Changes to police leadership: the legitimisation and the challenges of direct entry

Book chapter


Williams, E. and Scott, S. 2019. Changes to police leadership: the legitimisation and the challenges of direct entry. in: Ramshaw, P., Silvestri, M. and Simpson, M. (ed.) Police Leadership: Changing Landscapes Palgrave mcmillan.
AuthorsWilliams, E. and Scott, S.
EditorsRamshaw, P., Silvestri, M. and Simpson, M.
Abstract

Tradition and culture have long been key in regards to role, structure, and career progression within the historical and contemporary Police Service in England and Wales. Of late however, societal and political changes, along with media and public scrutiny over the last five decades, have impacted upon policing and the way in which the Police Service is ran, increasing emphasis upon accountability as an everyday expectation.

One of the biggest ‘shake ups’ to the service in recent times, is the emergence of Direct Entry. Direct entry refers to a person(s) previously working in a civilian role, not necessarily linked or having knowledge of policing, entering the Police Service at Inspector or Superintendent level. The College of Policing, the professional body for policing in England and Wales, have recruited candidates from many diverse career paths, including law, the banking sector, insurance, and the retail industry. Whilst senior officer entry is standard practice within other uniformed organisations, such as the armed forces, it has never been the case for policing, with all recruits previously making their way through the ranks from Police Constable upwards. This change in tradition has been met with much scepticism from the general public, serving police officers, and other key stakeholders.

This chapter explores the thinking behind this controversial move and considers the advantages and drawbacks of a civilian entering the service as a mid-ranking or superordinate police leader. The chapter will look at the reasoning behind direct entry, the current status, training provision, and the longer-term vision of the Police Service.

Year2019
Book titlePolice Leadership: Changing Landscapes
PublisherPalgrave mcmillan
ISBN9783030214685
Publication dates
Print24 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Mar 2019
Accepted24 Feb 2019
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