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256004

Hi all, i wonder if i could engage and get more thoughts on the DE Inspector Programme. A little about me first, i am a manager with the health care sector and have been for over 10 years now, i currently have a staff team of around 60 - 70 people. I am also a serving Special Constable and absolutely love the job and look forward to the weekends when i can go out on shift and assist my regular colleagues.

I wanted to gage peoples thoughts on the process and if by being a serving Special if would be looked upon any differently to say someone who had no operational experience at all. I am wanting to apply to West Mercia Police as if is the closest force to where i currently serve.

Any thoughts would be appreciated good or bad, and if anyone has gone through the process would be great to hear from you.

 

Many Thanks in advance. 

James 

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Sapor62

Hi James,

I've been a Special Constable, Special Sergeant and now again a Special Constable - In my previous day job I was managing one of the top 10 hotels on Tripadvisor for the UK, I had a team of around 50 and in civvy street at least, I was a great manager.

I disagree completely with the direct entry scheme, based purely on the fact I don't know of any career that can prepare you for the harsh realities of being a Sergeant (Most important in the police) and an Inspector, often having to make drastic decisions that can have lasting impacts.

The reality of it is, as civvy street managers we have never been commanders of a PSU serial when its kicked off, we have never had high risk mispers, we've never had to command major incidents etc. You can't learn this as a direct entrant, even though the college of policing will tell you that your 2 years being mentored will prepare you for this - it won't.

Sure, you can pass the exam and the board, anyone can if they study the books enough and give the right lip service to the board. But passing the exams and being a good guvnor are two very different beasts.

You may find that some officers think differently of you because you do have some policing experience, but my opinion on the matter is, although I wholeheartedly support the special constabulary and believe we produce some fine officers, it is no substitute for being a great PC for a few years, becoming a good skipper and then becoming a guvnor, the natural way - the way it works.

 

 

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grumeister

My old Inspector was on the fast track scheme. Brilliant sgt and brilliant Inspector. Gave me advice that i pass on to my probationers. The scheme can be goos but ot relies on selecting the right people.

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Reasonable Man

If you think you are up to it then go for it. There will always be people who don’t like new ways of doing things, often people who complain about the existing way of doing things!!
I got to Inspector after years of experience and tedious interview panels. If someone joins under a new system and makes a good boss then fine.
Will someone with 3 years policing service make be a better Inspector than someone with 20 years service? Who knows - they will lack policing experience but may more than make up for that in management skills and ability.

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Philbo

I thought long and hard about direct entry but decided against it in the end.
As a serving special I could join the job I love without having to sacrifice my salary and lifestyle.
The more I researched it the more I realised I’d be recruited to be a senior manager not as a grass routes officer. I doubted I’d ever be trained to the level of a regular PC.
One positive aspect of my research was all the regs in my station encouraged me to do it, they didn’t have an issue with direct entry, although no one could understand why anyone would want to be an inspector.

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Techie1

Do we need our direct entry Inspectors and Supts to be police officers?

If we want them for their management skills, why not just recruit police staff managers?

Just a thought...

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Cathedral Bobby

I think it is essential that police first/second line operational managers should have a proven track record of working the streets and dealing with the reality of policing, their skills and knowledge underpinned by experiencing life at the coal face as it were. Although I don't agree with direct entry for inspectors or superintendents, I have fewer concerns about superintendent DE than inspector DE. I was always more reassured in having a supervisor who through their experience had a greater understanding and possible empathy for those at the coal face. 

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Reasonable Man

Funny how different threads get conflicting views of others.
I know Remmy hasn’t contributed to this one but on another s/he said


Just a note of caution this organisation you work for is full of cowardly, spineless, self serving bosses, who would glady feed you to the wolves, if it suited their personal agenda. Be careful of verbal advice your given, it's about as much use as a chocolate fireguard if you are feed  to the wolves.

So the existing cohort of Inspectors and Superintendents are cowardly, spineless and self serving - so why support a system that produces such managers? Maybe recruiting professional managers would result in brave, selfless, supportive bosses who only need to learn about policing rather than how to manage and support their staff?

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BlueBob

There has to be more than one means of getting up in the ranks.  Its archaic that every CC MUST have been a pc on the local team, and yet expected to b capable of managing £100+ million budgets etc.  How are they doing it at the moment, they are doing it by backing away from policing, in the middle ranks, to go and study / learn how to be managers / accountants / diplomats.  So how can it be so wrong that accountants / diplomats / managers can't come along and learn from the other direction.  
I'm sure that some brilliant managers are recruited through the ranks as well as not such good ones which have been promoted beyond their skills and abilities. 

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Remmy
8 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:

Funny how different threads get conflicting views of others.
I know Remmy hasn’t contributed to this one but on another s/he said


So the existing cohort of Inspectors and Superintendents are cowardly, spineless and self serving - so why support a system that produces such managers? Maybe recruiting professional managers would result in brave, selfless, supportive bosses who only need to learn about policing rather than how to manage and support their staff?

