Jewish Police Association

Jewish Police Association logo
Jewish Police Association logo

Our aim as an organisation is to promote understanding of the Jewish faith within the police service and provide a network for support and advice for Jewish police personnel, making policing a career of choice for the Jewish community. We also act as a vital resource for forces around the UK, consulting on religious, cultural and community issues.

Support we provide

We’re always happy to offer open and honest advice and support to both prospective and serving officers, linking them with existing JPA members so they can share their experiences. We offer:

  • Access to specialist employment advice
  • Networking and social events
  • One-to-one mentoring with a serving officer throughout the recruitment process
  • Practical support, such as helping with negotiation of shift patterns, kosher food and uniform requirements
Male and female officers from the Jewish community talking in a synagogue.

Questions you might have

It’s natural to have questions if you’re thinking of becoming a police officer. The JPA is here to ensure that your faith will always be respected within your role as a police officer. Take a look through our FAQs below.

What can I tell my friends and family if they aren't sure about me joining the police?

Joining the police doesn’t just give you a varied career and great opportunities to progress – it also gives you a chance to serve your community and support those who are vulnerable in society. You’ll be part of a team working to make a real difference to people’s lives – something your friends and family can be really proud of.

Will I have to work on the Sabbath or holy days such as Yom Kippur?

Local flexible working rosters and planning annual leave well in advance has enabled numerous forces to accommodate the needs of those Jewish officers who do not work on Shabbat, through initial training and through their careers. The JPA will be happy to work with you before joining and during your career on this issue as we know how important it is – we can introduce you to officers who have suitable rosters in place and, with advanced planning, we can support or represent you to achieve a suitable pattern for your needs.

Will there be access to kosher food?

Yes, officers can bring their own food to work or, with notice, your force should be able to arrange for kosher food to be available. Some areas also have arrangements in place to provide kosher food at short notice when needed.

Can I wear a kippa?

Yes, it’s a recognised part of the police uniform for those who wear it for religious reasons.

What happens if I experience anti-Semitism in my role?

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. If any Jewish officer is experiencing discrimination, get in touch with us – we’re here to help and can provide specialist advice, supporting both you and your force in addressing what’s happened.

Life as a Jewish officer

Police Sergeant Gardner and PC Lermer talk about their experiences and journey into policing. They dispel common myths of working in policing, particularly for those who are observing Jewish faith. They also talk about the support they have received from colleagues, the national Jewish Police Association, and their forces more widely.

View the full video transcript

Police Sergeant Azaryoh Gardner, Greater Manchester Police   

What I enjoy most about being a police officer is strangely enough, not so much the lights and sirens and foot chases. It’s the camaraderie and team work along with the fact that you go through experiences that you just would never go through in any other job. It’s something that brings you together as a team, and that’s what keeps you going from day to day.

I’m Azaryoh Gardner, I’m currently a Police Sergeant with Greater Manchester Police.

I joined the Police Force because it was a childhood dream of mine, ever since I was very, very little, spent hours a day role playing being a police officer. Growing up where I did, I was subject to a lot of antisemitism and the police played quite a big role in my upbringing in the sense that they were very often attending my house to speak to me as a victim of crime. And it was something I always felt very supported and helped by and it’s something that I wanted to do for other people as well.

Police Constable, Yasmin Lermer, Hertfordshire Constabulary

My name is Yasmin Lermer, I am police constable in the Safer Neighbourhood team.

Jewish values include things like community caring for people during hard times, really reaching out which is all things that I’ve passed over onto my job. As a Neighbourhood Officer particularly I’ve been able to help people during hard times, during vulnerabilities, be able to be that person they can trust.

For someone wanting to join the police service, I’d say there is definitely no one mould. We need to be serving the public in a force that represents them. It’s difficult to engage with people where you don’t have any understanding of their culture, of their faith, of their religion, anything. Whereas, when we are a representative force we can be way more efficient and effective to the public we serve.

Police Sergeant Azaryoh Gardner, Greater Manchester Police  

When I have come across Jewish people in my role as a Police Officer, I tend to find their reaction is one of delight at seeing a religious Jewish Officer. There is such a diverse of Police Officers who come in all shapes and sizes, there is space for everybody, and we all have different experiences to share which makes us strong together.

So in terms of accommodating my religious requirements, I would say the number one thing is working on the Saturday and the 13 festival days that there are in the Jewish calendar. We managed to sort out a flexible working pattern which accommodated all of the religious days. They’ve always been very quick to ensure that all processes are all ironed out well in advance. Ensuring that I can have those days as rest days making up those shifts elsewhere.

Police Constable, Yasmin Lermer, Hertfordshire Constabulary

The force have always been really encouraging of me to build that relationship with the Jewish community and the Synagogue. My Sergeants have allowed me to change my shifts so that I am able to visit the community, visit the synagogue, build those ties.

It’s really important because they make sure that the Jewish community can trust the police. And having that Jewish officer there has been great for community engagement and relationship building as well as trust.

Police Sergeant Azaryoh Gardner, Greater Manchester Police  

In my force area where there is a large Jewish community it’s imperative that there’s Jewish officers, where people feel comfortable that they are being policed by people who understand their religion and their culture. And it’s been fantastic to have some sort of influence on that. Being able to make the place where you live especially a better place has got to be at the heart of what you do.

Video ends with the Jewish Police Association and Be the Difference police recruitment campaign logos.

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Keep in touch

To find out more and keep up to date with our latest events, you can: 

  • Visit our website
  • Call: 07770 492 782
  • Email:

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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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