ACPO lead on workforce development Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said:
"ACPO welcomes the opportunity to be involved in this consultation. We agree that it is vital that we attract and develop those best able to provide leadership and ensure the protection of the public. Chief officers have argued for radical workforce reform, including changes to the way staff are rewarded and trained and many of those ideas were accepted by the Winsor report but have yet to be implemented.
"All chief constables have served on the beat, experiencing the reality of day to day operational policing with the public. This is the model used by other countries who have followed the British system such as the USA. Bill Bratton, former chief of New York started this way. The direct entry officer class model tends to be followed by para-military police forces such as the French CRS or the Italian Carabinieri.
"ACPO has no problem with bringing in expertise from outside and in many forces up to fifty per cent of staff are non police officers. Every force has senior civilian staff in top leadership positions in such fields as human resources, finance and IT. On the other hand such matters as firearms operations, murder investigations and dealing with public disorder are commanded by those with proven expertise and records of achievement.
"In general police forces are not short of talent. In fact a bigger challenge is dealing with ambitious staff frustrated by the lack of promotion opportunities. Bringing people in from outside to senior leadership positions will obviously make that more difficult. There will be questions about how any direct entry scheme will work in practise, how it can be afforded and whether those already in the Service can apply. Chief officers are not resistant to change but this one scheme will not bring about the degree of reform required.
"Chief officers have delivered the budget reductions asked of them while maintaining the protection of the public, demonstrating techniques of business transformation and change management which show the service is not short of these skills."