising to the challenge every single day.

This is the job.

Learn more about the experience of our officers at TVP.

Response Policing

On entering public service all student officers will spend either their whole probation or a portion of it (depending on entry route) working in uniform on response, which is simply that, responding to calls from the public. Many enjoy this unpredictable aspect of policing, there is much police ‘craft’ to be learned as no two situations you attend will ever be the same. It is important to emphasise that we serve a 24/7 economy, so that means shift working. A typical pattern on response would be two earlies (am start), two lates (pm start) and two night shifts (evening start) followed by four rest days. Crime doesn’t clock on and off though, so you need to be prepared for shifts over weekends, shifts that run over or last minute duty changes. This can be disruptive to family and social lives, but it is something we accept as part of the commitment we make to keep our communities safe.

Meet PC’s Jenna and Hadi to find out more about Response Policing:

Why join TVP?

We believe it’s important that our officers and staff are supported to be the best they can be. Whether that’s through additional learning, support when things get tough or through discounts to enjoy with family and friends away from the workplace – your wellbeing will always be a priority.

Here are some of the reasons you should join the TVP family:

  • salary plus additional benefits including pension scheme, South-East living allowance, holiday entitlement and childcare voucher scheme
  • wide range of discounts for retailers, restaurants, travel, tickets and more available via a mobile app
  • discounts available to student officers on PCDA and DHEP entry routes via Apprenticeship Extra card and TOTUM card respectively
  • wide ranging career prospects including opportunities for promotion and specialisation including: Detectives, Major Crime, Counter Terrorism, Firearms and Roads Policing
  • a focus on your continuous professional development which includes a structured Performance Development Review
  • our ‘Support for Study’ scheme ensures you have the opportunity to gain additional accreditation and qualifications
  • a well-established wellbeing function ensures you receive the support you need – this includes staff support networks for under-represented groups including: Disability Support Network, Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association, Muslim Police Association, Support Association for Minority Ethnic Staff, Women’s Network and Christian Police Association

Find out more about how we could be supporting you and how we value difference at TVP.

Entry Routes

Detective Constable – Degree Holder Entry Programme (DC-DHEP) – for those with a degree looking to follow an investigative career, register your interest now ahead of applications opening on Wednesday 15th September

Already hold a degree or in the final year of your study? Eager to pursue a career in investigation? Aspire to manage your own investigations from start to finish? Motivated by a desire to do the right thing and get justice for victims? Typically described as inquisitive, observant, tenacious, methodical, dedicated, resilient, attention to detail oriented with solid research skills combined with confident decision-making? The Detective-DHEP could be for you.

The Detective-DHEP is a rigorous, intensive and demanding two-year fast track to the Detective Constable (DC) entry route. Like the Police Constable-DHEP (PC-DHEP), it is a work-based programme, supported by on and off the job learning. On successful completion of your probation, you will achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice plus have acquired the additional PIP2 learning, training and accreditation to qualify you as a Detective Constable. The course requires commitment and dedication to both serving the public and meeting the demands of the development programme, whilst offering a fantastic opportunity for you to continue to learn beyond your initial degree and earning a salary as a fully warranted police officer from your first day.

The starting salary for all new recruits is £26,780 (which includes £2,000 South-East allowance). On the current system officers can expect to be earning a salary in excess of £40,000 per annum by your 7th year in the job.

Investigation in TVP

“Only we can investigate crime. So we must do it well.”

– ACC Tim de Meyer

With a force size that guarantees a broad range of crime and a reputation for solid investigations there is no better place than TVP to become a detective. We have an established, comprehensive investigative structure and are the host force for a number of South-East regional crime teams; for example Counter Terrorism Police South-East. As a detective, you will deal with some of the most serious and complex crime possible including serious assaults, domestic abuse, child protection, fraud, homicide, cybercrime, county drugs lines and crimes against vulnerable people.

