MI5 in recruitment drive for ‘overweight’ spies – with starting salary of £38k

It's a case of Diet Another Day for spies as MI5 bosses say it doesn’t matter if recruits are overweight.

Security chiefs are hiring surveillance officers to work on the streets of London, protecting us against terrorists and other threats to national security.

And potential candidates won’t need a physique like Daniel Craig’s ripped 007 – they can even be carrying a few extra pounds.

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Applicants can have a body mass index (BMI) of up to 30, even though a BMI of between 25 and 30 is “overweight”
according to the NHS.

Movie hero Bond is known for his athletic exploits – chasing down criminals and leaping from planes and exploding buildings – along with his Olympian efforts in the bedroom.

But an advert by MI5 said the next batch of spooks, who would be paid £37,757 a year, only need a “reasonable” level of fitness and must be comfortable “walking and sitting”.

It’s a far cry from 007’s adrenaline-fuelled adventures in fast cars and helicopters.

The advert said: “Mobile Surveillance Officers follow subjects who have been identified by Intelligence Officers as potential threats to national security.

“You can be on the move all day, often following people under surveillance on foot, so you’ll need a reasonable level of health and fitness to allow you to do this.

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“You should be comfortable walking and sitting for substantial periods and you’ll need good manual dexterity in both hands to operate surveillance equipment.

“Candidates will be required to undertake and pass a Fitness for Role medical which includes having a body mass index of 30 or less and blood pressure within NICE guidelines of less than 140/90.”

Successful candidates must also have good hearing and eyesight as well as competent driving skills.

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The advert adds: “You’ll need to enjoy driving and be a competent and confident driver, willing to learn to drive at an advanced standard.

“In the role, you’ll drive a manual car regularly, commuting and operating in the varied work locations and whilst working, you will need to be confident on all sorts of roads (city, urban, rural and motorway) at various times including rush hour and during the day and night.”

The spies will receive 20 weeks training and 25 days holiday a year.


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