Police Online Assessment Written Exercise Stage 3a Practice Questions

Police written exercise free practice exercise

Police Online Assessment Process Written Exercise

As part of the selection process to become a police officer, you will have to undertake a stringent selection process which includes an online assessment process. The online assessment process came into effect in May 2020 due to the covid pandemic, and and it serves to continue the government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers, and this allows this despite social distancing restrictions.

In this post we have provided a sample question for the Stage 3a The Police Written Exercise, which will help you to prepare for this difficult exercise. Our FREE sample exercise will provide you with:

  • A unique realistic example of what to expect during the written exercise.
  • An opportunity to submit your answers to receive feedback from the team at How2Become.
  • Advice on how to prepare, and where you can get more unique practice exercises.

Let’s get started!

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New Police Online Assessment Process Guide

 Police Officer Online Assessment Written Test Overview

During this scenario you will take the role of a serving police constable and will be presented with an email from your sergeant which requires you to provide your recommendations to solve a certain issue within the local community. To assist you in this task we will provide you with four pieces of related information which you can use to devise your plan to resolve the issue.

This actual test will take 40 minutes to complete but for the purpose of this exercise, please take as much time as required.

Remember to only use the facts presented in the scenario and its attachments. It is important to disregard anything you know to be true in reality.

Written Test Assessment Competencies

During this assessment you will be assessed against a number of competencies and values from the Competencies and Values Framework. When drafting your recommendations it is vital that you align these answers to the competencies and values. For example when you have drafted a recommendation, ask yourself does this match the assessable competencies and values? Please see below the assessable values and competencies below:

IMPARTIALITY: During the exercise you must be fair and consider the situation from all sides regardless of your own beliefs and feelings.

WORKING COLLABORATIVELY: Also known as working with others. Use this to your advantage during the exercise.

DELIVER SUPPORT AND INSPIRE: This is about serving the community and providing support and solutions that are in the best interests of the public.

ANALYSE CRITICALLY: You will be required to understand  the information that is presented, use your analytical skills, and carefully use this to device your recommendations to resolve the concerns in the community.

Career Change Ideas Police Officer

Police Online Assessment Process Written Exercise (SAMPLE QUESTION)

In the following scenario you will be presented information on an issue which is affecting the local community in which you serve. Please read the scenario and all the supporting documentation.

To: PC Jones

 From: Sergeant Smith

Recently, a concerning number of reports of have been made regarding thefts and attempted thefts of dogs in and around the Bridge City park area. One of the most recent reports was from a pet owner whose dog was stolen from them whilst in the park yesterday evening.

Can you please look into this issue and provide a report advising on the points below. I have included a number of documents and attachments to assist you with your recommendations.

  1. What are the main issues raised and how are these issues impacting the community?
  2. Provide your recommendations on how we can resolve these issues.
  3. How will these recommendations have a positive impact on the community?
  4. Are there any potential risks to the community?
  5. What can be done to provide reassurance for the community?

Many thanks

Sergeant Smith


Transcript from phone call received from local resident Marie Howard at 07:31 am on the 19.07.2021;

“I was walking my dog around the local park yesterday around 6pm when I was approached by a number of middle-aged men, asking me about my dog and if it was a boy or a girl. I immediately felt suspicious of this and decided to pull my dog away and when I did, one of the men attempted to grab my dog. I shouted for help and luckily for me my neighbour’s son and his friend were walking through the park and rushed to my aid. When the men saw people approaching to help they quickly scarpered, heading towards the car park at the south entrance of the park.

After speaking to my husband, he recommended I report this as he has said he had heard other attempted animal thefts locally. Can this please be looked at, as I am now afraid to take my dog out for a walk.”

In the first attachment this seems to state that Marie feels that the 3 men were attempting to steal her dog. Some points you should remember from this attachment are, the three men, their exit point, and the after-effect which this is having on Marie.


Report from Local PCSO, refs dog theft from Bridge City Park 17.07.2021 at 18:45 hrs

“I responded to a call from a resident who had reported their dog (springer spaniel) had been stolen from them when they were walking through the park. The victim explained that they were approached by a group of three people, two men and one woman, who seemed friendly and were asking questions about the dog and if the dog was male or female. When the victim was slightly distracted one of the men snatched the dog and they all ran towards the car park located at the southern exit of the park.”