As a Detective, no two cases or days are the same. You are responsible for managing and conducting complex investigations from initial crime scene management to the verdict being delivered at court. Your role will vary from interviewing suspects, identifying witnesses, handling forensic evidence, preparing and submitting case papers, attending court and being the point of contact for victims of crime as you work to uncover the truth. Partnership working is key as you collaborate with social care, health teams and schools, working alongside your uniformed colleagues to build the strongest case and achieve justice for victims.

Learn about our Investigations

TVP has a rich history of first class investigation including associations with the 1963 Great Train Robbery and baby farmer Amelia Dyer from the 1890s, more recent cases have included Op Naseby and Op Navigator. Learn more about these challenging cases:

The force is also featured in the Channel 4 British true crime documentary series ‘Catching a Killer’ which shines a light on five of our recent and complex cases, following Detectives in our Major Crime Unit as they investigate a murder.

Meet our detectives

Programme outline

View the DC-DHEP programme outline – please note that Thames Valley Police is currently working to ensure that all our documents fully meet all accessibility requirements.

Watch: Detective Inspector Cat McKay introduces the Detective DHEP Programme

Year one: A blended learning programme delivered by TVP and Bucks New University with a 19-week initial learning phase based at TVP’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Reading. This would then be followed by a 10 week tutoring phase (in uniform) after which student officers will go straight into a detective role within their designated investigation team where further tutoring and operational work based learning will take place. During year one student DC’s will also apply for and take the National Investigators Exam (NIE).

Year two: Builds on the first year with more operational / work based learning within your PCT. Student DC’s will start to build their Operational Competence Portfolio (OCP) – learning, applying and evidencing your core policing skills. You will need to complete all elements of the PC-DHEP achieving a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice with the additional PIP2 learning, training and accreditation to qualify you as a Detective Constable.

Your Career In Investigation

After enrolling on the program you will complete various aspects of initial learning and having progressed as expected you would be placed in to one of the following departments where an experienced detective will tutor you:

Priority Crime teams

PCT are dedicated to investigating serious acquisitive crime, namely, Burglary, Robbery, and vehicle crime. The majority of the work centres on Prolific Priority offenders, knife crime, and Organised Crime Groups- those that cause most harm in the community. The very nature of priority crime means that the departments are proactive in their approach, which enables operations to be planned, and partnerships formed in order to deter and disrupt offenders before crimes occur. PCT’s offer a variety of work both proactive and reactive, working with both internal and external partners.

Criminal Investigation Department

CID are responsible for investigating serious and series crime concentrating on offences such as serious violence and sexual assaults, modern day slavery, firearms and unexplained death. The CID are flexible and proactive in their approach to arrest, disrupt and prosecute those involved in serious criminality even where they cross local and force boundaries. They investigate a wide range of offences giving variety and opportunity for a wider understanding of specialist teams and the tactics available to secure the best evidence against dangerous and organised criminals.  Specialised training, experience of Crown Court trials, liaison with technical and forensic partners, and support to Major Crime Investigations is all part of this role.

Domestic Abuse Investigation Units

DAIU’s investigate all high-risk domestic abuse criminal cases and some medium risk ones, and are responsible for managing the risk associated with medium and high-risk cases. Detectives in DAIU hold some very serious investigations, up to and including attempted murder.

It is not just about domestic abuse, as they also have responsibility for investigating serious crimes committed against vulnerable adults and the ongoing protection of them in conjunction with partner agencies.

Having completed the Detective-DHEP program and requisite portfolios you become an accredited DC and a whole world of roles and opportunities opens up within some of our specialist investigative teams including some listed below. Whilst serving in all investigation departments there is the option to complete specialist courses such as being a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) where you might be deployed to a family of a victim of a homicide, or a negotiator, or be an enhanced suspect or witness interviewer.

Child Abuse Investigation Units

CAIU’s investigate offences involving crimes against children including interfamilial and position of trust offences as well as non- recent child abuse and predatory offenders, which on conviction attract significant sentences at court. Working with partner agencies, they seek to protect and look after the best interests of some of our most vulnerable members of society.

