1. Overview

Please note

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Traditionally, you’d need police experience to become a detective constable. However, we’re now giving people the chance to join directly into the role. It’s a huge change, and we’re the first police service in the country to offer this exciting opportunity.

It’s also a real challenge, but we are sure, you’ll find it’s incredibly rewarding, as you help make London safer, serve our local communities, and strive to achieve the right outcome for victims and their families. The pages within this section will outline the responsibilities, pay, benefits and training that you’ll receive and provide details on how to apply.

Detective constables are vital to investigations. In this interesting and exciting role, you will be working on varied investigations, which could include serious assaults, domestic violence, fraud, burglary, robbery and knife crime. You could be working to safeguard a child or adult and you could be pushing a case through the courts, ensuring that you get the right outcomes for the victim’s family and making your community safer.

Being a detective is all about uncovering the truth, while identifying and managing any risks. You’ll do this by analysing evidence, talking to witnesses and building trust within the community. You will talk to lots of different people, and have the compassion and skills to deal with difficult situations.

Trainee detective constable

As a trainee detective constable, you will start a two years’ probationary period with 18 weeks intensive training. Your training will include familiarisation visits to operational police buildings and later working within a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and safeguarding teams – putting your initial learning into practice - before being assigned to a borough where you’ll continue to develop the skills and knowledge required to become a detective constable.

You will be required to complete the National Investigators Exam and Detective training course and continue to work towards becoming a substantive detective constable. All of this will be achieved within your first two years, after which you will be successfully confirmed within the rank of constable.

You’ll be based on a borough team, either within a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or a safeguarding team. To begin with, you’ll handle volume and priority crimes (burglary, domestic abuse, hate crime), before moving onto Serious & Complex Crime, such as serious sexual assaults, serious violence and complex fraud. These are just some of the offences you could be dealing with as a trainee detective constable.

Every case means planning investigations, gathering evidence, interviewing suspects and securing victim and witness statements. You’ll then work towards securing charges, preparing case files and handle court proceedings – all while learning about key legislation. These will be your cases and you will take them from start to finish and will be pivotal in determining the outcome. 

Although you’ll be responsible for investigations, you’ll also be part of a broader team. You’ll have the chance to work alongside and learn from experienced detective constables.