Straw to raise police standards

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The Independent Online
PLANS TO improve the way senior police officers are selected and trained are to be examined in a joint venture between the Home Office and policing bodies.

A working party of Home Office officials, representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities will meet for the first time next month to consider reforms to policing.

Home Secretary Jack Straw is reported to be worried about the lack of talented applicants available to fill some vacancies for chief constable posts.

He is said to be concerned that the next generation of senior police officers lacks management and financial skills to push through an efficiency drive which he regards as vital.

Under the proposed reforms, chief constables would, for the first time, attend courses for executives with senior managers from the business world and top civil servants.

The Home Office also believes the police may rely too heavily on graduate entrants and on fast-track promotion schemes. Officials say that there is a need to match senior police officers to particular types of forces more carefully.