The Major Crime Unit

MCU exists to investigate the most serious of crimes such as: homicides, kidnap, complex or serial rape offences, corporate manslaughter, work related deaths as well as other serious crimes that would benefit from the setting up of a Major Incident Room (MIR). The MCU use the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES) to case manage major investigations.

Specialist Operations Units

There are a number of units within Specialist Operations that support other departments, or conduct their own investigations, such as Fraud owned by the Economic Crime Unit, or large scale drug supply by the Serious Organised Crime Unit. They focus on tackling the most prolific offenders within the Thames Valley area, supported themselves by other government agencies.

They are the Economic Crime Unit, Cyber Crime Unit, Dedicated Surveillance Teams, Force Pro-Active teams, and Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

Thames Valley Police are also part of Regional investigation teams, which are:

Regional Organised Crime Units

ROCUs were set up as part of a national network to tackle serious and organised crime. They work with police forces across the country, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other national law enforcement agencies to tackle serious and organised crime.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) is responsible for delivering specialist and niche capabilities to Thames Valley Police, Hampshire Constabulary, Surrey Police, and Sussex Police.

Counter Terrorism Policing, South East

CTPSE has responsibility for co-ordinating the four strands of the Government’s CONTEST strategy (Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare) at a regional level as well as the TVP Force responsibility for ensuring the Pursue and Prevent elements are delivered locally. The aim is to create a more co-ordinated regional counter terrorist response, providing specialist support to police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

In line with the Home Office counter terrorism strategy, known as CONTEST this regional Counter Terrorism Unit helps ensure the police service in the UK is better equipped to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents and investigate and prosecute those involved.

Detective DHEP – Frequently asked questions.

Eligibility

To apply for the Detective-DHEP, you must:

  • be at least 17 years of age upon application but must be 18 years of age by your first day in the role,
  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen or an EU/European Economic Area (EEA) national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK status. Other nationalities are welcome to apply providing you have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK,
  • have a UK Level 6/degree qualification or equivalent (or be in the final year of study). Official results would be required before an offer of appointment is made,
  • hold a full manual UK or EEA driving licence before receiving your formal offer of appointment,
  • not have served any time in prison or youth detention (if you have a criminal conviction, it may lead to your application being rejected – we will take into account the date, nature of offence plus evidence of good character since the offence),
  • be in good health and able to physically and mentally perform your duties,
  • not have any piercings or tattoos which could cause offence,
  • not have applied unsuccessfully for a Police Officer role within the past six months,
  • live within 20 crow miles of two of our main police stations by formal offer of appointment – consideration may be given to those living within 20 miles of one station and 30 miles of another; a degree of flexibility is required in terms of posting.

Application Process

Typically, the process from initial application through to start date can take six to nine months and includes:

  1. self-assessment questionnaire – we encourage all applicants to self-assess your eligibility prior to applying,
  2. application including proof of eligibility – be prepared to apply,
  3. assessment centre / online assessment
  4. Force panel interview led by a Senior Detective and including an additional assessment based on the skills required to be a detective. Please note ALL candidates (internal and external) will be required to do a panel interview,
  5. provisional offer,
  6. pre-employment checks including fitness test, BMI, medical, references and vetting,
  7. start date.

Apply

We are now accepting expressions of interest on our talent bank for the Detective-DHEP, ahead of recruitment opening on Wednesday 15th September. Please note: Only those registered on the talent bank will receive a link to the application form once we open.

If you are from a Black, Asian or Minority-Ethnic background and are interested in becoming a Detective Constable with TVP, we encourage you to get involved with our Positive Action and Engagement Team.

Police Constable – Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) – for those without a degree, recruitment now closed. Please keep checking this page for future updates.

Open to anyone between the ages of 18-55 who meets the eligibility requirements, the PCDA is a three-year programme combining operational duties with academic learning, resulting in formal degree qualification.

