Overseas officers will be able to run police forces for the first time in radical shake-up

 

The Government today predicted Britain would have its first foreign chief constable in years rather than decades as it unveiled a shake-up of police recruitment rules.

Damian Green, the policing minister, said the current system put off some ambitious recruits to the police service because it would take 25 years to reach top jobs.

Announcing the reforms that have been opposed by rank-and-file police, Mr Green said: “It's a very odd situation where you can only get to the senior ranks of the police in this country if you have started right at the bottom and worked your way up. It's not true in the armed services.”

The proposals to be unveiled by Theresa May later are understood to include direct entry into the police at superintendent level and changes to the law that will allow foreign police chiefs to run forces for the first time.

Current legislation prevented US "supercop" Bill Bratton, former head of the New York police, applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011.

Mr Green compared the situation to the recruitment of Mark Carney, a Canadian, to become Governor of the Bank of England. “Bringing in the best talent… is absolutely essential to continue the reform that has successfully led to falling crime in this country,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme. The changes were also intended to lead to more diversity in the force with more women and recruits from ethnic minorities, he said.

The changes are part of the package of reforms drawn up by ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor in his wide-ranging review of police pay and pensions that set policing organisations at loggerheads with the Government.

Under Mr Winsor’s proposals exceptional" applicants would have the chance to rise from civilian to inspector in just three years.

The changes were designed to encourage candidates from business, the military and the security services to change the culture and give the police the same standing as law and medicine, said Mr Winsor last year when he unveiled the changes.

Mr Winsor, now Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, said that the police needed to evolve to keep up with ever more resourceful criminals and for too long police work had been seen as undemanding.

The Police Federation, which represents officers up to the rank of chief inspector, said at the times that the reforms represented a “potentially lethal attack on the office of constable, the bedrock of British policing.”

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told a policing conference earlier this month that it was time to “consider and support” direct entry. He added that he would like to see one in 10 senior officers recruited from outside the police force.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones