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Krystal n chips
30th Mar 2014, 07:14
This could produce some interesting times for those recruited.

BBC News - Police fast-track scheme to 'open up' top ranks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26806718)

It's not that difficult, from what we read, to understand they won't exactly be welcomed with open arms. That said, the long standing argument that a police officer needs to gain the experience, good and bad with regard to peer influences, of being an officer with direct public and criminal contact has sound reasoning. After all, it's not exactly the sort of job you can understand simply be reading up on the theory.

Will there be some form of induction course involving the odd riot, how to react when confronted with three of four drunken yobs armed with whatever they can grab hold off, on their own, the usual Fri / Sat night mayhem in city centres, and the carnage of a RTA....to name but a few examples.

Or will they just be plonked straight into an office based management role with a substantive rank. Which would seem to be the intention.

You get the impression however, that, like the introduction of PCC's, hands up anybody who can genuinely name theirs without any research and what they have achieved so far....I can't, this is a political sop by CMD.

Cacophonix
30th Mar 2014, 07:35
That said, the long standing argument that a police officer needs to gain the experience, good and bad with regard to peer influences, of being an officer with direct public and criminal contact has sound reasoning. After all, it's not exactly the sort of job you can understand simply be reading up on the theory.

This will go down like a lump of cold poison with the highly self protective, self interested and insular coppery!

I mean look what happened when Cameron wanted to recruit a highly regarded senior American policeman not so long ago...?

Sure it was May who 'blocked' this but she saw the opportunity to curry favour with a hostile force...

David Cameron's US 'supercop' blocked by Theresa May - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8685423/David-Camerons-US-supercop-blocked-by-Theresa-May.html)

Caco

Cacophonix
30th Mar 2014, 07:49
Tom Windsor sure does get around though eh! From Railtrack's Regulator to the Police... Given his 'success' with Railtrack I am apt to have a little sympathy for those police who look on with a jaundiced air...

Caco

radeng
30th Mar 2014, 21:37
Caco

I have a lot more than a little sympathy......

Especially having known an ACC who told me what he learned from his days on the beat....

Now if this is such a good idea to recruit people who have no experience... How about airline captains with no experience of flying an airliner? But they have 'qualifications'.......

And with computer controls, do they need experience anyway?

(No, with that question, I am definitely NOT serious!)

Tankertrashnav
30th Mar 2014, 21:54
The police have resisted a two-tier entry system like that operated by the armed forces every time it has been suggested.

As someone who was commissioned straight from school at age 18, I am quite ready to admit that initially I was pretty green and wet behind the ears (to mix a metaphor) but I reckon that by listening to the right NCOs and quickly learning to sort out genuine advice from B/S I was pretty effective in my job within a year or two, without working my way through the ranks. Dont see why it shouldnt work for the police.

Dushan
30th Mar 2014, 22:22
They probably blocked him because they were afraid he was going to do something sensible like arm the beat cops.

Krystal n chips
31st Mar 2014, 05:35
" The police have resisted a two-tier entry system like that operated by the armed forces every time it has been suggested.


TTN, not entirely true, in one sense that is.

I seem to recall there was a Direct Entry scheme many years ago whereby applicants with the relevant qualifications could apply for a place at Bramshill and thereafter be "fast tracked" to Inspector.

If, and this is an unknown, the new proposals are based on a similar scheme, then fine because, whilst you make the comparison with the Air Force rank structure, I would disagree simply because a commissioned officer would never be involved in the day to day work and lifestyle of an airman. Being aware is one thing, actually having the direct experience is another.....which, to save any of those who take exception to my views, is not a dig at yourself.

I do feel the rank and file officers have valid objections to these proposals purely because the variety of roles and experience required by a police officer cannot be gained by an MBA graduate who may be capable of analysis, but clueless as to the practical implementation thereafter.

There is also a very grave danger, that, if they have had the carrot of a rapid career progression dangled in front of them, they are unlikely to listen to advice which could be contradictory to their proposals.