Not only does the PCDA pathway provide unrivalled training and job security, you will earn whilst you learn, with no student fees to repay.You will undertake training in areas critical to effective 21st century policing, such as evidence-based policing, decision-making and discretion, risk and public protection and criminality and crime prevention.

Unlike a traditional degree course, the majority of time for new apprentice recruits will be in force on frontline duties in the same way probationers work now.

The starting salary for all new recruits is £26,780 (which includes £2,000 South-East allowance). On the current system officers can expect to be earning a salary in excess of £40,000 per annum by your 7th year in the job.

If you do not already hold a degree and are looking for a career that offers first-class training, continuous development, unrivalled variety and unique challenges, the PCDA is the route for you.

Blog: New joiners Cath and Josh talk Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

Programme outline

View the PCDA programme outline – please note that Thames Valley Police is currently working to ensure that all our documents fully meet all accessibility requirements.

Year one: A blended learning programme delivered by TVP and Bucks New University with initial learning based at TVP’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Reading. You will then join your designated Local Policing Area (LPA) for a period of operational tutoring leading to Independent Patrol Status. In year one operational training will include officer safety training, making an arrest and how to conduct a stop and search, amongst other things. You will also be required to complete seven academic assignments*. Four of these are completed during the initial learning phase, the remaining three are to be completed whilst operationally deployed during assigned periods of Protected Learning Time**.

Year two: Builds on the first year of learning but with more operational focus including response, investigation, intelligence, community policing and roads policing. In year two you will be required to complete seven academic assignments* whilst operationally deployed during assigned periods of Protected Learning Time**.

Year three: In year three you will be required to complete four academic assignments* whilst operationally deployed during assigned periods of Protected Learning Time** in addition to the End Point Assessment. As part of your End Point Assessment you will complete an Evidence-Based Research Project and achieve Full Operational Competence. The research project has a practical policing purpose; demonstrating your learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

*Academic assignments are typically made up of the following: Coursework (essays / reports / portfolios), presentations / posters and time constrained examination / set exercises.

**There is sufficient protected learning time (PLT) built into all the PCDA/DHEP programmes throughout the 2 or 3 years in order to successfully complete the course and achieve the relevant qualification. Part of this PLT is reserved for learning (off the job training) to be delivered to the student and part is reserved as independent study time to assist in the completion of the academic assignments. However, students may choose to spend additional time on training outside of these allocated hours.

Eligibility

To apply for the PCDA, you must:

  • be at least 17 years of age upon application but must be 18 years of age by your first day in the role,
  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen or an EU/European Economic Area (EEA) national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK status. Other nationalities are welcome to apply providing you have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK,
  • residency – have been a UK resident for the last three years. There are some exceptions (e.g. periods of travelling/working overseas, armed forces etc) which will be considered on a case-by-case basis,
  • have passes in both English(Language or Literature)and Mathematics GCSE(A*-C/9-4) or equivalent Level 2 qualifications*,
  • have two A-Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications (please refer to the A-Level equivalency table),
    or one A-Level qualification (or equivalent) combined with relevant professional experience**,
    or relevant professional experience only**.
    Suitability of your ‘relevant professional experience’ will be jointly assessed by TVP and Bucks New University, with TVP having the final decision,
  • hold a full manual driving licence or EEA driving licence before receiving your formal offer of appointment,
  • not have served any time in prison or youth detention(if you have a criminal conviction, it may lead to your application being rejected – we will take into account the date, nature of offence plus evidence of good character since the offence),
  • be in good health and able to physically and mentally perform your duties,
  • not have any piercings or tattoos which could cause offence,
  • not have applied unsuccessfully within the past six months,
  • live within 20 crow miles of two of our main police stations by formal offer of appointment – consideration may be given to those living within 20 miles of one station and 30 miles of another; a degree of flexibility is required in terms of posting.

* If you do not have the required English and Maths qualifications, please refer to this English & Maths Level 2 document which contains guidance on how you could gain these qualifications.

** What qualifies as ‘relevant professional experience’? TVP and BNU need to ensure that student officers on the PCDA have the ability to achieve what is required academically during the programme. ‘Relevant professional experience’ could come from a wide variety of professions and industries, both public and private sector and, for example, could include (but is not limited to) transferable experience where: you have had to demonstrate an ability to solve problems or make informed decisions, research, retain and convey complex information, managed a varied workload or projects, worked under pressure or to tight time scales. For guidance on the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of an apprentice police constable, please refer to the apprenticeship standard.

Application Process

Typically, the process from initial application through to start date can take six to nine months and includes:

  1. self-assessment questionnaire – we encourage all applicants to self-assess your eligibility prior to applying,
  2. application including proof of eligibility – be prepared to apply,
  3. assessment centre / online assessment,
  4. interview,
  5. provisional offer,
  6. pre-employment checks including fitness test, medical, references and vetting,
  7. start date.

Apply

Recruitment is now closed. Please keep an eye on this page for updates regarding our next recruitment opening.

In partnership with

Bucks New University

Police Constable – Degree Holder Entry Programme (PC-DHEP) – for those with a degree, recruitment now closed. Please keep checking this page for updates on future openings.

Already hold a degree (in any subject) or in the final year of your study? The DHEP is the entry route for you. The DHEP is a two-year work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning. On successful completion of your probation, you will achieve a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

Not only does the DHEP pathway provide unrivalled training and job security, you will earn whilst you learn, with no student fees to repay. You will undertake training in areas critical to effective 21st century policing, such as evidence-based policing, decision-making and discretion, risk and public protection and criminality and crime prevention.

This programme offers a fantastic opportunity for you to continue to learn beyond your initial degree, whilst earning a salary as a fully warranted police officer from day one.

The starting salary for all new recruits is £26,780 (which includes £2,000 South-East allowance). On the current system officers can expect to be earning a salary in excess of £40,000 per annum by your 7th year in the job.

Programme outline

View the PC-DHEP programme outline – please note that Thames Valley Police is currently working to ensure that all our documents fully meet all accessibility requirements.

Year one: A blended learning programme delivered by TVP and Bucks New University with initial learning based at TVP’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Reading. You will then join your designated Local Policing Area (LPA) for a period of operational tutoring leading to Independent Patrol Status. In year one operational training will include officer safety training, making an arrest and how to conduct a stop and search, amongst other things. You will also be required to complete seven academic assignments*. Four of these are completed during the initial learning phase, the remaining three are to be completed whilst operationally deployed during assigned periods of Protected Learning Time**.

Year two: Builds on the first year of learning but with more operational focus including response, investigation, intelligence, community policing and roads policing. You will work towards Full Operational Competence and successful completion of the academic elements of the Graduate Diploma. In year two you will be required to complete four academic assignments* whilst operationally deployed during assigned periods of Protected Learning Time**.

*Academic assignments are typically made up of the following: Coursework (essays / reports / portfolios), presentations / posters and time constrained examination / set exercises.

**There is sufficient protected learning time (PLT) built into all the PCDA/DHEP programmes throughout the 2 or 3 years in order to successfully complete the course and achieve the relevant qualification. Part of this PLT is reserved for learning (off the job training) to be delivered to the student and part is reserved as independent study time to assist in the completion of the academic assignments. However, students may choose to spend additional time on training outside of these allocated hours.

Eligibility

To apply for the DHEP, you must:

  • be at least 17 years of age upon application but must be 18 years of age by your first day in the role,
  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen or an EU/European Economic Area (EEA) national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK status. Other nationalities are welcome to apply providing you have indefinite leave to remain and work in the UK,
  • have a UK Level 6/degree qualification or equivalent (or be in the final year of study) – the degree can be in any subject,
  • hold a full manual driving licence or EEA driving licence before receiving your formal offer of appointment,
  • not have served any time in prison or youth detention(if you have a criminal conviction, it may lead to your application being rejected – we will take into account the date, nature of offence plus evidence of good character since the offence),
  • be in good health and able to physically and mentally perform your duties,
  • not have any piercings or tattoos which could cause offence,
  • not have applied unsuccessfully within the past six months,
  • live within 20 crow miles of two of our main police stations by formal offer of appointment – consideration may be given to those living within 20 miles of one station and 30 miles of another; a degree of flexibility is required in terms of posting.

