July 24th, 2011

Like a circle in a circle

Posted in The Job - General by 200

They say if you wait around long enough someone will introduce something into policing which somebody else did away with a few years ago.

Tom Winsow, a man who used to play with train sets, has been tasked to look into the future of policing. I guess having someone with no knowledge of policing would inevitably lead to one of his recommendations; direct recruitment from the Army into senior police roles.

I think this takes us back to the nineteenth early twentieth century when chief constables were often Colonel This & Captain That. I have no idea whether it’s a good or a bad idea.

Actually, it’snot just army recruits, lawyers (heaven forbid) could be running the police. Cameron is even considering getting foreign police chiefs in to run British forces.

Currently, if you want to run a police force, you have to start at the bottom of the ladder and serve your two years’ probation before working your way up the ranks. How quickly you get up the ranks depends on whether you have a degree and how many diversity questions you can answer by the book.

Cameron says: “At the moment, the police system is too closed. There is only one point of entry into the force. There are too few – and arguably too similar – candidates for the top jobs. I want to see radical proposals for how we can open up our police force and bring in fresh leadership.

“The Government is introducing elected police and crime commissioners, ensuring there is an individual holding their local force to account on behalf of local people.”

Understandably, the chiefs are twitching, after all, for every person coming from outside the ranks, that’s one less opportunity for them to climb the grease pole. Peter fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, and someone who himself took full advantage of the privileges of accelerated promotion, said that giving people direct entry to senior police positions from without the service would be like “a medical student acting as a surgeon”.

Time will tell.

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