UK & World News

  • 30 January 2013, 14:12

Police Reforms: Foreigners Could Run Forces

Foreign police chiefs will be able to run British forces for the first time under a radical shake-up planned by the Government.

Under the proposals, new starters will also be able to join at superintendent level instead of spending two years on the beat.

The reforms also include moves to create a fast track to inspector scheme.

The overhaul is part of a package of reforms that were drawn up by ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor in the most wide-ranging review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years.

Under his proposals, "exceptional" applicants would have the chance to rise from civilian to inspector in just three years.

Successful businessmen and women, along with members of the armed forces and the security services, should all be encouraged to apply to the fast-track scheme, Mr Winsor said.

Mr Winsor, who is now Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, previously said he wanted to end the notion of policing as an intellectually undemanding occupation.

He added that the "brightest and best" applicants with skills "distinctly above those of factory workers" were needed.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told a policing conference earlier this month that it was time to "consider and support" direct entry.

He added that he would like to see one in 10 senior officers recruited from outside the police force.

The proposal to allow candidates from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among others, to head up forces in England and Wales has already sparked some controversy.

Current legislation prevented US "supercop" Bill Bratton, former chief of the New York police, applying to take charge of the Metropolitan Police in 2011.

Mr Bratton gained a reputation for introducing bold measures to reduce crime, heading police departments in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

In his first two years at the helm of New York Police Department, reports of serious crime dropped 27%.

Mrs May dashed any chances of him becoming Britain's top police officer when she underlined the importance of the Scotland Yard commissioner being a British citizen for national security reasons.