Crime is changing, and so are we

Police Now’s mission is to transform communities, reduce crime and increase the public’s confidence in policing, by recruiting and developing an outstanding and diverse group of individuals to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.

At Police Now we have expanded our vision, to further complement existing measures that Government and the Police are taking to keep the public safe, and now offer the opportunity to join one of eight police forces across the UK as a trainee detective.

The Police Now National Detective Programme has been designed to equip you with the core policing skills required in modern investigative work, with a strong emphasis on digital training, delivering demand reduction and systematic change allowing you to contribute to the outstanding work already being done by existing detectives up and down the country.

Successful candidates will be resilient, focusing on working towards defined goals, rarely losing focus. You’ll be tenacious, the type of person who makes a choice and sticks with it. By demonstrating a positive can-do attitude, you will view obstacles differently to everyone else – there to be tackled head-on rather than used as an excuse to give up.

We’re looking for talented and driven individuals who notice what others would miss. As a detective you will quickly become an instrumental member of the police force, solving crimes and working towards making our communities safer places to live, for generations to come. Join Us.


In 2018, the Home Office announced a new funding stream to enhance detective numbers throughout the UK. The Police Now National Detective Programme is one of several solutions being used by the police service to address a large shortage in investigative capacity, highlighted in a report published by the National Police Chief’s Council.

Building on our success to date, recruiting almost 650 neighbourhood police constables nationally, we are now offering outstanding individuals the opportunity to train as detectives. Our aim is to expand the scheme over the next five years to recruit 1,000 trainee detectives into police forces across the UK.

Training and support

The Police Now National Detective Programme allows successful candidates to make a positive impact on the lives of many people right from the start. Over two years you will develop your leadership and problem-solving skills to help maximise that impact. The experience with us is one no other graduate employer can match. You will start with our twelve-week Detective Academy, preparing you for what lies ahead:

  • Learn to lead with conviction, right from the start
  • Training led by police detectives with years of experience solving crimes across the UK
  • Build your resilience and communication skills whilst developing your innate curiosity
  • Become a great investigative detective, keeping the public safe for generations to come.


The Police Now National Detective Programme will enable you to make a disproportionately positive impact on the lives of many people and comprises of the following elements:

The Detective Academy starts in September and is an intensive twelve week residential training programme designed and delivered by outstanding and high performing detectives. It includes seven weeks of classroom learning, one week of personal safety and physical training and four weeks of field training in force. There are rest weeks during and after the Academy. You will be required to pass the National Investigators Exam (NIE) in November and the Academy finishes in December.

Following completion of the Detective Academy, you will go to your force in January and undertake your in-force training. During this time, you will learn specific force details to enable you to become operationally effective and to acclimatise to local procedures, policies and ICT systems.

Following the in force training you will undertake an immersion period in police uniform on a Response Team to continue to practice and develop your core policing skills.

Throughout the programme you will typically undertake three postings. Each posting will last between five to nine months and take place in Main Office CID (serious crime), Safeguarding and Proactive teams. The combination of rotations will ensure you are capable of investigating serious and complex crime from the fifteenth month point, which traditionally takes a minimum of two years via alternative routes.

When you join you will be assigned a Police Now Leadership Development Officer (LDO). Their core role is to coach, guide and support you to transform communities by delivering sustainable change and tangible impact. They will provide one-to-one guidance and work closely with your line managers and force to aid your personal and professional development throughout the two-year programme. Your LDO will meet with you regularly to have ‘coaching style’ conversations and work with you to complete your Personal Development Plan (PDP), support you at 150 day Impact events and co-ordinate your skills sessions.

Every 150 days, we bring Police Now participants together from across the country for Impact Events. At each event, there is an opportunity to hear from keynote speakers, share your impact and connect with fellow Police Now participants and guests from within policing, the community and wider civil society. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date with a fast-moving and intense programme. The 150 Day Impact process is one of the key ways we assess participants. As well as building an evidence base, the purpose of the assessment is to develop the way you think, problem solve and project manage. Over the two-year programme, we assess your impact through a variety of mediums, including presentations and posters. All assignments are stored on the Police Now Impact Library for those in forces across the country to refer to and share learning.

You will undertake innovative and dynamic skills sessions delivered by Police Now over the course of the two year programme – developing your detective and broader leadership development skills. You can also bring your line manager or a team member along to some of the sessions, in order to ensure that your wider team can also take advantage of this training.

Once you successfully finish the programme and your two year probation period (which is standard for all newly joining constables to the police) you will be a Detective Constable (rather than a Trainee Detective Constable).  We expect participants to commit to a long-term investigative career and many pathways will be open to you. It is anticipated at the end of your probation, having been exposed to a range of challenges, you may wish to stay in your current role, apply for a lateral development opportunity such as within a specialist unit or you may feel you have the necessary skills and motivation to apply for promotion.

