Police or Army Dilemma

Police or Army

  • Police

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • Army

    Votes: 20 80.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • Poll closed .
#1
Hi everyone,

I'm an 18yr old who has already applied to the police and have been given my selection date, however I have also applied to the Army (but haven't done the BARB test).

Police work has always interested me and I thought that the Met was quite a lucrative job choice; with many different avenues which could take me a long way in life. But upon asking current police officers, it has really changed my view on it (working 7 days on then 2 days off, lower pay and the pension getting worse).

The reason I also applied to the Army is because I have recently done my advanced apprenticeship in IT & Telecoms and the Army would be a great place for me to develop my IT skills and qualifications (the job I have in mind is the communication systems engineer role) which would provide me with a great life experience.

tl;dr
Police work interests me and I could stay in the job for most of my working life, but the job has gotten worse in quality.
I have always wanted to join the Army (as it can help develop my current skillset) but the work won't be as thrilling.

I don't know which one is the best route, therefore anyone in the army or police please shed some light.

Thanks in advance.
 
#2
Honestly, I have a few friends who are coppers and every one of them is looking to get out. In their words "THE JOB IS FECKED".

On the other hand, I have a few friends who's lads are in the Regular Army and they love it. If you want to join the Police, get some life experience first, you're only 18, get out there and experience different things.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#5
Hi everyone,

I'm an 18yr old who has already applied to the police and have been given my selection date, however I have also applied to the Army (but haven't done the BARB test).

Police work has always interested me and I thought that the Met was quite a lucrative job choice; with many different avenues which could take me a long way in life. But upon asking current police officers, it has really changed my view on it (working 7 days on then 2 days off, lower pay and the pension getting worse).

The reason I also applied to the Army is because I have recently done my advanced apprenticeship in IT & Telecoms and the Army would be a great place for me to develop my IT skills and qualifications (the job I have in mind is the communication systems engineer role) which would provide me with a great life experience.

tl;dr
Police work interests me and I could stay in the job for most of my working life, but the job has gotten worse in quality.
I have always wanted to join the Army (as it can help develop my current skillset) but the work won't be as thrilling.

I don't know which one is the best route, therefore anyone in the army or police please shed some light.

Thanks in advance.
Everyone in the public sector now has worse pay and pensions, you have to decide which you think you can stomach longest.
 
#6
Hi everyone,

I'm an 18yr old who has already applied to the police and have been given my selection date, however I have also applied to the Army (but haven't done the BARB test).

Police work has always interested me and I thought that the Met was quite a lucrative job choice; with many different avenues which could take me a long way in life. But upon asking current police officers, it has really changed my view on it (working 7 days on then 2 days off, lower pay and the pension getting worse).

The reason I also applied to the Army is because I have recently done my advanced apprenticeship in IT & Telecoms and the Army would be a great place for me to develop my IT skills and qualifications (the job I have in mind is the communication systems engineer role) which would provide me with a great life experience.

tl;dr
Police work interests me and I could stay in the job for most of my working life, but the job has gotten worse in quality.
I have always wanted to join the Army (as it can help develop my current skillset) but the work won't be as thrilling.

I don't know which one is the best route, therefore anyone in the army or police please shed some light.

Thanks in advance.
Reading what you have wrote, take the army, advance your skills first, you can change over later if need be
edit Make some good friends and enjoy life for a few years
 
#8
There will be routes into the police for non-graduates under the new scheme, but they'll be few in number. 18 is very young to be a copper, but if that's what you want then you have a career ahead of you that will allow you to retire after 35 years much like the Army. Despite what some people say, policing is still rewarding but then so is the Army. I would say this, though. I know many police officers who, by their 15 year post have done response, traffic, maybe a spell in CID - three or four specialisations which compares to 15 years I spent as a soldier doing essentially the same job, then 12 as an officer doing a different one. There are plusses and minuses to both jobs. I'd say it would be easier to be a copper for 5 years, then join the Army than the other way round given the changes to selection. To assist you with your selection tests, look here

Police Community
 
#10
As Devex says, 18 is a bit young to be a copper. On the other hand, ideal age to be joining the army. And a few years in the army would give experience which would make a better police officer if the OP decides to go down that route. Don't think it'd work quite as well the other way round.
 
