Police leadership plan criticised


Proposals for experienced leaders to be able to enter the police service as superintendents were branded a “costly excess that ultimately will not bring any significant benefits” by police chiefs today.

The Government plans to launch a consultation on bringing in direct entry to the police service this autumn following recommendations in a major review of police pay and conditions, Home Secretary  said.

But Derek Barnett, president of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales (PSAEW), said the move would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and bring an "operational risk".

"It's a costly excess that ultimately will not bring any significant benefits," Mr Barnett said.

But Mrs May told the PSAEW annual conference: "I believe it will bring a greater diversity of backgrounds to forces.

"It's not just about more women police leaders or more senior officers from ethnic minorities.

"It's about those who have gained broader experience and new perspective in fields like the wider public sector and business."

Mr Barnett added that, of the 43 forces in England and Wales, he thought only the Metropolitan Police might have the capacity to cope with implementing direct entry.

Earlier, he warned that the Government risked losing the goodwill of officers, who feel under attack with budget cuts and some of the most wide-ranging police reforms in more than 30 years.

"We cannot close our eyes to the situation we face," he said.

"This is how many feel, and the consequence which we are seeing already is the loss of goodwill.

"The same goodwill where police officers are recalled to duty and work additional long hours often without claiming reward, readily accept last-minute changes to shifts to fill the gaps on the street, cancelled leave and days off.

"The precise value of this goodwill is inestimable, but runs into hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

"If we lose the tradition of goodwill built up over many years it will be hard to recover it."

Mr Barnett warned there was a situation developing "where there is an erosion of the relationship between the service and the Government".

But he added it was "time to move on, cast off that cloak of victimhood and stop looking back".

He also urged officers of all ranks to unite, pointing to the murder of off-duty Pc Ian Dibell, 41, who was killed near his home in Clacton, Essex, while intervening in a row on July 9.

"This is not the time for the service to divide and become introspective," he said.

"Ian was murdered not because he held the rank of constable, he was off-duty.

"What happened to Ian could have happened to any police officer, regardless of rank.

"But what unites us is that each and every one of us, from chief constable to the newest recruit, holds the noble office of constable."

After hearing Mrs May's speech, he added that there was "a sense from it that there is an acknowledgement that there is time to change" the relationship.

Mrs May told the conference: "We may not always agree, but I want to listen to what you and your officers have to say and I want you to feel you have a stake in the future, because you have."


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Associate Sales Consultant

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Associate Sales Consultant i...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...

Recruitment Genius: Water Jetting / HGV Driver - Industrial Services

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Skilled Labouring staff with id...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Executive - OTE £30,000

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Salary: £16k - £20k Dependant o...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot