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Police officer: Salary and conditions

  • Salaries vary between forces but the typical starting salary for police constables in England and Wales is £22,680 on commencing service and £25,317 on completion of the initial training period. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the typical starting salary is £23,259, rising to £25,962 after the intial training period.
  • Range of typical salaries after several years' experience: £35,610 - £40,020 (sergeant); £45,624 - £49,488 (inspector); £51,789 - £53,919 (chief inspector).
  • London weighting up to £6,501 and additional competency-related threshold payments are available for all ranks.
  • Other benefits (dependent on location) can include free London travel, flexible working and key worker living benefits.
  • A police pension scheme is automatically provided but individuals may choose to make independent pension provision.
  • A working week is 37-40 hours, with an average of two rest days. Police officers provide a 24-hour public service and so unsocial hours, shift work and emergency call-outs are a regular feature of the job. Overtime may be available and is paid at a higher rate.
  • The daily working environment is variable. You may be in a patrol car, outside on the beat, at the station or attending court.
  • The environment can be physically demanding, potentially dangerous and at times deeply harrowing.
  • The work is pressurised, with officers facing continual calls on their time and resources.
  • Work conditions may be influenced by regional factors such as local terrain and culture, and the size of the force.
  • Part-time working, job-sharing and flexible hours are available. Career breaks are possible after the probationary period.
  • The police service is keen to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves and welcomes job applications from women, ethnic minority groups and the LGBT community.
  • Job opportunities exist throughout the UK and transfers between forces are possible dependent on position availability and the suitability of the officer concerned.
  • A free uniform and equipment are provided. Police officers are expected to adhere to a dress code.
  • On appointment, police officers become members of the Police Federation of England & Wales , the Scottish Police Federation (SPF)  or the Police Federation for Northern Ireland , which act in matters of police welfare and pay and provide a range of ancillary benefits.
  • Police officers are not permitted to join a trade union.
  • Police constables and sergeants usually retire after 35 years of service or on reaching the age of 60. Various compulsory retirement ages apply for higher ranks (65 for those above chief inspector).
  • Police officers are governed by a code of conduct both on and off duty.
  • Travel away from home is rare but absence from home overnight may be common because of shift work.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
January 2012
 
 

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