Police Recruitment Changes Could Be Harmful, Warn Chiefs

Senior police officers have warned MPs that potential changes to the police recruitment system could see “work experience” level people in crucial roles.

Peter Fahy, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, appealed to MPs not to make any rash decisions in the wake of David Cameron’s call for a “broader look” at policing and recruitment as a result of the phone-hacking scandal. 

Mr Fahy, who is chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said that a system of direct entry for demanding roles could be as risky as “a medical student acting as a surgeon”.

“In terms of operational policing, the level of expertise, training and experience required is extremely specialised,” he said. “I am not sure the public would want people on 'work experience' in command of high risk situations.”

When taking questions in the House of Commons last week, Mr Cameron had said that major changes to the systems in place in British police forces were needed, regardless of how tough the economic conditions may be.

"At the moment, the police system is too closed. There is only one point of entry into the force,” he said. “There are too few - and arguably too similar - candidates for the top jobs.” 

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