My BiL was a former, now happily retired Met officer and his views on the distance between the rank and file and "chattering classes" senior officers were revealing.

matkat
31st Mar 2014, 10:57
Was at school with Tom Windsor, a pratt of the highest order then and now.

Worrals in the wilds
31st Mar 2014, 11:13
Reminds me of a young lady of my acquaintance who left university with a degree in psychology. There was always an excuse for the antisocial or psychopathic - until she became a beat police officer and had to deal close up and directly with the great unwashed. Oh, how her attitude altered ;)Seen a few of them in action; it's always like watching a car accident in progress :E. That said, after the initial shock some of them go on to become good operators.

One of the problems with buying in senior officers is that it limits career prospects for capable junior officers. They're left at the bottom while a bunch of ring-ins climb over them which isn't good for morale or retention, particularly amongst talented officers. IME it sends a clear message to the troops that they're not good enough; not worth promoting.

The lack of operational experience is also an issue; it's difficult for a person to make good decisions when they don't have direct experience with the relevant issues. It's an issue consultants like to gloss over, because current Management 101 is that any manager should be able to manage any group of people, which IME is complete bollocks :ouch:.

It's not impossible to deal with and IMO there's a place for a limited number of ring-ins (particularly wrt technical fields like computers, forensics and law) but they should always be a minority. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of so-called senior officers making decisions based on what they think they know rather than what they actually know, because what they actually know about operational issues would fit on the back of a postage stamp. :ooh:

Obviously this doesn't apply to similarly qualified people from other jurisidictions; they're reasonably easy to integrate.

skydiver69
31st Mar 2014, 18:16
TTN As someone who was commissioned straight from school at age 18, I am quite ready to admit that initially I was pretty green and wet behind the ears (to mix a metaphor) but I reckon that by listening to the right NCOs and quickly learning to sort out genuine advice from B/S I was pretty effective in my job within a year or two, without working my way through the ranks. Dont see why it shouldnt work for the police.

This works in the military as the system has been designed to make it work, however there is no equivalent structure in the police to make it work in the same way. True there are Sergeants and Inspectors but there is no link or ethos which binds them in the same way and makes them work together as found in the forces. This is because that sort of relationship has never been required and although direct entry is now a reality, no one has as yet proposed a similar system.

Currently the general feeling among not only the rank and file but also many Inspectors and above is that direct entry is a gimmick which won't work. Someone going from PC to Sergeant to Inspector in 3 years is not going to get much respect from the people they stand in front of in briefing because they haven't walked the walk, stood on a cold street corner in winter, had a fight with violent drunks, stood between an arguing couple in a a domestic, done much in the way of investigations, been pressured by an aggressive defence brief in court, been subjected to a malicious complaint, developed staff, or even in the case of a 21 year old (if they join at that age) grown a beard/dropped their balls/kissed a woman i.e. they won't have much life experience.

They will, along with direct entry Superintendents, come across a massive amount of both deliberate and organisational inertia because there won't be many of them and vested interests will try to ensure that they won't work. A lot of that vested interest will come about because no one will trust them due to the reasons suggested above. Neither can I see how a direct entry Super be trusted to act as Gold during a major incident or operation without having any day to day understanding of how the police works and how the culture stands. I can't see how an inexperienced Super could have run the April Jones murder or the 7 July London bombings.

I can however see how civilian managers could be brought in at senior levels to manage HR, recruitment, customer service/satisfaction etc, partly because they wouldn't have the baggage associated with rank, whilst there would be less hoops to jump through to get them into the job and there wouldn't be the expectation that they are going to F up at the first opportunity.

Union Jack
31st Mar 2014, 18:47
Was at school with Tom Windsor, a pratt of the highest order then and now.

Perhaps accentuated by the fact that he apparently runs the risk of being accused of impersonating a police officer, by wearing a uniform which is virtually indistinguishable from a police officer's, complete with VSO rank badges and a Royal style aiguillette.

