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Why wasn’t PC David Carrick sacked? The Met Commissioner is disgracefully helpless

How many more vigils will it take? Credit: Justin Tallis//AFP via Getty

How many more vigils will it take? Credit: Justin Tallis//AFP via Getty


January 17, 2023   6 mins

Some men join the police for the wrong reasons. Senior officers know this perfectly well — and they should be on guard against predators in their ranks. So what did the Metropolitan Police do when PC David Carrick, now revealed as one of this country’s most prolific rapists, kept being accused of rape and domestic violence by one woman after another? They gave “bastard Dave”, as he was known to colleagues, a gun and a place on one of the force’s elite units.

The full scale of Carrick’s offending began to emerge at Southwark Crown Court this week when he admitted 47 rapes, nine sexual assaults, three counts of coercive control, two of false imprisonment, and a string of other offences. The charges relate to attacks on 13 women in London and Hertfordshire over a period of 17 years. The court heard that Carrick remained a serving officer throughout that time, even though the Met were told about repeated allegations suggesting he was a threat to women. The senior officer who eventually investigated the case concluded that Carrick had an “appetite for degradation and control”. Surely someone should have noticed – and suspended him?

The parallels with the case of PC Wayne Couzens, the Met police officer who raped and murdered Sarah Everard, are staggering. He too had a nickname among colleagues: “the rapist”. Both men served on the parliamentary and diplomatic protection squad, where firearms are routinely carried. Both passed vetting procedures to get onto the squad, despite the allegations against them — rape in Carrick’s case, indecent exposure in Couzens’.

Both men, and this is perhaps the most frightening aspect from the point of view of public protection, used their warrant cards to deflect suspicions. Before attacking a woman in September 2020, Carrick flashed his warrant card to persuade her he wasn’t a threat. Couzens did the same to persuade Sarah Everard to get into his car in south London during a Covid lockdown in March 2021.

Carrick told his victims they would not be believed if they complained about a policeman – and he was right. He forced some women into a tiny understairs cupboard, where they were kept naked and cramped for hours. In all, the Met police received nine complaints about him for a range of alleged offences that included domestic abuse, burglary, harassment and assault. No action was taken.

The question of how Carrick and Couzens came to be on the force and remain there goes to the heart of what is wrong with policing in this country. It is the harshest possible indictment of selection, training, supervision and disciplinary procedures, all of which appear unequal to the task of dealing with even the most flagrant predators. Complaints take years to move through the system, are sometimes handled by colleagues of an accused officer, and appear to start from a point of scepticism towards the complainant.

It’s not so much a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, as a way of avoiding detection and punishment altogether. The first complaint against Carrick during his police career was filed more than 20 years ago, when he was accused of actual bodily harm against a girlfriend who was trying to leave him. No action was taken and he was reported by another girlfriend in 2004, but the Met’s department for professional standards did not investigate.

Five years later, Carrick qualified as a firearms officer and was almost immediately accused of abusing a girlfriend. The Met was informed but took no action. And so it went on: there were other allegations leading up to July 2021, when a former girlfriend went to Sussex police and accused him of rape. Even then Carrick wasn’t suspended, but was placed on ‘restricted duties’ for a few weeks. It was decided he had no case to answer and he was allowed to carry a firearm again. Carrick has now pleaded guilty to raping both women. He was finally caught in October that year, when a woman he had met on a dating site accused him of rape.

The urgent question that the Met needs to answer is “how many more?” How many other serving officers have been accused of sexual assault or domestic abuse, yet are still serving on the force? An answer emerged just after Carrick’s guilty pleas were reported, when the Met admitted it is investigating 1,000 sexual and domestic abuse claims involving around 800 of its 35,000 officers. Those of us who live in London are policed, in other words, by a force where about one in every 50 officers is under investigation.

