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High-ranking Home Office official to become superintendent


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Former close colleague of top man in department passes direct entry assessment centre.


A former “close colleague” of the most senior civil servant in the Home Office is to become a direct entry superintendent.

The unnamed official passed through the College of Policing’s assessment centre this week.

He will now face an interview and if successful, he will join a force in November.

The Home Office has been instrumental in the introduction of direct entry on a sometimes reluctant police service. 

The College of Policing says no one who designed the scheme has served as an officer on it.

Home Secretaries have repeatedly called for forces to take on more officers through the method – which enables those with management experience to join the police service at the rank of superintendent. It also funds the programme and its delivery body the College of Policing.

Home Office Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam told a group of graduating direct entry superintendents this week about his colleague.

“I’m delighted to be here not least because a close former colleague of mine has just been accepted on the direct entry superintendent scheme. He’s just passed the assessment centre and he’s waiting to be posted,” he said.

“If I were in this role and in this place in 18-months' time, two years time, I would hope to be congratulating him personally.”

The official will not be the first Home Office civil servant to join policing through the path, with one announced in 2014, though he may be the most senior to date.

One former deputy director of a government department, Joanna Dally, dropped out of the 2015 cohort of direct entrants after seven months.

At least one direct entry inspector used to work for the Home Office, Police Oracle understands.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said: “If you remember what was originally said about direct entry was leading business people, the Richard Bransons of this world, would join the police this way, but this was obviously never going to happen was it?

“It now sounds almost like the Home Office want to get the people into it.

“What motivates the people is a key question and I have been impressed by Hampshire’s direct entry superintendent.

“It could turn out to be good thing in a way, because they may report back to their friends about how badly policing is being treated.”

Supt Paula Light who runs the programme for the College of Policing said: “Applicants are subject to the same strenuous selection process regardless of background.”

She outlined the criteria including a blind marking stage where all personal information is removed.

She added: “At the end of the selection process, the ultimate recruitment decision lies with the recruiting force, not the College."

Our reporter asked whether hiring ex-Home Office senior staff through the scheme may have a bearing on the perceived independence of the organisation from the government.

Supt Light said: “The programme team have experience of working with a wide variety of strategic partners and key individuals, both inside and outside the Home Office and the forces across in England and Wales.

"However as police officers and police staff members we will always be transparent and fair, which includes acting independently.”

View on Police Oracle


I wonder who it is... ? 

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