I stand by my comments, anyone who has been in the job for more than a couple of years, will have came across such poor leader. However I said full, not all (subtle difference I kmow) please don't twist my comments to suit your argument  😉

The question is will direct entry improve the situation any? The answer for me is, I very much doubt it.

The problem in my experience isn't lack of talent with the police, rather the promotion system, the training and lack of suitable role models. There are some outstanding leaders out there, but there are not enough of them.

As for direct entry, no I don't agree with it but it's here. I wouldn't put anyone off, who thinks they have the right skills to make a good leader within the police. However I would urge them to read threads like this, to help understand what they will need to overcome to earn their officers respect. Unfortunately they may never achieve this but forewarned is forearmed.

 

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SimonT

I think the reasoning behind this has much to do with money. 

I'm involved in the promotion process and there is barely any investment in developing or training whatsoever. It's learn on the job and look it up on the net. Have a member of staff with complex medical or discipline needs? I'm sure you can work that out on the job. 

Rather than train staff to be good managers, its cheaper to get good managers and train them to be police officers. 

I have less objection to superintendents being direct entry than inspector. But there are bad managers everywhere so I suppose inspector is possible.

It's just sad that we won't invest in our own personal. 

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Mac7

It's just sad that we won't invest in our own personal. 


Completely agree. We are bad at looking inwards and developing talented officers. How the “business model” would look for this, I don’t know but an affective and proper appraisal process may be a start. I am a firm believer that leadership cannot be taught. You either have a natural leadership personality or you don’t. I can think of many officers I have worked with or know that would make brilliant senior officers but because they don’t flit from project to project or do Pilates with the chief they get overlooked. These officers get on with the job (in whatever role) and prove time and time again that they are extremely competent. There should be a way of developing that. There are far too many corporate people getting promoted currently (in my opinion) that may be able to quote chapter and verse the latest HO circular but cannot stand up and command demanding incidents. Our core business is policing. Everything else is secondary.

I don’t oppose DE. I’d work for a DE boss but there needs to be a recognition that it will take the prospective DE Inspector a long time to be competent in rank. Far longer than you expect. However, people are able to be a DE rank by the hard work by those who have gone before them. Those who started at the bottom and worked there way up. Policies, procedures, SOP’s don’t just appear, they are written by those who have real policing experience. Let’s not forget that DE ranks are mentored by experienced officers. Passing on that intangible, invaluable knowledge gained from being a front line officer and being at the coal face.

Everyone in every career starts at the bottom and works their way up or sideways through experience. A DE rank would have started their non policing career at a lower level in an organisation. Why should the police be an different. Those making comparisons with the military must remember that CO’s are heavily reliant on their NCO’s advice and experience. Plus it works the other way, I.e talented NCO’s can be commissioned. Why can’t this happen in the police?

Like I said, I don’t oppose DE. I don’t think it’s a great idea and I’m yet to see any radical ideas come from the DE ranks we have.
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Cathedral Bobby

I think DE has more to do with breaking the strangle hold the government perceive police officers have on the police service. As the ranks fill out with senior officers who haven't gone through the ranks, don't have sacred cows, and didn't join the police for a career in public service, it becomes easier for politicians to force through the changes they want. Although we have too many 'less than perfect' chiefs, if someone has spent 20-30 years in the job, has some understanding of what it might be like out on the streets, there is a better chance that they will (hopefully) try and protect policing. A perfect example of what the government really wants is our HMCIC and the fact that most HMICs are not from a policing background (they have no policing sacred cows). Policing is now a business to eventually be run by business people and not police officers. 

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BlueBob
5 hours ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

 Although we have too many 'less than perfect' chiefs, if someone has spent 20-30 years in the job, has some understanding of what it might be like out on the streets, there is a better chance that they will (hopefully) try and protect policing. A perfect example of what the government really wants is our HMCIC and the fact that most HMICs are not from a policing background (they have no policing sacred cows). Policing is now a business to eventually be run by business people and not police officers. 

In many ways you have hit the nail on the head, the days when the CC and high rank need to know what it is like as the late lamented "rank and file on the streets", that is not really their role, their role is political, in fighting, scraping through the high level drudge that is modern life.  When officers of all ranks recognise that policing and its accompanying roles is a business, with finite Funding and limited opportuntiy to Invest to seek rewardss perhaps then we may see an understanding that times have and will change.

It used to be that reading the CC or Commissioner's reports was really quite easy (used to test it against the Fleisch rating or whatever it was called) but now they are less reports and notstatistical and tactical gibberish.  Appreciating that, may lead policing to Wards embracing the idea that senior ranks are more manager than they are traditional police officer in the majority of roles.

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