Considering a career within Policing?

 

Introduction to West Yorkshire Police

As the fourth largest of the 43 Home Office forces, the West Yorkshire Police force area is varied, combining busy cities and towns with quiet villages and picturesque rural locations. Not only the locations, but the communities are equally as varied, representing a diverse range of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds.

The Force collaborates across the Yorkshire and Humber Region and wider North Eastern Region, leading on a number of national and regional policing responsibilities.

Serving the 2.2 million people living in West Yorkshire, policing is delivered from the five policing districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield where day-to-day policing services are carried out across the county.

We look for all kinds of skills, recognising it takes all kinds of people to protect the public. Problem solving, compassion, resilience, respect, courage, and teamwork. These are the qualities we are looking for. To truly reflect the communities we serve, we’re particularly keen to recruit people from under- represented groups, such as those from black, Asian, and other ethnic backgrounds.

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West Yorkshire Policing Strategy

Safe. Just. Inclusive.

The Operational Policing Strategy contains the Plan on the Page which details the Force’s Vision, Values and Policing Purpose.

Click here for more information about our Policing Strategy.

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Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics defines the ethical behaviour expected of Police Officers, staff and volunteers, which are derived from attitudes, knowledge and beliefs. The nine policing principles (see below) serve to guide behaviour and shape policing culture, they are crucial to maintaining and enhancing public confidence in policing.

We have a values-based culture where officers and staff are empowered to make decisions in line with the values of the Force; ‘Fairness, Integrity and Respect’. In all that we do, we work to the Code of Ethics, which sets out the principles and standards of behaviour that promote, reinforce and support the highest standards of policing.

The nine policing principles are:

  • Accountability
     
  • Leadership
     
  • Objectivity
     
  • Openness
     
  • Integrity
     
  • Respect
     
  • Fairness
     
  • Selflessness
     
  • Honesty

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Standards of Professional Behaviour

The ten standards of professional behaviour are:

Honesty and integrity
I will be honest and act with integrity at all times, and will not compromise or abuse my position.

Authority, respect and courtesy
I will act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. I will use my powers and authority lawfully and proportionately, and will respect the rights of individuals.

Equality and diversity
I will act with fairness and impartiality. Will not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.

Use of Force
I will only use force as part of my role/responsibilities, and only to the extent that is necessary/proportionate/reasonable in all circumstances.

Orders and instructions
I will, as a Police Officer, give and carry out lawful orders only, and will abide by Police Regulations. I will give reasonable instructions only, and will follow all reasonable instructions.

Duties and responsibilities
I will be diligent in the exercise of my duties and responsibilities.

Confidentiality
I will treat information with respect, and access or disclose it only in the proper course of my duties.

Fitness for work
I will ensure when on duty or at work, that I am fit to carry out my responsibilities.

Conduct
I will behave in a manner, whether on or off duty, which does not bring disgrace on the police service or undermine public confidence in policing.

Challenging and reporting improper behaviour
I will report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour.

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Districts and Departments

West Yorkshire Police is made up of a number of districts & departments which offer a wide range of roles, for both Police Officers, staff and volunteers.

Policing Districts:

  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • Leeds
  • Wakefield

Operational Departments:

  • Counter Terrorism Policing North East
  • National Police Air Service
  • Operational Support
  • Protective Services Crime
  • Regional Crime
  • Regional Scientific Support Services

 

Directorates:

  • Assets and Logistics
  • Chief Officer Team
  • Corporate Services
  • Digital Policing
  • Finance and Commercial Services
  • People
  • Professional Standards Department

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Police Rank Structure

All ranks from Constable though to Chief Superintendent may be preceded by Detective, this indicates that the individual has undergone additional training to attain accreditation and typically operates within the Force’s Crime function, conducting investigations across each of the five districts.


Constable (PC/DC)
Entry-level Police Officer rank and makes up the majority of the Police Officer workforce within West Yorkshire Police, typically responding to operations policing matters, though may perform in other business functions.


Sergeant (PS/DS)
First line management role within the policing ranks, as above typically responding to operational policing matters, though may on occasion perform in other business functions. This rank has the additional responsibility of shift supervision.


Inspector (Insp.)
Second line management role within the policing ranks, managing teams of Sergeants and/or portfolio areas. Typically plan, manage and monitor operational policing activity.

 

Chief Inspector (CI)
First Senior Leadership Team post within West Yorkshire Police, managing teams of officers and staff, with responsibility for a specific portfolio area. Typically manage specialist policing functions.


Superintendent (Supt.)
Senior Leadership Team position, responsibility for leading on complex areas of command within the Force, supporting collaboration and partnerships. Critical role in operational policing.

 

Chief Superintendent (C/Supt.)
As Superintendent, although this rank is the most senior Police Officer in Districts and Operational Policing directorates, often referred to as Commanders.


Assistant Chief Constable (ACC)
Member of the Chief Officer Team contributes and creates the vision of the Force as ACC. Holding direct operational accountability for policing response to crime and major incidents.

 

Deputy Chief Constable (DCC)
Supports the Chief Constable in leading the Force, contributes to the vision of the Force as DCC. Holding direct operational accountability for policing response to crime and major incidents.


Chief Constable (CC)
The most senior role within policing, leading the Force and setting the direction of travel for the organisation in partnership with other Chief Officer Team members.

Responsible for influencing the development of national policing initiatives to set the standard across policing nationally.

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Shifts

Dependent on your role, there are several different working shift patterns, some which repeat every three or ten weeks.

Flexi/part-time options may be available (depending on role/department).

Most police staff roles and some Police Officer support roles work Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.

Neighbourhood Officers, CID / Safeguarding Officers and PCSOs work the VSA shift pattern. This is a three week rota covering seven days a week, on early and late shifts. This will include Bank Holidays.

Response Officers, Detention Officers and Contact Management Staff work the FSDR shift pattern. This is a ten week rota, covering seven days a week, on early, late and night shifts. This will include Bank Holidays.

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Student Officer Training

There is currently one entry route to train to become a Police Officer:

More information can be found on the Police Officer section of the West Yorkshire Police website – www.westyorkshire.police.uk/joinus

The training programme is fully timetabled, with set annual leave periods. You may not be able to take additional leave during the first 12 months of your training.

All student officers will need to complete a two or three year probation period, depending on their entry route. During this period you will be assessed based on attendance, behaviour, operational performance and completion of academic assessments (where appropriate).


PC Abdul Rahman (PCDA Student Officer)

"Deciding to become a Police Officer is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Of course, some parts of policing can be challenging at times, but by focusing on serving the public, I know I can play my part in having a positive impact on my community, which feels incredibly rewarding.

"Being a Police Officer is much more than ‘locking up the bad guys’, the role is vast and varies day to day. I particularly enjoy going to jobs where I can use a range of skills, such as cases involving mental health issues where people are struggling and I can get them the support they need."


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Health and Fitness

The fitness test involves a multi-stage shuttle run, also known as the ‘bleep test’, which is a physical test of your aerobic capacity (stamina). It involves running between two points that are 15 metres apart (a “shuttle”) and should take a total of 3.5 minutes. The pace of each shuttle is synchronised with a pre-recorded audio tape that bleeps at set intervals - and speeds up during the test. The idea is to reach the other side before the next bleep. Some people worry about not being fit enough to pass the test but, as long as you’re reasonably fit and have prepared enough in advance, you should be fine. The required pass mark is to run to level 5.4.

Police Officers need to maintain a reasonable level of fitness to do their job well. Therefore, further fitness tests will take place throughout your basic training and then as part of yearly officer safety training.

Top Tips

  1. Don’t start training the week before the test! We’d recommend training up to six weeks before the test.
  2. If you’ve not exercised regularly in the past, seek medical advice before starting your training. Start slowly and build up the length and intensity of your sessions.
  3. Always warm up and stretch before exercising. And don’t forget to cool down properly.
  4. Build in toning and strengthening exercises to the end of your runs, e.g. press-ups and crunches. They’ll really help increase your overall fitness.
  5. Don’t forget to keep your fluid levels up as you train.
  6. Practice sessions are available through the Positive Action Team.

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Police Officer Roles

There are a number of roles and specialisms that you can undertake once you have completed your probationary training period. Below are a number of different Police Officer roles with brief descriptions of some of the day-to-day actions they carry out;

Response Officer

  • Full time: Average 40 hours per week on FSDR shift pattern.
     
  • A first responder to urgent 999 and other non-urgent calls.
     
  • Attend and investigate all incident types – volume crime, neighbourhood issues and serious violent/sexual crimes.
     
  • Gather evidence: speaking with victims and witnesses, guard scenes, arrest suspects and interview volume crime offenders. Carry out searches, recording all types of crime.
     
  • Preparation of case files and attendance at court.

