County’s police force invites outsiders to join its senior ranks

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West Yorkshire Police is set to become the first force in the country to allow leading figures from other industries to join its senior ranks.

It will use the new ‘direct entry’ scheme to advertise for a Superintendent position which will be open to leaders from other professions.

The aim of direct entry, unveiled last year by the Government, is to widen the current talent pool in the police and bring in new skills and people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Critics say it creates unnecessary risks by allowing recruits with no first-hand experience of policing to potentially take charge of major incidents.

Other forces in the country are also planning to recruit using direct entry, but West Yorkshire Police’s plans are understood to be the furthest advanced.

Bosses are now working with the College of Policing, which aims to raise standards in forces, to design training tailored to meet the individual needs of each direct entrant.

Chief Constable Mark Gilmore said: “I am committed to using every opportunity to reach and recruit the very best talent available as West Yorkshire Police works towards providing a world-class policing service to all our communities.

“I fully recognise the skills, experience and leadership talent that already exists within the service and this exciting new opportunity to try something different in no way replaces it but will complement it.”

Steve White of the Police Federation said: “External candidates should not be able to join the service at any rank above that of constable; the current structure properly equips officers for the next stage in their career.”

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