A teenage boy was accidentally sworn in as a police officer after failing to realize he was only 17 in an administrative error.

The boy was picked up by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in Sedgley Park training complex in March of last year.

Having discovered the mistake, the boy’s service license was withdrawn until he turned 18, after which he was reinstated in the officer’s service.

GMP policy states that 17-year-olds can apply for training in the force if they are unable to become student officers by their 18th birthday.

Colin Romwell, GMP’s head of strategic attraction and recruitment, said: “The current GMP student officer, who was a fully vetted apprentice, completed a training course at Sedgley Park in March last year.

“During this course, it turned out that they were 17 years old and would be turning 18 in a couple of days.

“Eighteen months ago, police recruitment policy changed, allowing them to be recruited at the age of 17 and certified – or sworn in – as a full police officer when they turn 18.

“The officer in question had never been in the counties or even been in a situation where they would have spoken to members of the public, so he never put anyone at risk, including himself.

“They have received support from their university, where they are studying alongside their police work, and we put the necessary security measures in place as soon as we realized the administrative error, including appointing a legal guardian for the debriefing.

“They were very proud to re-attest five weeks later – at the next available attestation ceremony – and get their warrant card back.

“At no time were any officers or members of the public in danger and our responses ensured they were protected.

“This was a simple, human, administrative error for which we apologized to the officer at the time and to their family.”

“This student officer in question is doing a great job at GMP and is a great success story for our GMP Apprenticeship Program as they have had such a great experience in-house training that has given them enough evidence to go through the police selection process “.


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