Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Direct Recruitment of Police Leaders

Goodbye Ma'am, Been Great Working With You

David Cameron and the Tory hierarchy have decided to use the phone hacking scandal as an excuse to reopen the debate on direct recruitment of police leaders. In his address to parliament today he said. "We believe this crisis calls for us to stand back and take another, broader look at the whole culture of policing in this country, including the way it is led. At the moment, the police system is too closed. There is only one point of entry into the force. There are too few - and arguably too similar - candidates for the top jobs. As everyone knows, Tom Winsor is looking into police pay, conditions and careers, and I want to see radical proposals for how we can open up our police force and bring in fresh leadership."

The first thing I will say about this is that it is one of a number of proposals that Cameron made today criticising others in an attempt to deflect the concerns regarding his own actions and decisions around the phone hacking issues. For example, at least the Met fired Coulson when concerns were expressed regarding his integrity. Cameron kept him on the payroll for sometime afterwards. So should we consider the direct election of Prime Ministers in the same way as American Presidents? Would that open up the job to those that haven't been corrupted by expenses, junkets and nest feathering in Parliament?

His statement criticises police leadership but at least some of those leaders have fallen on their sword and gone as their judgement and integrity has been seriously questioned. I look forward to some politicians doing the same............NOT! And let it not be forgotten that it was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that cosied up to News International more than any other politicians. And the insipid Milliband, who is trying show himself as being above all of this, was Gordon Brown's chief advisor and still employs a news International executive.

Cameron gave further details about the Public Inquiry. It is broad. It could take years. I suspect that he hopes that after the summer recess the whole issue will have died down and be thrown over to the Inquiry and I will be surprised if the Inquiry reports before the next election. I suspect the whole thing will be a waste of money.

I am against direct recruitment of police leaders. This issue has been discussed at length and I don't think there is any point going dissecting those arguments again here.

There are two important points that may come out of all of this. I hope that now the focus of the police moves away from media spin and returns to crime prevention, detection, terrorism and disorder etc. The press should go back to reporting on our performance and not reporting the spin and garbage being produced by the police media machines. Secondly, ACPO, to date, has been very silent regarding Tom Winsor and his reporting on police pay, conditions and structures. Now that ACPO's future careers face curtailing can we look forward to their voice joining the rest of the service's concerns regarding some of his proposals?

PS - Getting political but I feel the need to remind people what a useless cretin Gordon Brown was. Banking crisis aside, he spent this country into over £100 billion of debt. He has never explained why he sold off 60% of Britain's gold reserves. The only conclusion is that he wanted to spend more. Between 1999 and 2002 he sold 395 tons of gold at an average price of 276.60 dollars an ounce. Since he sold up, gold has risen steadily and now stands at 1600 dollars an ounce. Had this moron kept the gold we would be almost £10 billion better off. Or we could have paid off 10% of the debt the halfwit left us with. Thank you. Just needed to get that off my chest.


  1. I am confident Mr Cameron will deliver much deserved police reforms, especially those under private consideration.

    PS - Think of the benefits denied to this Nation when you strayed from your destined path as economist and drifted into policing.

  2. It seems you have the same problems we have in the States...Whenever something goes wrong in a police department, the people who know the least about police work come up with some silly ideas.
    As I have discovered, almost all professional type jobs require the leaders to have worked their way up the chain. How can you appoint somebody in charge who's never been a doctor, lawyer, plumber, pilot or cop?

  3. MTG - most highly intelligent people are successful, affluent and philanthropic. Have you ever wondered why you are not?

  4. Thanks for the mention, tnago....ooops! Actually, a dreary week has seen me pawn the old bicycle clips. The pair of them, on this occasion.

    Anyway, enough of this chatter, I must dash down to the Mission. Thursday soup is simply delicious but the queue is intolerably common after 6pm.

  5. This has played right into the governments hands.There will be a few high profile show trials of officers who took money from NOTW.The rest of us will just be smeared as we fight the cutbacks.
    Very clever agenda.

