A teenage boy was accidentally sworn in as a police officer after an administration error didn’t realise he was only aged 17.
The boy was taken on by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) at the force’s Sedgley Park training complex in March of last year.
After discovering the mistake, the boy had his warrant card removed until he turned 18 where he was reinstated as an officer.
GMP’s policy states that 17-year-olds can apply for the force’s apprenticeship scheme become they cannot become student officers before their 18th birthday.
Colin Ramwell, GMP’s head of strategic attraction and recruitment, said: “A current, serving GMP student officer, who was a fully vetted apprentice, had attended a training course at Sedgley Park in March last year.
“During this course, it transpired they were 17 years old and due to turn 18 a couple of days later.
“Eighteen months ago, the policy for recruiting police officers changed, enabling them to be recruited at the age of 17, and attested – or sworn in – as a full, serving police officer once they turned 18.
“The officer in question had never been on districts or even been in a situation where they would converse with members of the public, so had never been putting anyone at risk, including themselves.
“They had the support from their university – where they are studying alongside working as a police officer – and we implemented the necessary safeguarding once we realised the administrative error, including appointing a legal guardian for a de-brief.
“They very proudly got re-attested five weeks later – at the next available attestation ceremony – and received their warrant card back.
“At no time was the officer, or members of the public, at risk and our responses ensured that they were safeguarded.
“This was a simple, human, administrative error, which we apologised to the officer for at the time, as well as their family.”
“This student officer in question is excelling here at GMP and is a great success story of our GMP Apprenticeship Scheme, as they completed an internal Apprenticeship which provided so many excellent experiences, allowing them sufficient evidence to pass the police selection process.”
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