Can I Join The Police At 50 [UK]?

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Can I join the police at 50 is a question we often get. It’s not surprising that more people have multiple careers in a lifetime. And maybe becoming a police officer is your second career. So, let’s get into what ages you can join the police and other issues you may want o to consider.

Can I join the police at 50 [UK]?

Let’s not mess around. Yes, you can join the police at 50. There is no upper age limit for joining the police. However, police forces will look more closely at applications from those over 57 years of age.

Let’s look at some factors you may want to consider by joining the police at 50 years of age or over.

Can I Join The Police At 50 [Considerations]

Fitness / Health

As part of your initial recruitment, you must pass the police fitness test. This combines testing your cardio ability (bleep test) and strength test (push and pull test).

You will have to complete this a further two times during your initial training. After this, you will have to complete a fitness test annually.

Alongside your fitness test, you will have to complete officer safety training annually. This is physical, hands-on tactical training.

This prepares you for the conflict you will likely experience ‘out on the street’.

Some people in their 50s are in peak health and will not struggle to complete any of these activities.

Your general health and fitness are something that you may want to consider before applying, and whether you think you can maintain these levels for the rest of your career.


Working shifts ties in nicely with health and fitness above. Police officers are expected to work a 24/7 shift pattern

I know when I was in my 20’s, shifts didn’t bother me physically. As the decades have passed, working shifts have become harder.

Turning around from finishing nights to going into rest days has become harder. This not only affects my sleep patterns more than it ever did, but my body takes longer to recover.

I often feel achy when I don’t get enough sleep, and also struggle with headaches.

This isn’t a deal breaker but is something that you may want to consider if you would like to join the police at 50 (of any age!).


There are different entry routes into policing now, all of which require an element of study.

The volume will depend on the entry program you join under.

For some, study can be challenging at any age. However, it can be even harder if it has been a long time since you have done any formal study.

Again, this is not age specific, just another factor to be aware of if you ask the question, can I join the police at 50?


Technology is a big part of policing these days. Finding ways to make the police force more efficient, getting better value for money for the tax paper, and getting police officers out of the station and into the community.

Again, as with all of the factors above, this is not specific to age.

Anybody who struggles with technology, and doesn’t have any interest in learning technology, is potentially going to struggle as a police officer.

Support Network

Again, this is not unique to anybody of any age. There are a lot of demands during the training phase of becoming a police officer.

These challenges do not stop at the training phase. Police officers see and deal with some harrowing incidents. 

This can cross into your personal life. Having a good support network around you is important

It is also important to remember that there will be an expectation for you to work shifts, which will include nights, weekends, and bank holidays. You will miss birthdays, weddings, holidays, christenings, etc.

The understanding of your family and friends will be essential to get through this.

Are you thinking of joining the police at 50+? Firstly, good on you. It can be a really rewarding career. Also, at 50 years or over, you’ll bring a wealth of life experience to the role.

If, after reading this article, you still have questions or concerns about joining the police at 50, drop them in the comments below, and we will endeavour to answer every one of them.

Wrapping Up: Joining The Police At 50+

Can you join the police at 50? Yes, you can. Nothing is stopping you from joining to police at 50. However, there are some things that you need to consider before taking that leap.

  1. I’m very fit from being a bricklayer for 34 years and because of being a bricklayer I’m petrified of the academic side of things but I’m hopeful there would be help for on that side of things .I’m truly a 100% good person with an ocean of experience in humans and caring protecting and serving them with respect and would love to be part of helping to make a difference for the good of everyone in the UK.

    1. It’s easy for me to say, but don’t worry about the academic side – firstly, you are taught everything you need to know. It may be that you may need to spend a bit more time on an evening reading over your notes, or go in early to ask some questions. Although there is classroom learning, it’s practical to the role you’re undertaking, so it’s not like being at school when you’re struggling to understand because you can’t put it into a practical context. I hope this makes sense and offers you some reassurance. If you have any other concerns, feel free to ask a question here, or speak with your local force recruitment, they may be able to put you in touch with somebody who has a similar life journey as you. Best of luck for the future!

    1. That’s great. I would contact your local police force(s) and see if they have any recruitment events coming up. They will normally have a number of different departments there, so you can get a flavour of all of the different options available to you. Best of luck!

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