Senior policing fast-track launched
Nearly two centuries of policing tradition will be swept aside from Tuesday when moves to fast-track officers into senior roles come into force.
Previously the only way to enter the police, since Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan in 1829, had been to join as a constable.
The College of Policing has today launched two new recruitment programmes to bring people with more diverse backgrounds and new perspectives into policing - offering direct entry and fast-track into top positions.
It means the traditional route of entry-level officers spending time as a bobby on the beat will be replaced with a three-year fast-track to inspector scheme and direct entry at superintendent level, while the rank of chief constable will be opened up to overseas applicants.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "It is vital that police forces reflect the hard-working communities which they serve. Schemes like these will enable talented and experienced people from a range of backgrounds to bring new ideas and a fresh approach to policing.
"We have already slashed red tape and cut bureaucratic targets, this is about opening up policing culture by making the workforce more diverse. I want to see all forces in England and Wales rolling out these schemes."
The direct entry programme will see 20 experienced leaders from the private, public and third sectors join policing as a superintendent while the graduate fast track programme is seeking 82 recruits to be promoted from constable to inspector within three years.
Police forces will begin recruiting from next month and successful applicants will start training with the College of Policing in autumn.
Chief constable Alex Marshall, chief executive of the College of Policing, said: "These programmes are a completely new way for people to join policing and will help us to ensure that the service appeals to the brightest and best people in the country.
"Policing is an exciting and rewarding profession which makes a difference to lives of thousands of people each and every day. These new ways for people to join will help us ensure we continue to evolve as a profession by bringing in expertise from other sectors.
"The College of Policing will support successful applicants with world-leading training so that they are properly equipped to excel within the service. I encourage anyone who wants to make a difference in their community and believes they have the right experience and skills to consider a career in policing."
Policing Minister Damian Green said: "The future success of the police is dependent on attracting the best and brightest to careers in the force.
"This is the first time that chief constables will be able to recruit talented and motivated leaders from other walks of life, who can bring a wide range of experience and expertise.
"They will receive world class training from the College of Policing and will bring a fresh perspective and approach, opening up policing culture which will benefit their colleagues and the public."