In this attachment and report from the local PCSO it is apparent that this further indicates animal related crime in the park at Bridge City. Further points to be taken from this attachment could be; the question asked by the suspect, the 2 men and 1 woman, the exit point.

The third attachment shows a rough draft map of the park showing the location where the dog was stolen the car park and facilities such as the car park, play area, sports pitch and the north and south exits.


Email received from local resident

To whom it may concern. My name is Trevor Jacobs and I live at 11 Bailey Drive, Bridge City. I would like to report some suspicious behaviour which concerned me. This morning I was walking my dog through the park and I noticed a group of 3 people who seemed to be just hanging around the park. I found this a little odd, as they were not teenagers and certainly not children. It seemed that they were just waiting around for something or someone.

They noticed me looking at them, and they started walking towards me. I decided to walk home with the dog and realised they were following me home. As I reached my house I turned round to see if they were still following me, but I could not see anyone, so I thought it was a coincidence and I thought no more of it.

However, this morning, when I looked out of my dining room window, I am sure I saw one of the people from yesterday looking over the fence into my garden, which obviously alarmed me. I shouted at him which startled him and he then ran off towards the park.

Could someone please contact me regarding this as I am worried that I am being targeted for some reason.

Many thanks

Trevor Jacobs

In attachment 4 it seems to suggest that the group of people hanging around the park, noticed Trevor looking at them and started to follow him. Points you could take from this attachment are the number of people acting suspiciously, Trevor thought they were adults, possibly sighting outside his address the following morning.

Police Online Assessment Process Written Exercise: Submit Your Answers

Now you have reached the end of the information provided with the exercise, you should have a good understanding of the issues within the community and should be considering your recommendations to help prevent the issues from occurring.

If you can recall from the initial email from the sergeant they asked for you to provide your recommendations for the following questions:

  1. What are the main issues raised and how are these issues impacting the community?
  2. Provide your recommendations on how we can resolve these issues.
  3. How will these recommendations have a positive impact on the community?
  4. Are there any potential risks to the community?
  5. What can be done to provide reassurance for the community?

What do you think? What recommendations would you make to help solve these issues in the community?

Please submit your suggested answers to each question in the comments box below and we will be able to offer our feedback!

PS: Don’t forget to include the number to the question you are answering.

UPDATE: To assist your preparation, we have created 5 brand new written and 5 briefing exercises, which you can download here

6 thoughts on “Police Online Assessment Written Exercise Stage 3a Practice Questions

  1. Niall says:

    1. There have been a number of concerning reports regarding thefts and attempted thefts of dogs in Bridge City Park and the surrounding area. These issues are worrying to the community as residents that live in and around the area are feeling afraid to walk their dogs. From an email that had been sent from a local resident, it is clear that the people that are involved are also following people to their home address. This is making residents feel targeted and unsafe.
    2. To resolve these issues I would like to increase the number of foot patrols in the park and around the area to hopefully deter people from attempting to steal pets within the area. From the reports It has come to my attention that the time the crimes were committed had been later in the evening, meaning having patrols increased around these times may also prevent people from attempting to steal pets in future instances. I have also noticed that there are CCTV cameras in the South Exit Car Park that are pictured on the Bridge City Park Map. There are a number of reports from victims which state this is where the suspects fled to after successfully or attempting to steal the owners pet. Looking at the footage on these cameras may help to find out who is committing the crime and prevent it from happening again. I also think that placing a CCTV camera around the North Exit that goes towards Bailey Drive will help deter people from committing crimes in this area. From reading each report on the issues raised I am fairly confident that it is the same group of people that are committing the crime.
    3. I am hopeful that the recommendations I have provided will positively impact on the community as the residents will feel more comfortable and less anxious walking their dogs at any time of the day. I believe that having additional cameras placed towards the North Exit of Bridge City Park will create a sense of reassurance as well as having an increased number of foot patrols around the area.
    4.With increasing reports of dog thefts it could make the residents around the area feel extremely uncomfortable about going near the park. Having had reports of people say they have caught people following them and looking over their fences could make people feel targeted and at risk as they do not feel safe in their own home. This could affect mental health of residents as some may feel like they cant go out of their home without worrying someone is following them.
    5. There are a number of things that can be done to reassure the community. Firstly, I would like to send a letter to the addresses of residents around the surrounding area to explain that we have been informed of the possible threats and information on what we are going to do to tackle the issue. I would also like to send out leaflets with tips explaining what to do if you feel someone is acting suspiciously, raising awareness on potential dog thefts. I would also like to hold a community meeting giving the public the chance to give ideas and feedback on how we could handle the issue better. Lastly’ I would like to personally speak to the victims that had given in the initial reports providing an update on how the issue was being tackled. Hopefully this would be able to give the victims reassurance on how the reports had been handled.

