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'Am I too short to be an officer?' Force campaign aims to dispel myths

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is launching a new campaign to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions around what it takes to become a police officer.
Published - 01/11/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

Fitness, age, height and disabilities are common issues that concern people considering a career as an officer, the force said, so the campaign will feature case studies of successful new recruits who previously thought it would hold them back.

PC Megan Gwynne, who passed out in the summer, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth and then as a teenager developed cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

She worried she wouldn’t have the strength to be an officer.

PC Gywnne said: “I had some reservations because I am only 5’1” and didn’t know whether I would be big or strong enough to effectively handle conflict and violent situations.

“I was also hesitant about whether I would be accepted through the medical assessment, however, this proved to be nothing to worry about.

“There are loads of women on shift who are my size and even smaller so there are no limits. If you believe you can do it I think it’s definitely something you can achieve. There is a place for everyone within policing and I think it’s important to have diversity and people from all different backgrounds.

“Also, if you have a disability you shouldn’t shy away from applying. Each person is assessed on an individual basis and I was supported with my medical condition when I worked as a detention officer and throughout the application stage for police officer.”

Some Frequently Asked Questions were am I too short, too old or too unfit?

The force has assured candidates there are no height restrictions, they welcome applications from more experienced candidates and the bleep test is “achievable for most people”.

Another one was can I be a police officer if I am dyslexic?

“Absolutely, we have many officers who are dyslexic and they are brilliant officers. We will ensure as soon as you arrive you have the support and adjustments you require.” 

The campaign will also aims to increase people’s knowledge of the various routes into policing now available under the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), like the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) and the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) which opened again today (1 November).

IPLDP has now closed for new applications.

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