For the first time in UK policing history, Londoners entering the force can become a detective constable immediately after initial training.

People who want to get straight into solving criminal cases can now skip the two-year probation period when officers are assigned community duties in their area.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, lead for the detective recruitment programme, said: “London continues to change and so do its criminals.

“Increasing complex crimes such as cyber-criminality and the pressing need to protect vulnerable people mean our investigators need to develop new expertise.

“To meet these challenges and to face future threats, the Met will need to equip its officers, present and future, with the right skills and capabilities. We will need to ensure we are even more innovative in the way we recruit, and that we look and feel like the Londoners we serve.”

Here’s what you need to apply:

Academic qualifications

You will need to hold a degree level qualification and pass the National Investigators Exam within 12 months of joining.

You will also need to complete a two-year development programme before becoming a “substantive” detective constable- not a trainee.


You must be over 18 to apply and 57 or under.

Cautions, convictions and vetting

Ideally, you should not have any criminal convictions but depending on the offence and age you were at the time, it may not be an issue.

If you do not state you have a conviction and you do, the application may simply be refused.

Substance misuse

This is an absolute no-no. According to the Met: “This contradicts everything the role of a police officer stands for - if you are currently using any illegal drugs, this will rule you out of the recruitment process automatically.”

Health and fitness

The Met state you do not need to be an “Olympic athlete” to apply but you must “be able to cope with the physical and mental demands” of the job. Applicants will be individually assessed for conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, stress, anxiety, depression, or severe allergy.

No visible tattoos

Anyone will a face or hand tattoo will not be accepted. Anyone who has a tattoo which could be offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted.


You will need to have lived in London within the geographical area covered by the Met for at least three of the last six years to be eligible to apply.

Other applications

Unsurprisingly, you can only serve on one police force at a time and if you have applied to another and were refused in the last six months, your application will be rejected.

Eyesight Requirements

The standard you need to meet either with or without spectacles or contact lenses is:

Distance vision

6/12 or better with either your right or left eye

6/6 with both eyes together

If you wear spectacles or contact lenses you also need to reach 6/36 without your spectacles or lenses.

Near vision

6/9 with both eyes together [aided].

Colour vision

The use of colour correcting lenses is not acceptable. Severe colour vision deficiencies (monochromacy) are not acceptable. Mild anomalous trichromacy is acceptable. Severe anomalous dichromacy or trichromacy is also acceptable but you will need to be aware of the deficiency and make appropriate adjustments.

Financial Position

You must not be under pressure from debts or liabilities and should be able to “manage loans and debts sensibly”.


If you're from outside the EEA, it is “essential” that you have leave to enter or to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.

Business interest

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain.