Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Monday, 10 March 2014


It used to be thought that in order to do the top job, experience in the industry concerned would be a useful asset.  In government eg occasionally there is a qualified doctor with ministerial rank at the Health Dept.  Today that person is Dr Daniel Poulter M.P.  Generally previous experience is not a pre requisite for a top government post especially with increasing numbers of M.P.s  having no job history outside the limited boundaries of politics and/or journalism the main exception being lawyers and even then the top lawyer`s job of Lord Chancellor is held by a man whose main work experience has been in television production.  It would seem absurd if an individual could be spring-boarded into the job of colonel in the army after less than two years of rigorous programming;  or perhaps a headmaster being appointed to a 1,000 pupil school with the same amount of preparation.  If I were a squaddie   or parent of a school age child I would view such proposals with a certain amount of caution, apprehension and trepidation to say the least.  But such is some of the nonsense emanating from the so called thinkers deep within the Justice Ministry and Home Office that very shortly the first trainee police superintendents will be amongst us. Assurances have been given that only the highest fliers will be accepted for the eighteen  month preparatory course and that failures will be easily got rid of  according to  Commander Tom Gavin  Vice-Chair of the Police Superintendents’ Association and part of the team designing the course  who is quoted as saying, It (the training programme) will be very challenging and it will be very difficult to come onto the programme and easy to come off it.”  There is, to say the least, some opposition to this proposal from those within the inner circles of policing. Another voicing his concerns is   West Yorkshire Police Federation’s Chairman Nick Smart who said that the “hasty move” would threaten not only the safety of officers, but also the public. He warned that the move would have greater ramifications for internal promotion through the ranks and would adversely impact the credibility of the force. In an interview with Mr Smart said: “You cannot teach experience and you cannot buy credibility and that is what they are trying to do here. It is a danger for our officers. If they do not believe in the commander or trust their decision-making the chances of harm and risk increase. “Operational commanders need to be warranted officers".

 I am certainly in favour of improving the quality of new recruits who wish to be in our police forces and thus improving the standard of those who aspire to the  highest  ranks but parachuting in outsiders at superintendent rank seems to me to be a futile short term stopgap to improve the quality of “management”. Similar “management” initiatives have been seen  eg within N.H.S. and closer to home in Her Majesty`s Courts and Tribunal Service.  I will leave my reader to consider whether this is a sensible action on the part of our current rulers. For my part I doubt such a scheme will operate for more than two or three years before some excuse is made for its abandonment but extolling the wealth of benefits that nevertheless accrued whilst it was operational…….metaphorical rags to riches to rags.

1 comment:

  1. Whilst I understand the concern, I have worked in a number of organisations where the leadership always joined and worked there way through the ranks. If the aim is to produce a stable organisation that thinks the way it has always thought this will be an effective solution. If however you want to introduce change, or challenge the way organisations work - almost certainly the wrong person to do that is someone who has put up with the status quo for 20 years!