Law and Politics

What's it all about?

The Law and Politics sector is broad and diverse covering crime and justice; custodial care; courts, tribunals and prosecutions; legal services; government and politics. The majority of individuals are employed in the public sector, however private and charitable organisations are increasingly helping to deliver these essential public services.

The sector works to create and maintain a safe, just and stable society. The purpose is to reduce crime and re-offending, promote confidence in the justice system, protect people and contribute to the reduction and fear of crime. Careers in this sector are interesting, challenging and highly rewarding. If you want to contribute to creating a safer and fairer society for all, there will be a role for you.

Policing and law enforcement

Policing and law enforcement within the UK includes agencies responsible for: the maintenance of law and order; the prevention and detection of crime; and the reassurance and support of communities. The main functions are:

  • promote safety and reduce disorder
  • reduce crime and fear of crime
  • investigating crime
  • contribute to delivering justice in a way that secures and maintains public confidence in the rule of law

Also look at the Public Services job sector in Careerpilot to find out more about policing and other uniformed jobs.


Becoming a politician is far from being the only way into a career in politics. You do need an interest in politics and it is good to have experience working with a political party or involvement in student politics.

Types of work in politics usually involve one or (often) more of the following:

  • Administration – local or central government
  • Research - MP’s researcher, Party research departments, Trades unions, Think-tanks
  • Communication and persuasion
  • Politician - Local Councillor or MP

Prosecution, Courts and tribunal services

The Crown Prosecution Service is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police. It is responsible for: advising the police on cases for possible prosecution; reviewing cases submitted by the police; where the decision is to prosecute, determining the charge; preparing cases for court; and then presenting cases at court. The courts and tribunal services have specific responsibilities for providing administration and support to the courts and tribunal services throughout the UK.

Custodial care

Custodial care helps to:

  • hold adult and young prisoners securely
  • reduce the risk of prisoners re-offending
  • provide custody and escort services
  • monitor offenders in the community (e.g. via electronic tagging).

Community justice

The community justice sector has five main areas of activity and careers:

  • Working with offending behaviour to protect the public and rehabilitate offenders.
  • Working with victims, survivors and witnesses of crime in general (such as Victim Support), as well as organisations that specialise in a particular area of crime.
  • Community safety - to reduce offending behaviour and the harms experienced by individuals and communities because of crime and disorder. They also seek to improve people’s quality of life through efforts to change the wider physical and social environment.
  • Substance misuse – community-based substance misuse organisations provide advice, support and treatment for drug misuse.
  • Youth justice – working with young people at risk to help them progress towards employment, further training or education opportunities.

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

The South of England is home to large law firms, many courts (Crown, magistrates and county) and large police forces.

Oxford and Thames valley -  There are no specific predictions or priorities from the local LEPs regarding this sector.

Solent -  There are no specific predictions or priorities from the local LEP regarding this sector.

South West - Professional services which include Law are seen as a priority by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Firms in the South West have been making links with London for a while, and firms continue to move from London to the South West. 

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for Professional Services which includes law.

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