3. Who are we looking for?

The Met strives to make London safer by reflecting the diverse, cultural city that we live in. Which is why we're looking for people from all backgrounds to join our supportive and exciting team.

Of course, you'll have to have the right qualifications, but it's important to us that you're the right sort of person. Someone who wants to help make London safer. Someone with the commitment and resilience to discover the truth, and the empathy to get the best for victims.

Someone like you?

Take a look through the below to see if you are eligible:

Academic qualifications

To be eligible for recruitment as a detective constable in the Met, you need to hold at a minimum a Level 6 degree (in any discipline), or be an undergraduate expecting to achieve one.

If your Level 6 degree was not secured in the UK, you must also hold a GCSE qualification in English Language at a grade C or above, or an English Language equivalent overseas qualification.


You must be 18 or over when you apply to be a trainee detective constable.

The upper age limit is typically 57. There is a compulsory retirement age of 60 for police officers, so this allows for the two year probationary period and the expectation of a minimum of one year of service following probation.

Business interests

You must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain, if offered a position within our team. We will need to check that these are not in conflict with employment in the Met in any way. 

Cautions, convictions and vetting

Ideally, you shouldn't have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, eligibility will depend on the age and nature of the offence. We're unable to confirm whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply, but will determine this from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

If you don't tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you weren't open and up front, whereas it might have been accepted if you were. If in any doubt, disclose the information.

Health and fitness

While you don't need to be an Olympic athlete to be a trainee detective constable, you must be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Certain medical conditions may prevent this. To find out more, please download our Fit for the Job guide.


We ordinarily have a residency criteria that means our Detective Constables need to have lived in London for a minimum of three years, within the last six. We are temporarily extending the opportunity to join the Met to non-Londoners, as part of our drive to recruit more than 2,500 officers. This provides a real opportunity for those living outside of London to fulfil their ambition of working for the Met. This will be a time limited opportunity, and will run in parallel to our existing drive to encourage more Londoners to join.

Substance misuse

This contradicts everything the Met stands for - if you are currently using any illegal drugs, this will rule you out of the recruitment process automatically. If you have any previous drugs related cautions or convictions, please look at the Cautions, Convictions and Vetting section on this page.


This tattoo policy is new from October 2018, and significantly different to our previous policy. If you weren't eligible to work with us in the past because of your tattoos, you may now be allowed to work for the Met and consider applying for roles.

Some tattoos will stop you working for the Met. You can't work for the Met if you have tattoos on:

  • the sides and front of your neck above the collar line
  • your face

You will be allowed to work for the Met if you have tattoos:

  • on your hands
  • on the back of your neck
  • below your collar line
  • on your ears
  • behind your ears

Sometimes we'll require you to cover up these tattoos for policing events such as state funerals or ceremonial events.

Even if you have tattoos in the allowed places, we can't allow you to join the Met if any of the tattoos could be considered:

  • discriminatory
  • offensive
  • violent
  • rude
  • lewd
  • crude
  • racist
  • sexist
  • sectarian
  • homophobic
  • intimidating
  • political in nature

Tattoos like this aren't compatible with the values of the Met.

If you apply for a role with us, we'll ask you to declare information about your tattoos. When we meet we'll check that you comply with our tattoo policy.

This won't be an intrusive check, but we will need to see your tattoos and talk to you about them as part of the recruitment process.