Police direct entry 'will happen'

The Home Office will today publish plans for consultation on police direct entry in England and Wales.

Currently, police officers are forced to work their way through the ranks to achieve top positions, but that might be about to change.

Ministers have accepted recommendations put forward by the new Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor, in a review of policing last year, that candidates should be able to apply at the higher entry points of Inspector, Superintendent and Chief Constable.

The idea is likely to face strong opposition from within the police service.

"The very least you expect are people with some experience and knowledge of what they're doing," the Police Superintendents' Association's Derek Barnett told to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"To have senior police leaders who have not felt the collars of criminals... is something that poses some risk to the public," he added.

But policing minister Damian Green has differing views: "If you widen the pool of talent... then you will get even better policing in this country."

Speaking of the plans, he warned the changes in recruitment "will happen" and that the government is now "consulting on how best to do it".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 30th January 2013.

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