Met Police campaign to recruit detectives with no policing experience

The Metropolitan Police has received an "unprecedented response" to its campaign to recruit detectives, with 2,700 applications received in the first two weeks, PRWeek can reveal.

The Met is running a targeted recruitment campaign to recruit detectives with no prior policing experience
The Met is running a targeted recruitment campaign to recruit detectives with no prior policing experience

An acute shortage of detectives in London has, according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, led to a "crisis".

The Met, Britain's largest force, last month took the unique step of offering detective roles to people who have no police experience.

Up to 80 detectives are to be recruited initially with further recruitment rounds to follow, the Met police said.

Attempts are also being made to recruit people from a variety of backgrounds and those who have different skills sets – as long as they have a degree.

The Met told PRWeek its comms objective was to launch a recruitment campaign across the capital – time-limited and in a brand new format.

It said the new entry criteria for the role meant they needed a new plan to coordinate the project.

As well as using traditional London media and targeted trade press, the Met was also able to access the alumni network for a number of universities across London.

By accessing those who had studied for three years, it knew it had one aspect of the eligibility criteria already covered. Even those candidates that had left university in the past three years could be contacted via these networks.

According to the Met, timing was also key. It knew that BBC documentary The Met: Policing London was scheduled for the end of May, so made the decision to launch the campaign five days after the first episode aired, so as to maximise positive feeling towards the force.

Q&A sessions will be conducted via social media with operational officers on Twitter and on other internet platforms.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, lead for "Detective Pathway", said: "The press and media coverage we have received for the Detective Pathway recruitment has been great. By co-ordinating the launch of the recruitment campaign with the launch of our MPS documentary we made sure that we capitalized on the spotlight we were already under.

"Having both police officers and detectives on BBC screens for an hour a week has allowed us to showcase our officers in the best possible way – to humanise the role and to enthuse those that may not have thought about applying to the Met before."

Jo Hudson, directorate of media and communications, said: "We knew that this new pathway might receive a mixed response and arranged for a senior, well respected detective to initially undertake two full days of interviews with London radio and traditional press, national media and even BBC World Service. All in addition to coverage on our own MPS social media channels.

"We have continued to monitor applications as they have been received and have been tweaking our plan to ensure we target any gaps we see in the applications received so far. With two weeks still to run we have big hopes."

Click here to subscribe to the FREE public sector bulletin to receive dedicated public sector news, features and comment straight to your inbox.

If you wish to submit a news, comment, case study or analysis idea for the new public sector bulletin, please email

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in