The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has admitted that “hundreds” of his officers need to be sacked. Rowley believes it is too difficult at present to get rid of bad officers, but we are entitled to ask what is being done about the ones who shouldn’t be there. Have they been placed on restricted duties? Rowley inherited this mess from his predecessor, the unlamented Dame Cressida Dick, who appeared to be in denial about the scale of the problem. “Sadly, on occasion, I have a bad ‘un’,” she said after Ms Everard’s murder, falling back on the tired old “bad apple” defence.

At least Rowley admits it’s worse than that, and he has some notion of how Carrick was able to stay on the force. “We failed as investigators, where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots on this repeated misogyny over a couple of decades,” he said on Monday evening. He acknowledged that the failures were “systemic” and that senior officers should have been more determined to root out a misogynist like Carrick.

Most of the questions being asked at present are about the role of senior officers, but police forces are supposed to be held to account by elected Police and Crime Commissioners. They are paid generous salaries, in excess of ÂŁ80,000 a year, but it’s hard to see that they have had any impact at all on the culture of misogyny and impunity that exists within so many police forces. Decent officers have been complaining for years that they aren’t listened to or, worse, that their careers suffer if they try to report anxieties about colleagues. Four years ago, the Centre for Women’s Justice launched a super-complaint against a number of police forces, alleging that they were letting off male officers accused of domestic abuse. Some of the women who spoke out were themselves police officers, and one of them described how her partner warned her he had friends in high places. An official response, in June last year, recognised “systemic deficiencies” in the way some forces deal with allegations against officers and staff.

Carrick’s admission of large-scale offending confirms the widespread feeling among women that we can’t trust the police — and that the actions needed to regain public trust aren’t being taken swiftly enough. Three months ago, an interim report into the culture and standards of Met by Dame Louise Casey recognised a raft of failings, including officers facing multiple accusations from colleagues being allowed to stay on the force. Rowley said at the time that the findings of the report moved him to tears, but his remarks about the difficulty of sacking criminal officers make him sound alarmingly helpless.

“We have some very worrying cases with officers who’ve committed criminality whilst police officers and yet I’m not allowed to sack them,” he said last week. He says he has the backing of ministers to change the police recruiting system, which is an urgent priority in the midst of a drive to employ thousands more officers, but it’s hard to know why someone didn’t think of this earlier. Surely blocking men with criminal records of a history of allegations against them should have been a priority years ago?

Rowley spent much of Monday apologising for failures in the Carrick case, and he knows that the Met will face another drubbing when the final Casey report is published later this year. She has written to the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, suggesting that the non-statutory Angiolini inquiry into the rape and murder of Sarah Everard should be expanded to look at Carrick’s conduct and the missed opportunities to identify his pattern of behaviour. “If this is not possible,” Casey adds crisply, “I am willing to volunteer myself.”

It’s hard to avoid wondering why we need so many inquiries, when the obvious course of action is to combine them into one, along the lines of the Macpherson inquiry into institutional racism. I called for exactly that more than 18 months ago, when I was Co-chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board, but the result was a resounding silence.

Labour has now promised to introduce new national standards of police vetting, but over a period of decades, a hierarchy has developed in which misogyny and bullying have been normalised. Our perverse police culture is unable to identify burglars and rapists, yet apparently willing to tolerate sexual predators in uniform. What woman would trust them again?


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She was previously Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board. Her book Unfortunately, She Was A Nymphomaniac: A New History of Rome’s Imperial Women will be published in November 2024.

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Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

“senior officers should have been more determined to root out a misogynist like Carrick.”
The quote above illustrates one of the problems that bedevils addressing the failure to root out criminal police officers. The problem with Carrick and numerous other officers against whom allegations of criminal conduct are made are not that they are “misogynist” – in the sense of guilty of telling inappropriate jokes – but that they are criminals and their criminality is not properly investigated. This, of course, is a major problem in general that far too many crimes are not properly investigated and this applies particularly to fraud.

