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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Is it possible to become a police officer if you have a criminal record?

Over the last few years, the rules regarding eligibility to become a police officer have been slightly relaxed. However, there are still strict entry requirements and some convictions/caution will result in your application being immediately rejected whilst others will be considered on a case by case basis.

We have published some new information which sets out how your criminal record might affect your application to join the police.

If you have a criminal record and were accepted to become a police officer, we’re keen to hear from you and share your story anonymously. Email us at


For more information

  1. For practical self-help information  – More information on this can be found on our looking for (and keeping) employment and volunteering section
  2. To discuss this issue with others – Read and share your experiences on our online forum – specific occupations and professions
  3. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact the helpline.


Add Comment
  1. I have had a checkered past when I was younger. I have been out of trouble for over 10 years I’m a family man just looking to better myself

  2. I have some mild cases as a youngster common assault, theft, criminal damage all being in care offences will this affect my ability to join the police I want to join the police and help in the community

  3. I have a criminal record for stealing I was given a conditional discharge, it was over 30 years ago can I still apply?

  4. I got a fraud conviction 6 years ago, (I was 19 when I actually committed the crime) but was so complex it took a while it is spent on paper 13th June 24. I am now about to graduate in May 2023 with a BSc in Forensic Psychology and looking to do my Masters in Criminal psychology! Got a glowing recommendation from the Direct of Forensics, and will be submitting me application to the police in a couple of days! Turned my negative into a huge positive: anyone can do it!

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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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