Find out all about the vetting process if you're applying to be a police officer with Northamptonshire Police
Getting to the vetting stage of the recruitment process is a huge achievement, so well done. You’re just one step away from becoming a police officer. You now need to pass the vetting stage of the recruitment process. It's a very thorough process involving detailed background checks, plus fingerprinting and DNA checks with your consent. Why is it necessary? It’s because police officers are in a position of trust, so we need police officers who are 100% honest and trustworthy with the highest levels of integrity, who aren’t vulnerable to blackmail or corruption.
So, what’s involved in vetting?
We’ll ask you about your previous names and any aliases that you’ve used, and your address history for the last five years. Why? We need to confirm your identity and eligibility to work in the UK.
We’ll also ask you about your finances. We’ll ask how you describe your overall financial situation, whether you own or rent your home and details of your mortgage, if you have one, your monthly income and expenditure, whether you have any savings and borrowings, whether you are or have ever been declared bankrupt, or had a county court judgement against you, and we’ll ask if you’ve had any secondary employment or business interests. Why? We need to assess how vulnerable you could be to bribery or corruption. It’s important to note that we don’t base our assessment on the amount of debt you might have, we’re assessing your ability to manage it well.
We’ll also ask you about your family and friends. We’ll ask you about your partner and their address history for the last five years, your parents and your partners’ parents, your full, half, and step-siblings, your children if they’re over ten years of age, and we’ll ask about all co-residents at your current address, like lodgers or other family members. Why? We need to assess whether they have any criminal convictions and, if so, whether you could be vulnerable to corruption or coercion.
We’ll ask you about all your previous contact with the police, if you have any cautions or convictions, or if you have been issued with a fixed penalty notice, if you’ve ever been arrested, if you’ve ever been involved in an investigation, your traffic offences excluding parking, or if you have any criminal associates and, if so, their details. Why? We need to consider your credibility and whether there’s a potential for information to be leaked or for you to be put under pressure by associates.
So, what are the most common errors on the vetting forms? Failing to provide your full address history, failing to list all family members, for example step-parents, step-siblings and half siblings, failing to include details of your partner, whether you live together or apart, failing to declare cautions, convictions and any previous contact with the police. It’s good to assume all previous contact will be on our system. If you don’t declare it, it raises questions around your honesty and integrity.
Here are two key things to get right: always be 100% honest and if you’re unsure about whether to declare something, it’s best to declare it. Your honesty will be valued, and we’ll be able to help you through the vetting process. And that’s it. We hope that’s helped you prepare for the vetting stage of your application process. Best of luck.