Application Process

Typically, the process from initial application through to start date can take six to nine months and includes:

  1. self-assessment questionnaire – we encourage all applicants to self-assess your eligibility prior to applying,
  2. application including proof of eligibility – be prepared to apply,
  3. assessment centre / online assessment,
  4. interview,
  5. provisional offer,
  6. pre-employment checks including fitness test, medical, references and vetting,
  7. start date.

Apply

Recruitment is now closed. Please keep an eye on this page for updates regarding our next recruitment opening.

In partnership with

Bucks New University

Assessment Centre

Online Assessment – commencing July 2020

College of Policing Online Assessment Process Overview

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23 and additional guidance introduced to keep our communities safe, all SEARCH and Day One assessment activity has been postponed until 2021. As the COVID situation develops, it has become clear that digital solutions to progress police recruitment would be required.

In response to this, the College of Policing have developed an online assessment process that enables effective assessment of the required competencies and values that are important for Police Constables, and meets the current standards for assessing new recruits.

To ensure consistency and fairness to candidates the online assessment process will remain in place throughout the remainder of 2020. As part of ongoing monitoring and evaluation, the College will continue to review the candidate, assessor and force experience with a view to enhancing the process during this period. A full review will take place later in the year and forces will be notified in advance of any reintroduction of face-to-face assessment centres.

The new process will enable rapid recruitment without face-to-face contact while social distancing measures are required. It will also enable secure online assessment to be part of an efficient and user-friendly candidate journey in the future. The process incorporates a progressive sifting approach to effectively identify those most suitable for the role of a police officer.

The online assessment process

The online assessment process consists of a three-stage approach designed for the efficient assessment and recruitment of police constables. The three stages are:

The online assessment process

  • Stage 1 – Situational judgement test (SJT)
    This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those you are likely to face as a police constable. This test will measure your judgement and ability to make effective decisions against the Competency and Values Framework for Policing.
  • Stage 2 – Competency-based interview
    You will be asked a series of questions about how you have dealt with specific situations in the past. This is your opportunity to provide some examples of the key competencies and values that are important for police constables. You can use examples from both your work and your personal life. If you have completed stage 1, you will be required to take stage 2 immediately upon completion.
  • Stage 3 – Written assessment and briefing exercise
    • Stage 3a – Written assessment
      In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have to complete an urgent written task for your line manager. You will receive four items of information to help you with this task.
    • Stage 3b – Briefing exercise
      In this exercise, you will assume the role of a police constable and will have responsibility for dealing with some issues presented to you. You will be tasked with providing a response to a number of questions in relation to this issue. You will be provided with preparation materials to consider your answer.

Please note that you will receive and be able to take stages 3a and 3b separately.

Required Technology

You can complete the exercises on any internet-enabled device with a camera (laptop, tablet or phone), but to ensure full compatibility with the online platform, the following should be set up.

Your operating system should be Windows 7 (or higher) or Mac OS 10.11 (or higher).

Your browser should be the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari (Apple products only).

You should have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed, and you require a webcam and microphone to record responses.

Further Information

For further information on the recruitment process, please refer to the College’s online assessment candidate FAQ or contact TVP’s Police Officer Recruitment Team directly: recruitmentpoliceoff@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or 08452 66 66 77.

How to apply

Please refer to the relevant entry route drop down box and click through to our Talent Bank to register your interest in applying. Candidates registered on the Talent Bank will be notified of future recruitment openings.

Useful information