The force has become a bureaucratic and politically correct “service” that is much more eager to spend time monitoring what is said rather than cracking down on criminality. The police need to return to the hard task of thoroughly investigating real crime and ensuring the evidence is made available to secure convictions. The failure to investigate and act upon previous allegations of criminal conduct against Carrick is part and parcel of the failure of the police force to do its job in rooting out criminals both within and without the force – major failure to prioritise what is important and to disregard the trivial and easy.

Of course getting solid evidence to secure a conviction of rape may be difficult where the offence is evidenced simply by allegations – but repeated allegations of a similar type ought to involve a serious investigation and evidence that falls short of that needed for a conviction should, if the investigators are convinced the offences probably took place, result in the conclusion that the officer involved should not continue on the force given the confidence that should repose in police officers.

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I was struck by the reference to officers with “criminal records of a history of allegations”. The whole problem is that they didn’t have criminal records, which require convictions, which in turn require serious investigations.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  George H

Well put. It also strikes me that a huge part of this story is missing. Yes he was clearly able to get away with appalling behaviour for far too long. BUT on the other hand he’s pled guilty to almost 50 counts of rape, all of which (unless he underwent a fairly Damascene conversion and confessed to them unprompted) must have been investigated and substantiated to the point where they could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. So how did that happen? Something has (belatedly) gone right here, in a big way. But we don’t hear what it was because the article’s thrust is “no woman should ever trust the police because some of them are absolute monsters, and what’s more an average of 1.25 complaints have been made against slightly over 2% of them.”

It’s the sort of thing I’d expect from the i. Unherd’s usually a lot better than this but I worry it’s losing its edge.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

‘Records of a history of allegations of criminal behavior ‘ is more accurate.
However we have already gone too far down the line of accepting allegations as convictions. The ‘something must be done’ response to Soham.

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

Your phrasing is indeed more accurate. At the same time, I don’t think the issue here is whether senior management in the police should accept allegations of criminal behaviour as if they were convictions or proof of guilt. That would go against the basic principles of justice that our society at least <i>claims</i> still to believe in. Rather, it’s whether membership of the police should require a person to behave to a higher standard than simply not having an actual criminal record. Unfounded and malicious allegations against members of the police would not be surprising in themselves; people could have many reasons for wanting to discredit a police officer, particularly if that officer is paying unwanted attention to their activities. But a <i>pattern</i> of allegations, from different complainants, seems to me to be incompatible with a job upholding the law.

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

Your phrasing is indeed more accurate. At the same time, I don’t think the issue here is whether senior management in the police should accept allegations of criminal behaviour as if they were convictions or proof of guilt. That would go against the basic principles of justice that our society at least <i>claims</i> still to believe in. Rather, it’s whether membership of the police should require a person to behave to a higher standard than simply not having an actual criminal record. Unfounded and malicious allegations against members of the police would not be surprising in themselves; people could have many reasons for wanting to discredit a police officer, particularly if that officer is paying unwanted attention to their activities. But a <i>pattern</i> of allegations, from different complainants, seems to me to be incompatible with a job upholding the law.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

‘Records of a history of allegations of criminal behavior ‘ is more accurate.
However we have already gone too far down the line of accepting allegations as convictions. The ‘something must be done’ response to Soham.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  George H

I was wondering about that phrase, which doesn’t quite make sense. Was it meant to be “criminal records OR a history of allegations” perhaps?

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Your ‘quite’ is generous; it doesn’t make sense at all. I hadn’t considered the possibility of a misprint, which would at least render the phrase coherent, but would also mean that some officers with actual criminal records were not dealt with, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Your ‘quite’ is generous; it doesn’t make sense at all. I hadn’t considered the possibility of a misprint, which would at least render the phrase coherent, but would also mean that some officers with actual criminal records were not dealt with, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  George H

Well put. It also strikes me that a huge part of this story is missing. Yes he was clearly able to get away with appalling behaviour for far too long. BUT on the other hand he’s pled guilty to almost 50 counts of rape, all of which (unless he underwent a fairly Damascene conversion and confessed to them unprompted) must have been investigated and substantiated to the point where they could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. So how did that happen? Something has (belatedly) gone right here, in a big way. But we don’t hear what it was because the article’s thrust is “no woman should ever trust the police because some of them are absolute monsters, and what’s more an average of 1.25 complaints have been made against slightly over 2% of them.”