    • Bebe says:

      1. The issue being raised is that there have been many reports of a group of perpetrators that have made several attempts at stealing pets in the Bridge City area which has led to one successful attempt of stealing a springer spaniel, impacting the community dearly. They do not feel talking their dog out due to the fear of loosing them and there is an overall feeling of a lack of safety in the area.
      2.One of my recommendations to resolve the situations would be to carefully analyse the information already produced so that we know the differences in the statements given. Thankfully, the statements had very similar information but there was one piece of information that was different, this being that in Marie Howard’s statement which mentioned a female. I would suggest interviewing all parties again to see if any information was left out or forgotten. If new information is produced I would then liaison with local authority who could place flyers in the area to give others the knowledge of which could keep there pets safe and to be more vigilant .
      Reading the reports again I found a pattern that suggested that the alleged perpetrators had always escaped in the south end of the park where the carpark is located. This would mean that it is likely they escaped using a vehicle. If this is the case I would collaborate with the local partners of the police and ask to use the CCTV to see if we could get a physical description of them or to see if we could get a car registration plate that we may be able to see in our police systems. Finally I believe that we could provide the area with more foot patrols and also ask to work with the local street wardens so that they can look for any suspicious signs or unusual behaviour.
      3.Overall, giving the victims more information and asking them to be vigilant would allow them to be independent and feel more in control which would mean they would feel secure when walking in the park. Having more patrol means that the locals can see the police have heard there worries and have put in place a strategy in place to detour the perpetrators from trying to steal any more animals and so the community will feel at ease and will find the area more safer.
      4. Due to the reports many people may feel their at risk of being followed home or being watched; this would put the victims on edge which may lead to stress and mental health decline. Not only this but it may also effect the sociability other overs as they may not trust strangers and decide to stay in there homes this would have disastrous affect on their health as a whole.
      5. The community will feel more reassured if the police speak out against the crime and take it seriously as it will show us to be more aware of the public we serve. The police should make a statement that shows that we as a service are working with others to show we are trying hard to capture the assailants, so the victims are reassured that it is being handled.

  2. Andy Bosworth says:

    Hi Niall, Thank you for taking your time to complete the exercise.

    Your assessment is well constructed and the answers to the questions are well thought out and relate to the expected competencies and values for passing the exercise. Great stuff!

