Metropolitan Police will allow constables to join part-time in bid to boost female officer numbers

The Metropolitan Police has announced that police constable recruits will be able to join the service on a part-time basis, becoming the first force in the UK to make such roles available.

From November, the Met will allow new recruits to complete their training doing part-time hours before hitting the streets of London on a permanent, part-time basis.

The force hopes it will make the role more attractive to those considering a career in policing who feel unable to work full-time because of family or other commitments.

Research conducted by the force has shown long working hours is one reason people feel a police constable role was not for them, and this feedback was particularly high among women.

The opportunity is open to both men and women, however, and applicants will soon be able to select from a full-time role doing 40 hours a week, part-time doing 24 hours a week, or part-time doing 16 hours a week.

The new scheme was born out of the Met’s celebrations recognising the contribution of women to the service over the last 100 years, and its ambition to create a force in which men and women are equally represented.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “The case for doing this was clear – we know that one of the obstacles stopping some people from fulfilling their dream of becoming a police officer has been the lack of flexibility in how they have to train and balance their family life.

“We will continue to break down barriers where we know they exist, as we strive to open up a career in policing with the Met to even more people. Policing really is a fantastic and rewarding career so if you want to join us – sign up now.”

Until now, all new police constable recruits were expected to complete their training and then their probationary training period on a full-time basis before they were able to apply for part-time working.

Now new recruits will be able to opt into alternative working patterns from start of their training. The offer will see students forming a part-time cohort twice a year, attending a four-day foundation course over a 17-week period.

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Commander Catherine Roper, in charge of professionalism at Scotland Yard, said: “I am thrilled that the Met is now able to offer this opportunity. Many people wish to join our incredible organisation but have other responsibilities that make a full-time commitment extremely difficult.

“We hope that offering the opportunity to both train and work on a part-time basis may help more people choose policing as a career.”

The first intake of constables will begin training in November and these officers will be posted to one of 12 command units across London. The Met said it would match working hours to demand so there will be no impact on the ability to respond to demands on the force.

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