Constables play a critical front-line role in the prevention and detection of crime and the criminal justice system. Constables work in partnership on a day-to-day basis with local communities, stakeholders and colleagues in order to promote law and order, reduce the fear of crime, provide reassurance and build confidence to improve the quality of life for citizens.
This role carries legal powers to enable the maintenance of law and order and bears responsibility for making autonomous decisions in accordance with the National Decision Model and Code of Ethics, exercising professional discretion, as appropriate to the role, in line with legal frameworks and policy guidelines.
Constables are required to meet and maintain the highest professional standards required of their role, by conducting all actions in a legal, balanced, proportionate and justifiable manner to uphold the law and achieve the best outcomes in a wide range of situations/incidents.
- Provide appropriate initial and ongoing frontline response to a wide range of incidents that may include complex and confrontational situations, assessing immediate risk, threat and harm to determine a proportionate response in line with the law, policy and guidance.
- Take a leading role in establishing effective localised partnerships to problem solve, engage with, reassure and support organisations, groups and individuals across communities in line with the Force’s planned approach.
- Effectively engage with victims, witnesses, suspects and the vulnerable, in accordance with equality, diversity and human rights considerations, to provide initial support, direct towards relevant services, establish relationships and gather information that prevents and reduces crimes.
- Maintain awareness of potential and actual risks to individuals, taking appropriate action to protect and support those in need of public protection to pre-empt or effectively address safety / vulnerability issues.
- Conduct effective and efficient priority and high-volume investigations as requested in line with standards of investigation to inform the development of high quality case files and initiation of criminal justice proceedings.
- Gather and handle information, intelligence, and evidence, from a variety of sources, in line with legislation, policies and guidance, taking the appropriate action to support investigations, law enforcement and criminal justice proceedings.
- Interview victims, witnesses and suspects in relation to appropriate crimes and investigations, to gather information that has the potential to support law enforcement objectives.
- Conduct first line analysis of information, intelligence and evidence to determine significance, generate lines of enquiry, inform decision making and support evidence based policing.
- Justify and professionally account for actions to ensure adherence to legal frameworks and key working principles, policies and guidance.
- Identify opportunities for and support the exploration of new ways of working and innovation in policing, applying critical thinking and problem solving methodologies to identify solutions to problems in line with evidence based practice within area of work.
- Support the implementation of problem solving and evidence based policing initiatives by championing and applying relevant methodologies and approaches to area of work.
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:
- Typically, a PC is likely to have achieved a Level 3 qualification (or equivalent) prior to entry.
- Completed mandatory assessments on recruitment.
Policing Education and Qualification Framework (PEQF):
Forces are implementing the new entry routes into policing which require new entrants to work towards and achieve (or to already hold) a Level 6 qualification. This will be via one of the new entry route options: a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, Degree-Holder Entry Programme or a Pre-join Professional Policing Degree.
A version of the IPLDP will remain in place for use by some forces for a short period of time (to mid-2021) as part of the transition to the new entry routes into policing, after which it will be replaced by the three new entry routes only.
- Able to develop a deep knowledge and understanding of a local community including society composition, the needs of the vulnerable and local safety issues.
- Strong communication skills with the ability to set out logical arguments clearly and adapt language, form and message to meet the needs of different people/ audiences.
- Good team working skills demonstrating awareness of individual differences and providing support as required.
- Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders, understanding their needs and concerns.
- Able to identify the drivers of behaviour, acting with discretion and emotional intelligence to manage conflict and defuse difficult situations.
- Problem solving skills with the ability to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes as well as manage impacts.
- Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.
- Able to critically question and identify potential opportunities to enhance efficiency and/or effectiveness within own area of work.
- Able to identify, analyse and manage risk to inform balanced, proportionate, evidence based decisions.
- Able to review and reflect on own performance objectively and to take steps to maintain and enhance competence and professional standards appropriate to the role.
- Good time management skills with the able to appropriately prioritise and plan own work.
- Skilled in the use of standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.
- Skilled in applying personal safety tactics, including the use of equipment and restraints.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Maintain an up to date understanding of Police Regulations and College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context.
- Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to criminology, legislation, policy and practice across all functional policing areas of operational policing.
- Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving, test and synthesise these into working practice, championing innovation and changes to practice.
- Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.
- Complete all annual and mandatory training.
Links to other Profiles
Specialist Constable roles, for example:
- Roads Policing Constable
- Response Constable
- Detective Constable
Please note this list is not exhaustive.