The Government is ready to end the requirement for all recruits to undergo a two year probationary period before entering the service with every entrant being expected to serve some time as a constable.
Soldiers, lawyers and even foreign police chiefs are being considered under proposals for a fast-track entry scheme drawn up by Tom Winsor, the former rail regulator, who was called in by the Government to advise on an the future structure of the force.
“As the Prime Minister said in the House of Commons this week, we are interested in radical proposals for the future of leadership and training in the police service,” said a Home Office spokesman.
“Tom Winsor, the government’s independent reviewer of police pay and conditions, is considering the issue of entry into the police service and will make recommendations in the second part of his review, due to be published early next year.”
Last week David Cameron suggested that senior officers from abroad could be brought in to “turn round” the police force.
He called for “radical proposals” on how fresh leadership could be brought into the police force, raising the prospect of an outsiders being appointed as a chief constable.
Mr Cameron told MPs: “At the moment, the police system is too closed. There is only one point of entry into the force. There are too few – and arguably too similar – candidates for the top jobs. I want to see radical proposals for how we can open up our police force and bring in fresh leadership.
“The Government is introducing elected police and crime commissioners, ensuring there is an individual holding their local force to account on behalf of local people.”
But it was clear that proposals to bring outsiders into senior managerial positions face resistance from existing officers.
Simon Reed, the vice – chairman of the Police Federation, said it was important that recruits began as constables “in order to understand and appreciate the importance of policing by consent”.
He also said it was imperative that senior officers had an “understanding and real experience” of working within Britain’s legal system.
Peter Fahy, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned that allowing people from outside policing direct entry into senior positions would like “a medical student acting as a surgeon”
Army officers could be fast-tracked into police