CID / Safeguarding / Detective Officer

  • Full time: Average 40 hours per week on VSA shift pattern
     
  • Complete the NIE (National Investigators Examination) and work-based assessments to become an accredited investigator.
     
  • Investigation of serious offences relating to violence, drugs, sexual offences, offences against children, serious theft offences such as robbery and burglary.
     
  • Interview victims & witnesses to achieve best evidence.
     
  • Interview suspects, prepare detailed case files, manage disclosure of evidence and attend court to give evidence.

Neighbourhood Officer

  • Full time: Average 40 hours per week on VSA shift pattern.
     
  • Working within smaller designated ward areas attending neighbourhood related incidents, investigating crime such as ASB, damage and public order.
     
  • Long term problem solving and investigation, execution of warrants in relation to drugs production and supply.
     
  • Preparation of case files and attendance at court.
     
  • Work collaboratively with partner agencies.

Operational Support / Specialised Investigation Teams

  • Full time: Average 40 hours per week. Shift pattern determined by role and business need.
     
  • Aligned to an operational department depending on role, some may include; Firearms, Dogs/Mounted Section, Counter Terrorism, Regional Organised Crime, Homicide & Major Enquiry Team. etc.
     
  • Serious criminal investigations.

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Police Staff

Across the Force, there are over 700 different police staff roles.

In West Yorkshire Police, our Police Officers, staff and volunteers work daily to make a difference in people’s lives, showing courage, determination, teamwork, and compassion. Across the Force, there are over 700 different Police staff roles.

There are a wide range of career opportunities, including forensic roles, Police Staff Investigators, Detention Officers and Police Community Support Officers, as well as call handlers, analysts, data and information roles, researchers, and legal professionals.

You may be unaware that you possess the skills we need. Your transferable skills could really benefit our organisation and we are keen to attract individuals with wide ranging experience and expertise .

Alternatively, you may be seeking a new challenge, and the opportunity to achieve a more fulfilling career. There are many staff roles which can offer varying levels of flexibility and options to develop yourself by moving within departments across the Force.

Here are some examples of staff roles:

  • Detention Officers
  • Police Community Support Officers
  • Researchers
  • Analysts
  • Force Solicitors
  • People Services Officers
  • Surveillance Planning Officers
  • Coroners Officers
  • Video Editors
  • Counter Fraud Co-ordinators
  • Performance Managers
  • Crime Scene Investigators

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Police Staff Entry Requirements and Scales

Entry level roles typically commence on Scales 1-6 at a starting salary of £20,490-£28,530 (role dependent). Specialised roles may require a degree, however many entry level ones do not.

If you develop through your career and gain an increase in seniority, you may progress through roles at Senior Officer (SO) grades, with a starting salary of £31,434. Principal Officer  (PO)  roles  have  a  starting  salary  of £35,223 and Executive Officer (EO) roles have a starting salary of £59,903.

*salaries correct as of March 2023

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Police Staff Roles

Police Community Support Officer:

  • Working within smaller designated ward areas, carrying out patrols, attending neighbourhood related incidents, and providing reassurance to victims of theft offences, ASB, damage and public order.
     
  • Being the first contact people have with the Police.
     
  • Working with Police Officers, partner agencies and communities to gather, record and share information to tackle long term problems.
     
  • Works the VSA shift pattern.

Contact Management

  • Being part of a team responding to non- emergency and 999 calls and online contacts.
     
  • Accurately identifying and logging vital information.
     
  • Deploying Officers to live incidents.
     
  • Works the FSDR shift pattern.

Crime Scene Investigators and Digital Forensic Roles

  • Gathering photographic evidence or physical samples from the scene, such as weapons, fingerprints, clothing, or biological evidence.
     
  • Attending court to give evidence as part of a trial process.
     
  • Recovering any deleted or hidden data from digital devices.

Data and Information Officers

  • Use of computers to interpret data.
     
  • Clear and concise presentation of analysis.
     
  • Researching and analysing/evaluating information.
     

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Dress Code

As a public service, it is important that West Yorkshire Police portrays an image which instils confidence, credibility and respect in the public we serve. No member of the public should be made to feel uncomfortable or threatened by the dress or appearance of an employee or volunteer of the Force. This also extends to presenting a professional image to colleagues and other organisations.

We welcome and accept all styles and recognise the unique differences of hair. Workplace adjustments may be required to suit hair, such as afro styles, dreadlocks, and protective styles. Hair dyes of any colour may be used, however this is restricted to a single colour.