Life as a detective

Join the fact finders of the police – piecing together the puzzle and making life-changing decisions in a fraction of a second. Here we share the stories of some of the graduates who started their journey with Police Now as a police constable, before choosing to become a detective to give you an insight into life as a detective in the forces.

Due to the nature of the crimes they currently are investigating names may have been changed.



DC Gabaldi had never met a police officer before she applied to join Police Now in 2015. Six months later and she knew that leaving her career as a journalist after graduating from Durham University had been the right decision. She had also developed a keen interest in the effects that organised crime has on society, which helped inform the next decision she made to become a detective constable in 2018.

Helping people has always been central to why she loves working in the police. As a police constable she was often first on the scene, however, her new career as a detective means her role has evolved, and she now has the ongoing responsibility to manage cases and to think strategically in order to solve a crime. 

As a detective constable she has adjusted to the challenging nature of the areas of work she has gained experience in so far which include child exploitation, sexual assault and murder. She is driven by her own mission of working to protect the victims of crime that she meets every single day from future harm. She often takes time to reflect on how her short career to date as a detective has already exposed her to a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, all very different to her Italian roots. What she is learning about humans and how they behave is also teaching her some important lessons about the fabric of society.



DC Bailey had always been interested in pursuing a career in the public sector following graduation from the University of Warwick. He considered the military and spent time in the Royal Air Force serving as a reservist.

After joining Police Now’s National Graduate Programme, with a focus on neighbourhood policing, it didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to work his way towards becoming a detective. He’d enjoyed the condensed learning of the intensive training at the start of the programme – and noticed parallels between the high volume, yet rewarding work he had completed, and the ‘day job’ of detective juggling multiple cases. As a police constable he had become familiar with dealing with ambiguity, and the opportunity to ‘pull at threads and see where they go’ as a detective constable really appealed to him.

Just like his colleague DC Gabaldi, he has seen that each case is unique, and often relies upon the quality of the evidence, the emotional state of the victim(s), his ability to persuade and influence, and to persevere right up until the end. Cases can be a lengthy process, and he’s learnt to maintain relationships and deal with setbacks caused by failures.

He takes a methodological approach to help avoid blind spots. As a detective there is no room for assumptions, believing everything you are told, and you must check everything. Being diligent and collecting evidence based on facts are all part of each line of enquiry he follows.



Police Now was really a coincidence for DC Menzies. He’d been impressed by the recruitment process having received an offer just six weeks after submitting his application. He graduated from the London School of Economics in 2015 and wanted to start a career where he could make change happen. He describes the work of a detective as ‘cradle to grave’ with a lot of responsibility and risk involved.

When working to solve a crime, he has learnt to set realistic expectations between the imagined and the real. Important in helping to find out who is telling the truth. When you spend as much time as he does interviewing the victims, witnesses and suspects of a crime it can be hard to detach. There’s a strength within needed.

As an independent investigator, he takes an evidence-based approach towards conviction. He’s proud of the work that he does which includes the successful conviction of a 17-year old gang member where the victim was his 16-year old pregnant girlfriend. This was the first domestic abuse conviction made by his force under the recently introduced coercive and controlling behaviour offence within policing.



After graduating in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bath, DC King was keen to find a purpose to the work that she did. She’d never considered a career in policing until she completed an internship at an international development consultancy, where her mind started to open to it.

She enjoyed her time working as a police constable and after spending some time abroad working in Switzerland on human trafficking she realised that she had found the purpose she’d been searching for – helping others in some of the worst situations of their lives. When others say ‘I couldn’t do your job’ she remains positive and tells them that with the right dedication and motivation you can do whatever you want. It brings her satisfaction and is confident that she made the right choice joining the police.

It’s important to her to be tenacious and always focused on working towards a positive outcome. She reminds herself of the importance of an outcome for the victim and seeks support from her colleagues in her force, and from the others who joined Police Now in 2015. In a job where you often question the reliability of the information you’ve been given, or whether to trust the person you are speaking to, she draws strength from the communities around her.

As a woman working in the police she is proud to have a female commissioner. She sees it as one of many steps being taken to break down barriers, and a subtle shift away from the ‘tough mentality’ often portrayed in the media about the police.


Forces that we are working with on the Police Now National Detective Programme 2019 are as follows.



For more information about Police Now, our detective programme or the application process, read our FAQs.


For any press enquiries or questions about Police Now or the detective programme, contact our general enquiries team.


If you’re looking to apply or have already applied and have any queries, please get in touch with our recruitment team.


Start your journey as a Police Detective