  6. Jaded, you are right, the squeaky clean politicians (ignoring fiddling expenses, abusing their position, (e.g. Keith Vaz)feathering their nests (e.g. Keith Vaz) lying (e.g. Keith Vaz), sucking up to the press etc.) will use this as an excuse to push through the Winsor reforms and more. After all it is obvious that corruption is rife in the police. It confirms what the anti police brigade have been saying all along.

    It is unfortunate that a few rogue officers and some greedy thoughtless leaders mean we are all tarred with the same brush. It's like saying most nurses are killing their patients. They are? Oh.

  7. I have a gold account and am happy. I am not an economist but even I could see that his policies were on the edge of madness.

    Police commissioners could be useful, the commissioner could still have an efficient plod to do the real work but the commissioner could be democratically accountable to ensure that plod does plodding properly instead of dodgy freebies or diversity diversions.


  8. Anonymous/melv at 1729

    Where does this obsession with me and Lex being the same person come from? Is it so far outside your comprehension that there might be two police officers who vaguely agree and can just about string a sentence together?
    Or is it just that we are the only people that could be bothered to try and figure out your labyrinthine sentence construction and esoteric verbiage?

    I am not sure why you take against the police so much - you have mentioned assisting police on one occasion who subsequently let you down. I would hope that your entire opinion isn't predicated by that one incident.
    I am a little concerned that it appears that every subsequent encounter you have with the police is negative. Have you considered the unfortunate possibility that the fault might not stem from the diverse array of officers you encounter, but rather with the one thing each occasion has in common - namely you.

    As for the OP - the last thing we need is more self styled management experts parachuted in from outside. We have enough pseudo managers in the organisation as it is. HR is a prime example of so-called experts dropping in at the top and building empires worthy of the Romans whose sole goal appears to be to surround themselves with like minded people. They then establish systems that ensure that in order to progress upwards or sideways, what you say becomes vastly more important than what you do, and even more strangely what you say need bear no relation to what you have actually done.


  9. Excellent post Tango.I'm another policeman that generally agrees with you about Melvins buffoonery.

  10. Please don't encourage him. I have let him have a couple of comments as they have strayed away from his usual facile tripe. But, he is still banned. Tang0...sorry Lex

  11. The process to become a police officer is a competitive one with many applicants as it is now seen as one of the top jobs due to the fantastic career opportunities, the break from the 9-5 routine, the security of the job, the opportunity to specialise and don’t forget the pay and pension options. All of these make police careers many people dream of achieving.

  12. Retired Dinosaur28 July, 2011 06:41

    Ah, direct entry into Police Leadership. What a wonderful new idea. To misquote a Japanese proverb, "If you sit by the river long enough you will see the failed versions of your bosses' brilliant new idea floating by."
    What is being floated as a brilliant new idea and the perfect answer to solving the problems of how to select the leadership of the police has been tried before. It was called the Trenchard Scheme and was tried over seventy years ago. Trenchard's concept was to create an "Officer Class" by recruiting bright people from schools and universities and training them for direct entry as Inspectors followed by rapid promotion to senior ranks. What happened to it? It was a complete failure and was allowed to quietly sink without trace.
    The only difference with the current idea is it will cut out the bother of even having to start as a lowly Inspector.
    All I can say is if the powers that be cannot find enough people from within the serving officers with the right qualities to rise to the highest ranks then there is something drastically wrong with the way people are recruited and the effectiveness of the way those who are recruited are trained.
    Perhaps if those who do reach the top ranks had spent a few years, not including their probationary period, working as PCs at street level dealing with the general public they might be more in touch with what policing is about and what is required both to carry out the job effectively and, more importantly, for the benefit of the vast majority of the law abiding population.
    What is needed are senior officers with practical police experience to replace those whose heads are simply full of fanciful ideas and theories and who will refuse to mindlessly jump through hoops to satisfy the latest whims and PR stunts of glory seeking politicians.

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