Marine Officer Coxswain

Job Family Operational Support
Job Sub Family Specialists Operations
Code OPS-SPOP-TL-Marine Officer Coxswain v1.0

Role Purpose

To command a police boat, enabling the achievement of operational policing objectives and ensuring the safety of the boat, its passengers and crew and the public.

Key Accountabilities

  • Plan marine police operations and employ approved tactics and methods that are consistent with the capabilities of the vessel and crew, mitigate known or anticipated risks, and are authorised if necessary to meet the policing objectives.
  • Carry out pre-deployment checks of the vessel, its equipment and crew; to ensure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly and that the vessel is appropriately equipped and crewed to fulfil the needs of the operation.
  • Oversee all crew members, assigning duties to them in line with their competence and ensuring that each understands and carries out their assigned duties to the required standard to ensure the safe running of the vessel.
  • Ensure that all persons on board are briefed on the stowage and use of personal safety equipment such as lifejackets, thermal protective aids and lifebuoys, and the procedures to be followed in cases of emergency to ensure the safety of all aboard the vessel.
  • Evaluate the meteorological conditions prior to leaving harbour to make a risk-based decision on whether to deploy the vessel.
  • Identify emerging risks and issues during the operation and take appropriate action to mitigate or resolve these whilst ensuring the safety of the vessel, other craft in the vicinity, and all persons on board to complete the operation where possible
  • Operate the vessel in relation to speed and manoeuvring in a manner that is consistent with achieving operational objectives whilst having appropriate regard to the wellbeing of persons on board to ensure the safe and successful outcome of operational objectives.
  • Maintain logs, risk assessments and other records, and file reports; to comply with statutory regulations and force policies.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:

  • As a minimum, hold a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Advanced Powerboat Certificate with skills commercially endorsed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). All Certificates and Licenses of Competency or Service are to be appropriate to the type of vessel in which they are used (in accordance with PCB3).
  • All crew helming on Police vessels must be able to demonstrate competency in Police Boat Handling in line with the ‘Practice Advice for Tactics and Procedures Used in Marine Policing’.
  • Holds a RYA or equivalent Basic Sea Survival Certificate.
  • Holds a VHF Radio Operator’s Certificate suitable for the radio equipment on board.
  • Holds an in-date police First Aid certificate.


  • Able to identify key stakeholders, understand their roles, and to take appropriate steps to understand and respond to their needs and concerns.
  • Able to seek out and identify a range of information to identify patterns, trends and options, to solve multifaceted and complex problems.
  • Able to communicate clearly and concisely to crew, passengers and shore personnel at all times, including during operations.
  • Skilled in delegating to crew, monitoring performance, assessing progress, identifying emerging risks, issues and opportunities, and taking corrective steps as required to ensure that the right results are achieved.
  • Able to motivate a team and create strong engagement of individuals with the operational plan.
  • Able to identify exceptional situations that merit recognition and to take appropriate action.
  • Able to identify situations that require disciplinary action and to respond appropriately.
  • Able to write concise reports or other documents.
  • Skilled in the use of use standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.
  • Able to use resources efficiently in own role and to comply with financial rules and procedures.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Police Coxswains must complete a minimum 30 days a year on a Police Vessel to maintain their MCA endorsement.
  • No Marine Police Officer can have more than 6 months (183 days) of continued inactivity within their defined role.
  • Every Marine Police Officer must annually complete a minimum of 2 days CPD training in Marine Police Tactics relevant to their role.
  • Complete the Police Marine Officer Demonstration of Water Competence annually.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Not applicable.

Links to other Profiles

Marine Officer 2nd Coxswain.

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