We appreciate that it is not always easy to get an idea of what a job is really like before you apply for it. To help you understand what the job of a constable is like, we have interviewed a number of recent recruits talking about their experiences of working for the PSNI. We hope that you find these helpful in making the decision to apply.
We met Nicola, a constable working in the Police Service of Northern Ireland – I work in the Local Policing Team which incorporates attending emergency calls and solving neighbourhood issues.
Why did you want to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland?
I’ve always wanted to be a Police Officer, since I was a little girl. The variety and diversity within the career is what really attracted me to it. There are so many career options available to you, from working in specialist teams such as Public Protection roles, through to being on the front line in a Tactical Support Group (TSG)
Did you consider applying to join other forces?
I thought about it, but I love Northern Ireland, and would have only been leaving if I couldn’t get into the PSNI. Once I knew I was through the recruitment process, the choice was easy!
Has the role met your expectations?
Yes, definitely. The day-to-day job is what I expected. There’s a lot of challenging situations we have to deal with. I hope to go on and eventually become a Detective. I love the idea of working in Crime Operations as part of the murder investigation team.
Tell us about a typical day…
There’s no such thing as a typical day for us. We can be out and about in the community, taking witness statements, or spend an entire shift in hospital accompanying a person who has a mental health issue. That can be challenging, but it’s our job to make sure that people in the community are safe.
We’re currently having a number of issues with Anti-social behaviour in our area. As a female officer, I find that my first instinct is to try to talk to people and reason with them, but often people who have used these substances can’t really be talked to, and we have to restrain them, for their own safety.
What’s your favourite aspect of the job?
I love the public order training. Putting on your public protection equipment and learning how to respond in a controlled manner is a real learning curve! It’s really challenging, but a lot of fun too.
How would you advise candidates who are thinking of applying? What sort of skills does a Police Officer need to have?
The key thing is that you need to be able to communicate with people. Before I joined the police I had a lot of experience talking to customers and this really stood me in good stead. I had worked in customer services in the retail and hospitality industry which developed my problem solving and resilience skills. We meet so many people, from different backgrounds and with different perceptions of the Police. You need to be able to talk to a wide range of people. For me, that’s one of the most important skills a police officer can have. We often find that we can diffuse a difficult situation by talking to people, rather than having to restrain them, and that’s the ideal result for everyone.
Click on the play button below to hear different police officer’s talk about the various aspects of the recruitment process and how they have settled into a career with the PSNI.
A constable is asked how she came to choose the PSNI as a career
A constable talks about the training they received
A constable recalls her first year in the job
A constable tells us about their best and most challenging days in the PSNI
Policing Board Testimonial
Board Chair supports latest Police Recruitment Campaign
If you are reading this then please take the next step to a career in policing and fill in your application form.
Policing is integral to our society and is a 24/7 public service that makes a real difference to people’s lives.
As a career it is demanding but also rewarding. It provides lots of opportunities for personal and professional development and the ability to work to make our community safer.
To be able to provide a good service and build confidence, it is important the service is representative of the community it serves. It is our responsibility to oversee the composition of the PSNI and we want to encourage people from all walks of life to apply, particularly those who are currently under-represented.
Policing is of course a challenging job. No two days will be the same. In joining the PSNI you, working alongside colleagues, will play a key role in keeping people and communities safe.
The Policing Board is delighted to lend support to this police recruitment campaign. So please take the time to find out more and take your first step to making a difference with your life and to the lives of others through a career in policing.
Policing Board Chair