Scotland’s justice secretary has announced that graduates joining the service will not be fast-tracked into senior police roles without first having served on the frontline.
Humza Yousaf told the Scottish Police Federation conference that the move to allow direct entry inspectors & superintendents into the force who do not have any practical policing skills would be ‘wrong’ for Scottish community policing.
Many police commentators have mooted their concerns in relation to graduate officers being ‘fast tracked’ into senior roles without having any experience of the front line.
Police Constables have a two-year probationary period, often spent policing the streets, before they can be considered for other roles / promotion.
Proposals being put forward in England & Wales could see graduates gain direct entry to inspector or superintendent ranks without spending any time on the streets where they would learn the basic principles of policing as well as understanding the complex causes and effects of crime and serving the community.
Mr Yousaf said:
“Let me make it crystal clear, there will be no direct entrants under my watch.
“I will not be supporting any proposal for direct entry to
“I believe that those who lead other officers must have spent time working on the frontline, to develop the knowledge of how we police our communities and understand the demanding jobs that our officers undertake day in and day out.
“While training is of course important, officers must carry the authority and the respect of communities they serve, and also of their colleagues.
“That is something built up as an organisation, as the sum of all its parts, and embodied in the actions of every officer as they go about their work.”
Mr Yousaf’s comments will be welcomed by many serving in the police force who feel that direct entry candidates will not have any real or practical understanding in relation to the complex behavioral factors affecting crime, offenders, suspects and victims.
Not everyone serving in the police force is against the idea of direct entry candidates as those in favour of such a scheme believe that a more ‘corporate’ management of the police is needed.
However, in disciplined services such as the police force, officers often have more respect for their colleagues who have spent time policing on the front line and who have spent time responding to emergency calls and dealing with critical incidents.
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