Senior officers’ policing experience is more important than industry expertise according to Scottish Justice Secretary.
Kenny MacAskill (pictured) said that any inspector, superintendent or chief constable must have at least 10 years experience to be suitable for the rank – and that industry experience would count for nothing at Police Scotland.
In dismissing Tom Winsor’s contentious direct entry proposals, which are due to be rolled out next year in England and Wales, Mr MacAskill stressed to delegates at the Scottish National Party conference that the reforms would not be implemented in Scotland.
He said: “Down in England they are proposing direct entry to the Police Service. Senior officers will be recruited never having served as a constable.
“Whether inspector, superintendent or even chief constable, in Scotland I want the assurance they’ve have 10 years’ police experience. Not 10 years as a supermarket manager or financial consultant.
“Experience learned policing our communities. Experience that money can’t buy. We will not invoke direct entry.”
As previously reported, Policing and Justice Minister Damian Green said the government remained committed to implementing the direct entry schemes in England and Wales to “attract the best talent”.
It has been suggested that there should be 80 places available at the rank of inspector and 20 at superintendent ranks annually.
Additionally, police and crime commissioners will also be able to select their chief constables from senior ranks in countries with a “similar” legal system to the UK. The College of Policing has taken the lead in designing how the schemes will work and will be responsible for implementing them in 2014.
Mr MacAskill added: “As Police Scotland protects our public, we protect our police officers. We have refused to implement the Winsor review – a savage attack on the terms and conditions of those who serve.”
In an interview with PoliceOracle.com Brian Docherty, Chairman for the Scottish Police Federation, said he was very supportive of Mr MacAskill’s stance.
He said: “In our response to the suggestion of direct entry we said that there should be a minimum amount of experience in policing. We are after all a Police Service and not a business.”
From Police Oracle