To make matters worse, he claims that, "The uniform of HM Chief Inspector is not a police uniform.....:sad:

Jack

Checkboard
31st Mar 2014, 19:04
Now if this is such a good idea to recruit people who have no experience... How about airline captains with no experience of flying an airliner? But they have 'qualifications'.......
It's not uncommon for airline managers to be non-pilots. The CEO of my airline had zero airline experience before starting in the job, and we are doing extremely well! :ok:

simon brown
2nd Apr 2014, 21:30
Oh Dear

Politicians judging every walk of life with their own "no experience necessary" attitude as they don't need any.

Metro man
6th Apr 2014, 13:10
In the army, a private soldier would usually operate in a group and would only need to know how to obey orders. A police officer of entry rank would be expected to deal with a wide variety of situations on their own.

A private soldier is essentially "disposable" and it would be a waste of resources to have talented people used as cannon fodder. Therefore the army selects those with potential and trains them accordingly for leadership roles. Advancement is possible for those in the lower ranks who prove themselves capable.

A future police commissioner is learning his job from the ground up when he starts walking a beat and is unlikely to end up dead as most police officers are expected to survive.

A future General is wasted in the role of a private soldier and is likely to end up being killed before promotion as infantry suffer the highest casualties in wartime.

The army system works best for the army and the police system works best for the police.

Incidentally the police may not want someone who has been taught to shoot in the army when selecting firearms officers. The army train people to shoot to destroy the enemy without feeling. The police would want one of their officers to open fire only as a last resort when other options have failed.

Solid Rust Twotter
6th Apr 2014, 19:19
A private soldier is essentially "disposable" and it would be a waste of resources to have talented people used as cannon fodder.


Ah... That would explain a lot.


Signed


Rifleman Vaak Seun (Dozy boy for those who don't speak the taal.)

fitliker
6th Apr 2014, 21:32
Best job ad I ever saw was for Sluts.
Read : Sluts wanted no experience needed or required, on the job training will be provided at no cost.


When the Police found themselves out gunned in Brazil recently, they sent in the Army .Somebody with Military experience might be an advantage to a modern police force in the fight against armed gangs involved in the drugs and modern slavery.

Worrals in the wilds
6th Apr 2014, 23:01
The army system works best for the army and the police system works best for the police.
Exactly. They are completely different skill sets; an army is for taking and holding ground and a police force is for keeping the peace and detecting crime. That's not to say some people can't do both within their careers, but the organisations are not interchangeable. They perform two completely different functions for society.

IMO the current police trend for paramilitary gear and jargon has muddied the issue for both politicians and the public, as has the parallel trend for using armies in overseas police actions.

Best job ad I ever saw was for Sluts.
Unfortnately I don't have the link, but a few years ago there was a bit of a stir when the state Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation advertised for (legal) brothel compliance officers. Apparently they received a lot of applications. :}

Tankertrashnav
6th Apr 2014, 23:43
Metro Man - your assertion that rank and file soldiers are "cannon fodder" more likely to be killed than officers is not born out by the facts. Far from your "future generals" having a better chance of survival, as junior officers they have no better chance of survival than the men under their command, and often their prospects are far worse.

In the two major armed conflicts that the British Armed Forces have been involved with in recent years, namely Iraq and Afghanistan, the figures for those killed (including accidental deaths) are as follows:

Iraq - 2003 - 2011 - Officers 36/ Other ranks 142 (around 1 in 5 officers out of a total of 178)

Afghanistan - 2001 - 2014 - Officers 48/ Other ranks 400 (around 1 in 9 officers out of a total of 448)

I do not have completely up to date figures, but the ratio of officers to other ranks in the British Army is around 1 in 7, so it would appear from the casualty figures that officers had a slightly better chance of surviving service in Afghanistan, and slightly worse in Iraq. This hardly supports your depiction of the rank and file as "cannon fodder" whilst their officers are being protected from danger to ensure a future supply of general! But then, anyone on this forum who has served in the armed forces knew that was rubbish anyway.

