Government expects Winsor proposals to be taken forward and discussed seriously, says senior civil servant.
Government ministers are enthusiastic about direct entry at inspector and superintendent level and cannot understand the reticence of some in the Police Service to the concept.
Speaking at the ACPO-backed Leading Change in Policing Event in Manchester, senior civil servant Stephen Rimmer – Director General of the Crime and Policing Group at the Home Office – said coalition MPs expected Tom Winsor’s proposals on the moves to be progressed and discussed seriously.
Mr Rimmer told the event: “Ministers cannot understand why people get so defensive – they see (direct entry) as a way of enhancing the professionalism of the service.
“They expect all elements of the Winsor report to be taken forward very seriously.” The director general added that ministers felt other uniformed services were more enlightened and realised the benefit of taking talent from outside the ranks.
Mr Winsor has proposed that gifted candidates should be considered on two direct entry schemes to inspector and superintendent level.
The inspector initiative would see a limited number internal and external candidates eligible – while the superintendent move would be open to gifted individuals with management experience, who would be recruited at the discretion of a chief constable.
Mr Rimmer was speaking during a discussion on developing leadership and professionalism, which saw contributions from CC Sara Thornton of Thames Valley Police and Sir Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
During the debate, CC Thornton said that she was aware that the Police Federation was opposed to direct entry at both inspector and superintendent level.
She later confirmed that ACPO had concerns about the superintendent initiative.
Ch Supt Derek Barnett, of the Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, recently described proposals to allow direct entry at superintendent rank as “barmy”.
He predicted that the numbers of candidates would be so small and the scheme would cost so much money that chief constables would shun the idea.
See also: NCA ‘Will Have Power To Task Forces’