Letter: Policing the police

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is a very long time since chief constables regarded themselves as "untouchables" ("Ministers' concern over police chiefs", 15 June).

Like all chief constables I am inspected once a year by HM Inspectors of Constabulary and by the Audit Commission or district auditors. I work to, and report performance on, a policing plan finalised by my police authority and I operate under a media and public spotlight. The criminal and civil laws apply to chief constables and there is no reluctance by the whole range of people we deal with to invoke them.

As for the quality of incumbents, that is more difficult for me to comment on. But in the course of preparing for or doing my job I have attended the Royal College of Defence Studies with senior military officers, management courses with the most senior local and central government officers and degree programmes with people from industry and commence. I have not felt that my fellow chief constables suffer by comparison.

You name some chief constables whose forces have officers under "investigation". All chief constables are in that position; it is the nature of the business we are in, and a real sign that nobody is "untouchable".