West Yorkshire’s Police Commissioner has voiced concern over government proposals to fast-track promising candidates into top cop jobs.
Policing minister Damian Green yesterday announced plans to allow new starters to join forces at superintendent level as part of a wider overhaul of recruitment rules.
He also unveiled a fast-track-to-inspector scheme and said foreign police chiefs would be able to run British forces for the first time.
The overhaul is part of a package of reforms that were put forward by ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor in the widest-ranging review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years.
But West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said he had reservations about the idea.
“I’m a great believer in people gaining experience from the bottom up and doing the hard yards,” he said.
“The current system has great merit in terms of giving officers the relevant experience to progress through the ranks.”
Mr Green said choosing police leaders was of the “highest importance” to the future of the service and the fast-track-to-inspector scheme would attract the brightest candidates.
“Direct entry at senior ranks will make sure that there is access to the best pool of talent, those who have proven leadership and business skills and who can bring with them fresh thinking from other sectors,” he added.
Mr Burns-Williamson said there were existing provisions for fast-tracking promising officers.
West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file police, is also objecting to the plan. Chairman Jon Christopher said: “You can’t beat experience. The whole idea is flawed.”