Disabled Police Association

Disabled Police Association logo
Disabled Police Association logo

Founded in 2012, the Disabled Police Association (DPA) represents disability support networks from police forces across the UK. Our aim is to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people working within the police and the extended police family. We work particularly hard to ensure that it’s the ability of disabled officers that’s recognised, rather than their limitations.

Support we provide

As a point of contact for all kinds of disability networks within the police, we support existing and potential police officers throughout their career. The kind of support we offer includes:

  • Liaising with employers to ensure the fair treatment of disabled, injured and ill officers and staff
     
  • Access to regular disability and wellbeing-related updates and news
     
  • Working to improve relations between the police service and disabled people in society
DPA AGM 2019.

Questions you might have

It’s natural to have questions when taking any new steps to become a police officer. The DPA is here to ensure that your disability will always be respected, and your ability recognised, within your role as a police officer. Take a look through our FAQs below.

Will my disability impact my application and what support is provided?

No. You’ll probably be asked to supply a report from your GP as part of the medical screening process and will be required to pass an assessment. But reasonable adjustments can be put in place to make the process as fair as possible for you. Get in touch with the specific force you wish to join and they’ll be able to tell you more about the support they offer.

Will I be suited to a career in the police?

A career in the police can be very rewarding and there are many aspects of policing where having a condition or disability will in no way hold you back. Particularly for some specialist roles in policing it can be a real advantage, as having to manage their conditions means many people with disabilities become skilled and tenacious problem-solvers. However, it’s not for everyone and there are aspects of the job that might not be for you. Please come and talk to us so we can help discover the right role for you. Or you can speak directly to your force to find out what opportunities there are, this might include volunteering to find out more.

What support is available to help me pass the fitness test?

If a disability or medical condition makes it difficult for you to pass the standard fitness test (known as the ‘bleep test’) some forces offer an alternative test, where candidates walk or run on a treadmill, with the gradient increasing over time. If this applies to you, we recommend that you get in touch with your preferred force to discuss what alternatives they can offer.

What support is available if I experience discrimination?

The police service does not accept any form of discrimination and is committed to supporting all its officers. There are robust processes in place to ensure all officers are protected and if a disabled officer is experiencing discrimination, get in touch with us – we’re here to help.

Many people are reluctant to share their disability in case it negatively impacts their application. What's being done to address this?

The police force welcomes people from all backgrounds. There are many outstanding officers with disabilities that have progressed to senior positions. The DPA continues to work with the policing community to break down negative perceptions and tackle some of the myths surrounding disability. And remember, disclosing your disability gives your chosen force the chance to put reasonable adjustments in place for you. Explore Myles' story to see how his force helped him deal with his colour-blindness. 

Image description
Myles standing next to police car, smiling to camera.

Keep in touch

To find out more or keep up to date with our latest events, visit our website

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Positive Action

Many police forces offer positive action initiatives, such as mentoring and online engagement sessions, to specifically support people from under-represented groups to apply. Get in touch with your chosen force to find out what positive action initiatives they're running. 

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