Am I eligible?

Below is a summary of the basic eligibility criteria to apply to be a Special Constable with us…


There is no formal educational requirement, but you will be required to pass written tests.


To apply to the you must be at least 17 years old. There is no upper limit.


You must be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Commonwealth citizens and other foreign nationals are also eligible but only if they are resident in the UK free of restrictions. If you have recently resided abroad we need to be able to check your previous three years (including employment, education and/or residency).

Membership of political and other organisations

The Police Service strictly prohibits any of their officers or staff from becoming members of organisations whose aims and objectives may contradict the duty to promote race equality, e.g. the BNP, National Front or Combat 18. If you are, or have been, a member of such an organisation you are not eligible to apply.

Police officers and Special Constables are not permitted to take an active part in politics.

Criminal convictions

Convictions or cautions will not necessarily preclude you from appointment. It will depend on their nature and the circumstances of the offence. However, failure to disclose convictions or cautions will result in your application being refused.

Business interests

Certain occupations may prevent applicants from being Special Constables. For example neighbourhood and street wardens, and those involved in the administration of the law. Other roles which are precluded include security occupations which hold a security industry association (SIA) licence.

Health, fitness, eyesight and disability

Applicants must be in good health and able both physically and mentally to perform the duties of a Special Constable once appointed. You will need to be physically fit and able to pass the job related fitness test (standard bleep test). Take a look at the film below that gives you a taste of what the test involves.

You will also undergo a medical screening, and need to meet the minimum eyesight standards for corrected (glasses or contact lenses) and uncorrected vision. will also undergo a hearing test and a review of your Body Mass Index (BMI must be at least 18 and no more than 30).


Having tattoos are not a barrier to being a Special Constable. However, some tattoos could potentially offend members of the public or colleagues, or could bring discredit to the police service. If you have tattoos on your face, neck, forearms or hands you will be asked to provide at least two photographs of each tattoo.

Tattoos are unacceptable if they:

  • undermine the dignity and authority of the office of constable;
  • could cause offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation;
  • are garish or numerous or particularly prominent;
  • indicate unacceptable attitudes towards women, minority groups or any other section of the community;
  • indicate alignment with a particular group that could give offence to members of the public or colleagues and/or are considered to be discriminatory, rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating.

Financial position

Special Constables are in a privileged position with regard to access to information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants to the police service should not therefore be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities, and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly. Debts which are within your means and manageable, such as mortgages and student loans are not a bar to appointment.

Applicants who have existing County Court judgements outstanding against then or have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have not been discharged will not be considered.

Applicants who have discharged County Court judgements may be considered.

Applicants who have been registered as bankrupt and their bankruptcy debts have been discharged will only be considered after three years from discharge of the debt.

Applicants who are the subject of a current individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) may not be considered.