Tattoos are not a bar to appointment. However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues or could bring discredit to the Police Service. Therefore, visible tattoos on hands and neck will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Police staff member on the left in a suit, and three police officers all in uniform demonstrating standards of dress required

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Vetting

What does vetting mean?

We will carry out security checks on you and your:

  • Spouse/Partner
  • Father/Stepfather/Mother’s partner
  • Mother/Stepmother/Father’s partner
  • Brothers/Sisters (full/half/step)
  • Children/Children of your partner (only those aged 10 years and over)
  • Any other adult living at your address
  • Financial circumstances
  • Social media accounts

What if I have a relative who has convictions?

If your friends or family members have criminal convictions, you must disclose this when asked on your vetting application. Your application will not be automatically rejected and consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis.

 

Can I still apply if I have a criminal record?

Applications will be rejected in all cases where:

  • Offences were committed as an adult or juvenile which resulted in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offenders’ institution or community home) or
  • The applicant is a registered sex offender or is subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction. For all other convictions or cautions, there is a presumption that they should be rejected. In particular, the following would result in rejection: offences where vulnerable people were targeted; offences motivated by hate or discrimination; domestic abuse offences.

 

Do I have to declare if I was arrested but not charged?

Yes. You must declare if you have ever been subject to a criminal investigation whether or not this led to a prosecution. Failure to make such declarations will lead to your application being rejected.

 

What if I’ve been bankrupt before?

You can still apply but only if it is three years after bankruptcy debts have been discharged. How about County Court Judgments (CCJ)? If the judgment has been discharged then you can be considered, however if you have an existing judgment your application will be unsuccessful.

Read our Vetting Frequently Asked Questions here.

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Police Staff Unions

Police Staff Unions help and support members who face challenges at work. Unions negotiate pay and conditions; campaigning on behalf of employees to protect jobs, services, health & safety and equalities.

The Police Staff Unions at West Yorkshire Police are Unison and GMB.

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Police Federation

The Police Federation is the staff association for Police Officers from the rank of Constable to Chief Inspector, and Special Constables.

Subscribing members receive support and advice from colleagues elected as workplace representatives and trained to offer guidance on police regulations and other issues affecting Officers.

Federation benefits include financial advice, healthcare, discounts on mortgages, legal assistance, will writing services, group accident insurance which includes travel insurance and many other benefits. You will also find discounts on clothes, food, holidays and many more. Find out more at www.polfed.org

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Pensions

There are pension options available to Officers and staff. A pension scheme is a plan or arrangement to help save for retirement. Planning for the future is important. It will provide a regular monthly income during your retirement and is payable for the rest of your life.

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Benefits

There are a wide range of benefits available to those employed by West Yorkshire Police for Police Officers, staff and volunteers. Benefits include access to discounts, health care, savings, and cash back rewards.

  • Blue Light Card
    The Blue Light Card provides discounts online and on the high street. The card costs £4.99 for a two year membership.
    www.bluelightcard.co.uk
     
  • Company Shop
    The Company Shop provides members with vital access to heavily discounted foods, building stronger individuals and more confident communities.
    www.companyshopgroup.co.uk

There are also opportunities for:

  • Hybrid working and various flexible working arrangements, such job share and part-time (role dependent).
     
  • Career development, training and progression.
     
  • Opportunities to join various support networks and sports clubs.
     
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave and potential for a career break (after one year’s continuous service).

Find out more about our range of benefits here.

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Wellbeing

West Yorkshire Police cares about your health and wellbeing, this page details the different provisions offered by the Force, who you can speak to and where to access support when you need it.

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential service that provides employees and Officers with support 24/7, 365 days a year.

Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) is a provision used to support colleagues that have been involved in, read about, listened to, viewed, or witnessed a traumatic event, incident or situation.

The Occupational Health Team is a service of doctors, nurses and administrative support, providing support to staff, offering expertise on a comprehensive range of health and wellbeing issues, focusing on the promotion of positive and proactive approaches to health and wellbeing for all.

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Networks

Our staff networks will support a fairer and more diverse workplace for everyone.

The following networks operate within West Yorkshire Police:

  • Association of Muslim Police
     
  • British Association for Women in Policing
     
  • Black Police Association
     
  • Christian Police Association
     
  • LGBT Network
     
  • Jewish Police Association
     
  • Disabled Police Association
     
  • Hindu Police Association
     
  • Sikh Association
     
  • Green Police Network
     
  • Chaplaincy