Capot
7th Apr 2014, 00:00
To find the airlines run by non-pilots (with one or two very notable exceptions) look for the airlines that are financially sound and make money.

One such exception was my first boss, decades ago. He was a pilot, and the airline made lotsa dosh. He stayed current in the LH seat of every aircraft we had, and filled in for sickness. But he was also a Chartered Accountant, and knew how to run a business.

10,000 hours at FL350, discussing management's failings and how the company should be run does not really count as a good business qualification, although many excellent pilots believe that it does.

Ah yes, the Police. It is fatuous to compare the Armed Services' management with civilian Police management. The reason is that the Armed Services are still run by a disciplinary code underpinned by statutory law (in my Army days, the Army Act, renewed every year). The civilian Police are not, and any attempt to introduce that into the Police would be disastrous.

That's not to say that the present culture of corruption and its associated canteen culture that extends from the bottom to the very top in all Police Forces doesn't need changing, fast. But military discipline is not the way.

VP959
7th Apr 2014, 07:50
Why is managing a police service (which is what the senior officers do) any different from managing any other service provision company or organisation?

The supposed logic of some police officers is that the only effective managers are those who've worked their way up the ranks in the job, despite the fact that there have been wholesale major failings in police service management over the past few decades.

I know of no other service provision company or organisation that has the outdated view. Most accept that managing a large organisation is itself a specialist skill, one where first hand experience of providing the service at the lowest level is far from being essential. If we applied the same supposed logic to other service provision organisations, then we'd make it compulsory that ambulance services could only be managed by former paramedics, or that oil companies could only be managed by former garage forecourt staff.

Certainly senior managers need to understand the nature of the work those on the front line perform, but that actually applies to pretty much any senior management position, in any organisation.

I managed people with very specialised skill sets, and who had far more knowledge than I did about their particular area of expertise, but that didn't stop me be able to manage them effectively. All it meant was that I needed to listen to them when they were briefing me on issues associated with their work to help me make informed management decisions.

One thing I learned when I shifted from being a humble worker to being a manager was that there is a steep learning curve associated with that change. Many of my colleagues (the majority) simply couldn't have made that transition (and I found it a real struggle), as their skills lay in actually doing the job they had originally qualified for, and been trained, to do. I strongly suspect the same is true within the police service, as almost by definition, people who have a natural ability to be good managers are not going to be drawn to wish to join the lower tier of a police service. As a consequence, I suspect the police services of the UK are probably self-selecting against recruiting good future senior managers with their current policies.

Worrals in the wilds
7th Apr 2014, 09:18
All it meant was that I needed to listen to them when they were briefing me on issues associated with their work to help me make informed management decisions.This is something that many managers struggle with. It can be done (and you've obviously demonstrated that) but unfortunately it doesn't seem to happen very often in the public service :(.

I worked for one very notable exception who'd come from a state department with an enforcement function, but all too often the ring-in manager wouldn't have a clue about what the organazation was supposed to achieve and couldn't be told otherwise.

You're correct to say that it should work, it's just that all too often it doesn't. Career officers don't always make good managers either (particularly wrt budgets and HR), but they generally have enough basic knowledge to fudge through. When you get a ring-in manager who's also hopeless at budgets and HR and additionally doesn't have a clue about the basic day-to-day requirements then it's road to perdition time, complete with poor equipment choices, manic restructures and a complete lack of focus.

I think that one of the problems is that good managers don't necessarily want to work for government departments, particularly if they have an enforcement function. Good managers can get a lot more money and job satisfaction in the private sector, with much less red tape and political baggage. Therefore, all too often government ends up with the Fish John West Reject while the good people thrive in mining and logistics companies where their skills are actually valued and they don't have to front the 6pm news (and the Minister :eek:) every time there's a pub brawl.

