There have been around 100 applications for every direct entry position in the Metropolitan Police, it has been revealed.
The forceâ€™s director of human resources, Robin Wilkinson, revealed the huge popularity of the scheme at a hearing of the London Assemblyâ€™s Police and Crime Committee.
He said: â€œAt superintendent weâ€™re looking for people who are proven successful leaders. Weâ€™ve had just under 1,000 applications for the first superintendent scheme.
â€œWeâ€™re hoping to take between five and 10.â€
At the hearing, which was about the diversity of the force, he said that the number of black and minority ethnic (BME) applicants has been around 25 per cent of the total.
But he added: â€œWe shouldnâ€™t be satisfied with 25 per cent, we should be looking at recruiting as diverse a group of people as possible for those roles.â€
The formal selection process for the roles is set to conclude in September. Recruits will earn around Â£70,000 a year including London weighting and will be put through an 18-month programme that will take them to operational command in the Police Service.
Superintendent Nicola Dale, who has been leading the direct entry programme for the College of Policing, told PoliceOracle.com: â€œThe Met has done a great job. This gives us a good solid base on which to build.
â€œI know the Met did a couple of really good â€˜meet the Metâ€™ events. They did a couple of niche events too.
â€œThis shows minority groups are not put off.â€
Direct entry would see those from occupations other than policing with management experience be made superintendents.
It has attracted criticism from some quarters including Nick Smart of the West Yorkshire Police Federation and Shami Chakrabarti, Director of human rights group Liberty.
Mr Smart has previously raised concerns that the policy would compromise the safety of officers and the public.
From Police Oracle