  3. Andrew Richardson says:

    1. There have been a number of recurring reports pertaining to suspicious and potentially dangerous and intimidating activity in and around the Bridge City Park area. The chief concerns centre around three adults (possibly the same three adults) targeting dog walkers at night and in one instance following a member of the public home, and reportedly reappearing the following morning at Mr Jacobs’ property. This will undoubtedly lead to growing concerns among the public and leading to a fear of taking dogs to the park at night.
    2. In order to resolve this, I would like to suggest we increase foot patrols on the park in the evenings, set up a helpline for anyone to report suspicious activity in the area, and hold a local meeting with the public to brainstorm ideas and get an insight into those directly affected by the recent events. It could also be a recommendation that local dog walkers could start a dog walking group so as to walk their dogs in larger numbers at night. Furthermore, given the location of the dog theft, I would strongly advise a notice instructing dog walkers to keep to the footpath at night time where there is more light from the park lamp posts.
    3. I think this will have a positive impact on the community as it shows the police are working towards clamping down on this type of activity and also involving the public in these new measures. Increased foot patrols will hopefully offer security while out walking at night and also deter anti-social behaviour in the park therefore leading to a reduction of suspicious behaviour. The helpline will then assist the police with any further goings on at times of day when there is little to no police presence and an opportunity for crime may be seized upon.
    4. The current risk to the community is the fear of leaving the home but our plans will hopefully alleviate these worries. moreover, there doesn’t seem to be any major risk to the community as a whole as these individuals seem to have one motive only which is to target dogs. The tactics these individuals are using have been largely intimidating and non-violent, however, targeting members of the public’s houses is a concern and could lead to further distress so it is our priority to reassure the public, be present and find the individuals who have been causing distress and take them into custody for further questioning.
    5. The local meeting and new measures will provide sufficient reassurance among the public as it shows the police to be taking the matter seriously and proactively until the individuals have been found. The victims of the crime will be contacted personally, invited to the meeting and kept abreast of any developments and will also be of great value in our case against these three individuals.

  4. Andy Bosworth says:

    Thank you for your comment. Some excellent points included. Especially the dog walking groups and instructing the dog walkers to stick to the paths where there is more light.

  5. Joshua Lindemann says:

    Title: Resolving Dog Theft in Bridge City Park: A Collaborative Endeavor

    Dear Sergeant Smith,

    I write to address the growing concern regarding dog thefts and attempted thefts in and around Bridge City Park. In response to this pressing issue, it is essential to apply the competencies of impartiality, working collaboratively, delivering results, providing support, inspiring confidence, and critical analysis. This essay aims to propose comprehensive recommendations to effectively combat dog thefts and restore the community’s peace of mind.

    To tackle the issue of dog thefts, it is imperative that we approach the matter with impartiality. By remaining unbiased and neutral, we can conduct fair investigations and establish trust within the community. Impartiality ensures that each incident is evaluated objectively, fostering confidence in our ability to address the problem effectively.

    Resolving the dog theft issue necessitates a collaborative approach. By engaging with various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, community members, and relevant organizations, we can pool our resources and expertise to develop comprehensive strategies. Collaborative efforts enable us to tap into the knowledge and experiences of the community, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and ownership of the problem.

    Addressing the concerns surrounding dog thefts requires tangible results. By increasing police presence and patrols in Bridge City Park, we can create a visible deterrent for potential thieves. Allocating additional officers specifically for park patrols during high-traffic hours will reassure the community and deter criminal activities. Regular patrols will also allow for prompt identification and response to suspicious behavior

    Supporting the community affected by dog thefts is vital during this challenging time. Organizing educational programs and workshops aimed at pet owners will equip them with knowledge and preventive measures against theft. These initiatives can cover topics such as responsible pet ownership, securing animals in public spaces, and recognizing and reporting suspicious activities. Through support and education, we empower the community to actively participate in crime prevention efforts.

    Inspiring confidence within the community is paramount to alleviate their fears and concerns. By maintaining transparent communication and sharing regular updates, we demonstrate our commitment to addressing the issue of dog thefts. Open channels of dialogue between law enforcement and the community will foster trust, encourage cooperation, and inspire confidence in our ability to resolve the problem effectively.

    A critical analysis of potential risks is essential to develop sound strategies. Vigilante actions pose a risk to the community, as individuals may take the law into their own hands. It is crucial to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicions to the police rather than engaging in vigilantism. Additionally, false accusations can arise due to misunderstandings or misinterpretations. By conducting thorough investigations, relying on evidence, and treating all parties fairly, we can prevent wrongful accusations and maintain community trust.

    In conclusion, by applying the competencies of impartiality, working collaboratively, delivering results, providing support, inspiring confidence, and critical analysis, we can effectively address the issue of dog thefts in Bridge City Park. Through our joint efforts, we will restore a sense of security, reduce the incidence of thefts, and cultivate a safe environment for pet owners and their beloved companions.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.


    PC Jones

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