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Officers really are getting younger as recruitment age lowered to 17

Officer recruitment age has been cut to 17-years-old to allow recruits to apply for the apprenticeship scheme.
Published - 22/10/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

An amendment to the Police Regulations 2020 has lowered the recruitment age from 18 to 17 years old.

Recruits will not however be able to start in the role until they turn 18.

New recruitment guidance states: “Candidates aged 17 and above may apply to become a police officer and may take up appointment on reaching the age of 18 or above, if successful.”

John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, said the Federation were only made aware of the change through this morning’s press. It had apparently not been previously raised with the Fed, “sadly not the first time”, said Mr Apter.

He tweeted: “From what I understand this is to allow recruits to apply for the apprenticeship scheme, they won’t be policing any sooner but able to get onto the scheme.

“If so, makes sense. Just would have been good to have been consulted with!”

A College of Policing spokesperson said: "Reducing the age you can apply to be a police officer from 18 to 17 means the police service is able to attract people from the biggest possible pool of applicants at a time when it is looking to bring in unprecedented number of new officers.

“The restriction on 17-year-olds applying meant the service was at a disadvantage compared to other employers in England and Wales and was losing out on good potential candidates to other careers and professions.

“A number of forces requested this change to support their ongoing recruitment campaigns so the College of Policing and Police Uplift Programme worked to request the update to Police Regulations to widen access to policing whilst maintaining standards."

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