#11
Have not voted because I do not want to influence you on such an important thing and my experience has only ever been the police.

I would tend to suggest the army because you seem to have IT skills which can be developed there and will be useful in later years if you left the army. If you join as a PC, that is what you do. Any specialism is into a specialist field of law or operational duties (aided by qualified civilians) so your ability to function outside the job will be in fields related to law and in competition with ex senior officers, eg accident investigation.

Promotion is available , especially in the large forces but you need to be careful where you are promoted to. I would question the logic of promoting in under cover work and then going back to uniform Sergeant. You would probably stay there. The shift patterns you mentioned are difficult and you have to take this into account when thinking about further study or exams. The starting wage seems good but take into account that your pension may be at 12 to 13 percent and fully deductible.

Maybe join the army in a trade, come back to the police when older. Apart from anything else it will prepare you for the things folk get up to in a more supportive setting.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#12
I've never met a copper who doesn't just whinge about how shit it is all the time.

By all accounts you can expect endless paperwork, working your arse off on cases that never go to court and being shafted by the management.

Also, all coppers are bastards.

Army on the other hand? A few gripes like shit food and not being allowed a toaster in the block, but otherwise generally good. Adventure, guns, free clothes, camaraderie, sports, annual ski trip, epic piss ups etc etc.
 
#13
Also, all coppers are bastards.
Unfortunately, you sometimes have to be. I find it quite liberating now I'm not one and can be nice to people. I think what you said about the toast and such more or less sums up what I was trying to say in a more long winded fashion.
 
#14
Just read above about the graduate thing. What a daft idea eh? I think it still holds true in the Army that you would get more free time to study. Also, I believe there are lots of ways to get a degree nowadays. I would not allow that ALONE to effect your decision.
 
#15
If you have a realistic shot at getting into the Police, I'd do that. I've never been a copper but the pay is decent, it looks interesting and you get to go home at the end of your shift. You can always sack it and join the Army a few years down the line.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
It's also worth considering that you may change your mind in the future and decide to go down a completely different route.

You are only 18 after all.

The forces will set you up with solid experience that will see you good in a variety of jobs outside. You hear of plenty of ex forces blokes who walked into big money jobs purely by having the right network and the gift of the gab.

Police? If you leave you'll always just be a failed copper.
 
#18
Police? If you leave you'll always just be a failed copper.
Good point. Also you become a different person and sadly you tend to know where the skeletons are buried so this restricts your employment a little. If you join, it is often wise to do the full stretch because of this. Remember, a soldier is welcome in many social venues. A copper is someone who happens to be there.

I have met a few people who joined the Navy as normal ( not officers) and when they left had sufficient wherewithal to do well. One is a Senior teacher type in charge of Science so he must have got a degree when in as he went to teaching via the post graduate route.

Many people seem to be suggesting forces first. Personally, I do think 18 is too young. I have not really got the words to explain why without getting banned.
 
#19
Good point. Also you become a different person and sadly you tend to know where the skeletons are buried so this restricts your employment a little .
A friend of mine has taken Redundancy from the Police just before Xmas. He must have banged out hundreds of job applications and done stuff via linkedin.

Not one person has got back to him as yet.Luckily he isn't short of money and his wife is well paid too.
Like Blurp has said, a lot of people are very wary of ex Coppers, where ex Servicemen can literally fit in anywhere.
 
#20
I know I'm committing heresy on here but................have you thought about the Navy or the RAF?
I did think about the Navy, however after speaking to the Navy recruiter he didn't put up a very good case for the Navy's CIS role.

He wasn't able to provide me with a real educational and job advancement structure. But the Army recruiter (who also happened to be an ex CS Eng) was able to tell me about the route I would be taking e.g. estimated times it would take to get to each rank, the quals I could get as well as getting a Bsc and Msc as a Foreman of Signals.

And the RAF can take a hike.
 

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