Theresa May backs police direct entry plan


Proposals for a fast-track direct-entry scheme to the police service were backed by the Home Secretary today.

Theresa May said plans to enable external candidates to join police forces at senior levels could help the service attract leaders from "the best pool of talent available".

The Government will now consult on Tom Winsor's recommendations, which were part of the most wide-ranging review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years, Mrs May told MPs.

In a written statement to MPs, Mrs May said: "I do not believe it is in the best interests of the service to restrict its ability to appoint officers to senior positions to a limited number of individuals.

"While police leaders have undoubted strengths, I want to ensure that the police service is able to draw upon the best pool of talent available.

"The Government believes that the review's recommendations on entry could support this and I will therefore consult partners on them."

She went on: "I am minded to direct the Police Negotiating Board and Police Advisory Board for England and Wales to consider as a matter of urgency proposals on pay, a fast-track scheme to the rank of inspector and other matters that are within their respective remits.

"Tom Winsor has also made recommendations for entry to the service at the rank of Superintendent and, for those with relevant policing experience overseas, at the rank of Chief Constable."

Mrs May added that the Government will also consult on the Winsor review's call for "significant changes to the way in which police pay and conditions are determined", including abolishing the Police Negotiating Board and establishing a pay review body for officers.

She went on: "The recommendations made in the report are matters of serious national importance for the service, which could play a vital role in reform.

"They represent significant changes to structures for pay, conditions, careers and leadership.

"I will therefore be taking forward the steps I have described as a matter of urgency."