2. Who are we looking for?

Not everyone has the potential to be a special constable. We’re looking for a very particular type of person. Someone with all the right community values.

Someone who wants to make a personal difference to London. Someone like you?

See how you measure up against the criteria below:

Ideally you should not have a criminal conviction or cautions record.

The Met is unable to state whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

If you’re from outside the EEA, you’re required to have leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. Such applicants must reside in the UK free of restrictions or have an entitlement to do so.

Special constables must have resided in the United Kingdom for a minimum of three years prior to applying.You must have lived continuously in the UK for the three year period immediately prior to your application. If you’ve lived abroad due to serving in the British armed forces or on UK Government Service, you’re considered to have been resident in the UK. 

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.

You must be at least 18 years old when you apply.

It’s important that you’re not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.

We won’t accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member of the BNP or similar organisations.

Your application will not be accepted if you have previously applied unsuccessfully to the Met in the last six months.

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

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

Distance vision:

  • 6/12 or better with 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.


Eye surgery:

Radial keratotomy, arcuate keratotomy or corneal grafts are not acceptable. Other forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK, PRK, ICRS and epiflap are all acceptable provided that six weeks have elapsed since surgery, there are no residual side effects and the other eyesight standards are met. You may be asked to provide a report from an optician.

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. If you have any previous drugs related cautions or convictions, please look at the Criminal Convictions section on this page.

Although there are no formal educational requirements, you’ll need to have a reasonable standard of English if you are to succeed during the selection process.

While you don't need to be an Olympic athlete to be a special, 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, download our Fit for the Job guide.

There are a number of jobs that are considered incompatible with the role of a special constable. To be sure that your current employment will not prevent your application from proceeding, please check our precluded occupations list.

You must not be in a precluded occupation at the time you submit your application.