We are not currently accepting applications for our Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP). If this is the career for you, please register your interest in future opportunities and we will contact you when we are next recruiting.


Being a detective is demanding, diverse and incredibly fulfilling.

From cyber-crime, domestic abuse and child protection, through to homicide, high level drugs importation and serious organised crime; you will help solve some of the most serious crimes possible. Analysing the evidence, interviewing suspects, taking a case to court – you will uncover the truth and seek justice for victims.

If you’re a degree holder with the compassion to help build trusting relationships; the tenacity to see a case through from start to finish; the desire to get justice for victims and the emotional resilience to keep calm, yet confident, then a detective career could be for you.

With our new and exciting Detective DHEP this is your opportunity to become a fully accredited detective in just two years; helping us to keep communities safe and feeling safe, identifying and protecting vulnerable people, preventing and responding to harm.

This is an intensive course, which will require commitment and dedication to both serving the public and meeting the demands of the development programme. In return, we promise a good starting salary, supportive working environment, great training experiences, opportunities for progression and, upon successful completion of your learning, a graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

There are a limited number of spaces on our 2021 programme and we anticipate high levels of interest in the opportunity. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible as it may be necessary to close the recruitment window early. Follow our social media accounts for more information.

As a Detective, you could find yourself working in our Investigations team, dealing with crimes such as fraud, robbery and serious assaults. Or you may join one of our Safeguarding Investigations Units (SIU); protecting the most vulnerable adults and children from abuse and exploitation. Once accredited, you have the opportunity to work within Major Crime, investigating serious crimes such as homicides, or with our Serious Organised Crime Unit tackling high-level drug importation. No two cases, or days, are the same as a detective.

You will manage and conduct complex investigations throughout their entire duration, from the initial crime scene to the moment the verdict arrives in court. Typical duties include:

  • Being the point of contact for victims of crime; seeking justice for them.
  • Identifying witnesses and obtaining statements.
  • Interviewing suspects.
  • Handling forensic evidence and dealing with its submission.
  • Preparing and submitting case papers and evidential files.
  • Attending court, providing evidence and awaiting the verdict.
  • Liaising with partner agencies i.e. social care and health teams, schools and courts.
  • Working with crime scene investigators, uniformed officers and the media, among others, to help make a difference together.

We’re looking for the problem solvers, the curious and the tenacious. People who have the desire to follow every lead, discover the truth of what happened and seek results. Emotionally resilient and compassionate, you will need to stay calm in the face of adversity and build relationships with those who may be the victim or witness of a serious and violent crime. You will have to critically analyse the evidence, establishing the facts which will be used to obtain justice in court.  And while it’s not always like what you see on the TV, you will get to deal with interesting and challenging situations daily.

Have you got what it takes?

To apply for the role, you will need to:

  • Have successfully completed, and be able to evidence, a UK undergraduate honours degree (360 credits) in any subject. Applicants with non – UK degrees can be considered if their degree is recognised as equivalent by UK NARIC but will need to provide evidence of an acceptable English language qualification if their degree was not taught and assessed in English. You will need to upload a copy of your degree certificate with your application.
  • Be aged 17 or over (on the day you submit your application). You will need to be 18 years or over to start in post.
  • Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
  • Have leave to enter or leave to remain and work in the UK for an indefinite period.
  • Have a full UK manual driving licence (by the time of appointment).
  • Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) or other relevant organisations, such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • Not have tattoos which could cause offence.
  • Not have more than six penalty points.
  • Not have served a prison sentence.

By joining Sussex Police on the Detective DHEP you can expect a varied, challenging but rewarding career. You’ll be crucial in the fight for justice and a pillar of support for those in need – a critical role which matters to victims of crime but also matters to us.

We will give you:

  • A starting salary of £26,283 (including £1,500 south east allowance) with the potential to rise to £42,633 within the first seven years.
  • A fully-funded graduate diploma in professional policing practice on completion of your two years training and probation period.
  • 22 days annual leave a year, rising to 30 days a year depending on your length of service.
  • Opportunities to progress through the ranks and/or move to specialist investigative teams such as Major Crime, Cyber-Crime or Serious Organised Crime.
  • A competitive benefits package that includes:
    • Highly competitive pension scheme.
    • Flexible benefits.
    • An employee assistance programme for advice and counselling.
    • Access to discounts, savings and cashback rewards.
  • Progressive approach to flexible working, enhanced maternity, paternity and shared parental leave.
  • Potential for a career break (after two years’ service).
  • Opportunities to join various support networks, staff associations and sports clubs.

Read more about what you can expect from us as an employer.

By successfully completing the recruitment process, you will be one of the first people in the county to join Sussex Police on the Detective DHEP.

These entry routes recognise police officers operate at a level where they take personal responsibility for decisions in complex, unpredictable environments and help provide the skills and capabilities necessary for policing in the 21st century.

The Fast-Track Programme is aimed at degree-holders who have attained a degree in any subject area. You will be employed as a Police Officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the police officer role while studying towards your accreditation as a detective and your graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

Training will initially be at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes, where you will gain the fundamental skills and knowledge you need to succeed. You will then be posted to a division, applying what you have learnt and, with the support of your coaching and development officer, take on your first cases.

You will also be required to sit the National Investigators’ Examination; a multiple choice exam which is designed to ensure individuals have the right knowledge, understanding and application of relevant law and procedure to perform effectively as a detective.

So you want to join us as a fast-track detective.

The application process consists of several stages and it’s important to note that because of this, the average time from application to appointment is between 8–10 months.

Sussex Police has introduced a new online assessment process during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our national recruitment standards are maintained, and in the coming months this will continually be reviewed. During the current climate the following stages apply:

  • Stage One - Application and Eligibility checks
  • Stage Two - Behavioural Style Questionnaire (BSQ)
  • Stage Three - Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
  • Stage Four - Competency-based video interview
  • Stage Five - Written assessment and brief exercise
  • Stage Six - Force interview and Detective Assessment
  • Stage Seven:   Pre-employment checks

Stage One: Application form

Your personal details will be checked and that all eligibility criteria has been met.

Stage Two: Behavioural Style Questionnaire (BSQ)

A multiple-choice assessment, which will assess whether you have the right behavioural traits to work as a Police Constable.

Stage Three: Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

Stage one of the virtual assessment centre. This test measures your ability to choose the appropriate action in situations similar to those, you are likely to face as a Police Constable.

Stage Four: On line video competency-based interview.

Stage two of the virtual assessment centre. This interview will be based upon the competency and values framework

Stage Five: Written assessment and brief exercise

Final stage of  the virtual assessment centre.

  • Briefing exercises – Candidates will be presented with a short brief and will have to prepare their response to key questions.
  • Written exercises – Candidates will be provided with written materials and will asked to provide written responses.

Stage Six: Force interview and Detective Assessment

Interview conducted by a panel of Sussex Police representatives. This interview will be based upon the competency and values framework

Stage Seven: Pre-employment checks

This is when we begin our pre-employment checks which consist of a medical, vetting, biometric vetting and a fitness test.

If you have any questions about the role or the recruitment process, please read our helpful guide.

We’re happy to answer any further questions, please contact recruitment@sussex.pnn.police.uk.