alert-icon@2xalert-icon@2xion-close-round - Ionicons- white@2x Skip to content
Report online For non emergencies
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 101 For all non emergencies
Call 101 For All non emergencies

As a police officer for one of the country’s top-performing police forces, you’ll be compassionate, resilient and above all dedicated to making County Durham and Darlington a safer place.

The role of an officer is not all about catching criminals, it is about taking the time to understand someone, earn their trust, respect, and build positive relationships – those are the skills you need to become a successful officer.

The job can be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding, but you will be able to make a real difference to those who need it most. That is why throughout the recruitment process we will be assessing your potential to ensure you are right for the role.

It's a demanding and fast paced environment, but one that is incredibly rewarding for those looking to make a real difference. From providing community reassurance to making arrests, our officers are supporting the community 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

In addition to the qualities and skills mentioned above, you will need to meet out standard eligibility criteria:

Academic qualifications

Depending on which pathway you choose to join on, the academic requirements will differ. Click here to find out more about the entry requirements for each route.


You must be 17 or over when applying to become a police officer and 18 at the time of appointment.

The upper age limit is typically 57 allowing for completion of your probationary period before the compulsory retirement age of 60.

Business interests

In your application, form you must declare any other employment or business interests you intend to maintain, if offered a Police officer position. We will need to check that these are not in conflict with employment in Durham Constabulary in any way. 

Cautions and convictions

If you do have any criminal convictions or cautions on record you can still apply, eligibility will depend on the nature of the conviction or caution. You will need to declare all convictions and cautions, traffic offences or any involvement with the police when applying, and provide full details to assist our vetting department in making a decision.

Failure to declare certain details will seriously undermine your integrity and credibility and is likely to prevent you from appointment, regardless of the nature or seriousness of the incident.

Driving licence

As you will be expected to respond to incidents across Durham Constabulary force area you will need to hold a full driving licence for a manual car at the point of application.

Eyesight requirements

You must meet the police eyesight standards agreed by the College of Policing. Find out what those standards are.

Financial position

It's important that you're not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly. You can still apply if you’ve been declared bankrupt, but only if it is three years after the bankruptcy debts have been discharged.

Health and fitness

As a police officer, you will need to be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the job. Certain medical conditions may prevent this.

If you exercise regularly, there should be no issue with meeting the physical requirements in the fitness test. This means achieving level 5.4 on the 'bleep test'. To see what is involved in a bleep test, watch this video.

You must also have a BMI of 30 or below.

Membership to BNP or similar groups

Membership of groups and/or organisations that contradict our values, standards and behaviour and our commitment to equality, are prohibited. Durham Constabulary won't accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member of groups and/or organisations including, but not limited to, the British National Party (BNP), National Front, Combat 18 or similar. 


If you’re from outside the UK, it’s essential that you have indefinite leave to enter or to remain in the UK.  Due to changes in legislation, members of the European Economic Area (EAA) are now required to have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or European Union Settled Status by June 30, 2021.

Other applications

You can apply to more than one police service/force at once, but you can only sit an assessment centre with one police service/force. 


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.

Substance misuse

Police officers must uphold the highest of values, standards and behaviours.  Anyone who is using illegal drugs will be ruled out of our recruitment process.  To maintain our high standards we do carry out substance misuse tests as part of our pre-employment checks.


You can still apply for a role with us if you have tattoos - when you apply, we will ask you to declare information about your tattoos.

Some tattoos that will stop you from joining Durham Constabulary include those on your face, hands or neck.