Britain’s largest police force is to allow police constable recruits to work on a part-time basis, in a bid to attract more women into roles.
From November, the Metropolitan Police will allow trainee recruits to take up part time hours, before joining the force on permanent, part-time contracts in what is believed to be a UK first.
The force hopes it will attract people who want a career in policing, but feel unable to pursue it because of family or other commitments.
It follows research by the Met, which found that working hours was one factor which put people off applying for police constable roles, especially among women.
The scheme, open to women and men, is part of the Met’s celebrations to recognise the contribution of women to the service over the last 100 years.
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.”
Students will also have the option to train full-time, or on a bespoke part-time training offer, eventually working either 40, 24, or 16 hours a week.
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
The Met says the scheme will not impact policing demands across the capital.
Before this, all new police constable recruits were expected to complete their training and then their probationary training period on a full-time basis before applying for part-time working.
New recruits can now choose part-time working patterns from the point of application.
Commander Catherine Roper 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.”