Out of interest, as a succesful manager would you ever consider working for a police force?

skydiver69
7th Apr 2014, 10:24
VP959
Why is managing a police service (which is what the senior officers do) any different from managing any other service provision company or organisation?

Because all police, no matter what rank, uphold the Queens peace and have the power to take away someones liberty with all the positive and negative ramifications that brings. As this applies to every officer from PC to Chief Constable I think it is important that all officers have had the experience of applying it in a wide variety of situations.

There is room for reform in the way that Police officers and processes are managed but direct entry is not the way to do it and for reasons I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread. I would like to see more outside management experience being brought into the police possible in terms of experienced civilian staff, sending officers on outside placements or even getting none police in to mentor senior officers.

VP959
7th Apr 2014, 10:31
Worrals in the wilds wrote:
Out of interest, as a succesful manager would you ever consider working for a police force?

Not sure I was that successful, but yes, I would have done if there had been an opportunity at the right time.


skydiver69 wrote:
Because all police, no matter what rank, uphold the Queens peace and have the power to take away someones liberty with all the positive and negative ramifications that brings. As this applies to every officer from PC to Chief Constable I think it is important that all officers have had the experience of applying it in a wide variety of situations.

But how common is it for senior officers to arrest someone?

Do senior officers need that power in order to be effective managers?

I'm not convinced they do, and I believe that if they lost some of the powers that they would have had as more junior officers it might well help redress some of the perceived problems with direct entry senior managers.

Worrals in the wilds
7th Apr 2014, 11:53
Do senior officers need that power in order to be effective managers?No, but I think it greatly helps their decision making if they've had that power (and experience) in the past. As skydiver points out, it's not a normal workplace skill. Nor is kicking in doors to execute warrants, searching people against their will (while dodging the spit and the used syringes hidden in the sofa cushions to thwart law enforcement activity) or dealing with their subsequent dodgy claims in the media about how they were wrongly accused Victims Of Brutality. Of course the average Police Commissioner very rarely arrests anyone, but they still have the experience behind them. They know what it's about, what can go bad and whether their officers deserve medals or a pineapple. They don't always get it right (far from it) but at least they get a running start.

Unfortunately I'm constrained by the Crimes Act. I could provide examples that would make my argument a bit clearer, but I don't really want to be hauled off for questioning; too much to do this week. :} The Australian government has recently disciplined a number of federal public servants for posting pseudonymous comments on Facebook about their day-to-day frustrations, so it's safe to say that free commentary is still discouraged. :suspect: This is one of the problems; there is very little public discussion about what the issues actually are.

What I will say is that I worked for a number of smart, decent managers who didn't have relevant on the job experience and it constantly hampered their decision making wrt procedures, equipment selection, submissions to government and everything else a successful manager has to do.

skydiver69
7th Apr 2014, 12:04
VP959:
But how common is it for senior officers to arrest someone?

Do senior officers need that power in order to be effective managers?


It isn't common and gets less and less common the further up the ranks you go however as Worral pointed out every warranted constable (and we are all constables no matter what the rank or job title) has arrested people. I would not be happy taking an order from someone who hasn't walked in my shoes and understands on a personal level what it means to arrest someone and to deal with what are often horrible people on a day to day basis. Having said that I kind of agree with you that senior officers don't need that experience but where I differ from you is that I think that civilian managers can be brought in at an equivalent police rank to improve our management, but without police powers and without the expectation or need to either order PCs to do things or to manage major investigations or incidents.

Krystal n chips
7th Apr 2014, 12:49
On the basis of skydivers comments then, what roles could you potentially see being adapted to becoming a purely civilian function albeit with a comparative rank please ?

I understand the Civil Service have long had something similar in place for example.

For VP....on the basis of managerial ability, which sectors would you target to provide the expertise required ?

skydiver69
7th Apr 2014, 12:59
Its a little above my pay grade to suggest which areas could be managed by civilians, but one area which could be chosen for an outside senior manager to look at is the way a force organises itself, particularly in view of all the current and planned cutbacks.