Flexibility is one of the main reasons women refrain from joining the police force, but news of the first ever part time roles changes things.
There are many reasons why a lot of women can only work part-time, especially if a woman is a mother, carer or lives with a disability or a mental health condition.
So, what steps are being done to support part-time working?
Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards winner Cressida Dick, the first female Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, has announced news that will make it easier for women to join the police. From November, new police constable recruits will be able to join the service in a part time role.
These new recruits will be able to complete their police training part time before continuing to hit the streets of London in a part time role.
The Met believes it is the first police service in the UK to make this offer and hopes that it will make the role more attractive to those who may consider a career in policing but felt unable to because of family or other commitments.
Research conducted by the Met has also shown that working hours was one reason people felt a police constable role was not for them – this was particularly high for women.
The scheme was born out of the Met’s celebrations to recognise the contribution of women over the last 100 years. However, the opportunity is open to both men and women, and it is hoped that it will help achieve the Commissioner’s long term ambition of a Metropolitan Police Service in which is men and women are equally represented.
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 – then sign up now.”
Until now, all new police constable recruits were expected to complete their training, and then their probationary training period on a full time basis before they were able to apply for part time working. Now new recruits will be able to opt into alternative working patterns from the point of application.
The first intake of constables will begin training in November and these officers will be posted to one of the Met’s 12 Command Units across London.
Part time working includes weekend, bank holidays and all the shifts. The Met will carefully match working hours to demand so there will be no impact on the ability to respond to the many demands in London.
The working patterns available are:
- Full time (working 40 hours per week and earning a base salary of £30,372)
- Part-time officers working an average of 24 hours per week or 240 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £18,223)
- Part-time officer working an average of 16 hours per week or 160 hours over the 10-week cycle (earning a base salary of £13,149)