It’s the sort of thing I’d expect from the i. Unherd’s usually a lot better than this but I worry it’s losing its edge.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  George H

I was wondering about that phrase, which doesn’t quite make sense. Was it meant to be “criminal records OR a history of allegations” perhaps?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Precisely.

What I suspect will happen is the fuzz will be sent on training courses berating them for their misogyny. Of course, while many men will make jocular and perhaps inappropriate comments about women most men treat women with courtesy and care. Few have hatred of women.

The police and many other institutions should stop these stupid courses and do their best to find the dangerous men. It’s tough. They’ll keep missing them but what struck me is that serious complaints about Cartill were not investigated. Shocking.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

I share your fear that more money will be pumped into useless anti-misogyny training courses and investigating hurtful “misogynistic” comments rather than into the hard task of investigating serious allegations of criminality. One of the problems is the fact that getting rid of unsatisfactory employees has become a legal minefield where the HR department is more concerned to avoid an expensive lawsuit so problem employees are often retained.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Wouldn’t it be great if HR departments went back to managing the payroll spreadsheet and kept their noses out of management?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

And return to being called the Personnel Department.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

And return to being called the Personnel Department.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Wouldn’t it be great if HR departments went back to managing the payroll spreadsheet and kept their noses out of management?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

I share your fear that more money will be pumped into useless anti-misogyny training courses and investigating hurtful “misogynistic” comments rather than into the hard task of investigating serious allegations of criminality. One of the problems is the fact that getting rid of unsatisfactory employees has become a legal minefield where the HR department is more concerned to avoid an expensive lawsuit so problem employees are often retained.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

When working overseas compnies often had a clause or two along the lines of
” Employees will comply with the customs, traditions and etiquette of the zone of operations and make strenuous efforts not to cause offence. Also it used to be required to learn the languages “. Secretaries in employed by Shell Sharja in the 1940s had to learn Arabic.
This meant that if the employee offended local people with regard to religion and customs, they could be sent home. It could be as simple as in Muslim countries as eating with one’s left hand at formal meal. This meant not only did each person have to behave but those with them as well. In addition, if the wife caused offence, both were sent home. Formal interviews used to be undertaken of husband and wife and they were briefed as to the conduct required which included children, especially after the age of puberty. If one did not accept the conditioons, one was not employed.
The simple phrase of ” Conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman or lady ” is all that is needed.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

This is absolutely hilarious!!!
Because the British spent so much time and effort complying with local customs and traditions when abroad?!?! Utterly comical!!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

My contract had these terms. A bank used to interview prospective wives to assess whether they could cope with the rigours of living in say Riyadh in the 1950s.
Countries such as Kuwait developed rapidly by the late 1960s. In the early 1970s, in some parts of the Middle East male employees were warnd to not allow their wives and daughters to to the edge of the desert in cased they were kidnapped. In the 1970s, slavery was still legal in Mauritania.
Peter O’Toole met beduin who had ridden with Lawrence during filming of Lawrence of Arabia.
If you want some understanding of Arabian Peninsula in 1946/47, read Thesiger’s ” Arabian Sands “

Richard Woods
Richard Woods
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Yes, they did. Residents and Collectors of the East India Company did so with much enthusiasm, adopting local dress, culinary habits (they introduced “curry” to England), the language, and women.
Evidently your historical appreciation of the history of trade is sadly lacking.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

My contract had these terms. A bank used to interview prospective wives to assess whether they could cope with the rigours of living in say Riyadh in the 1950s.
Countries such as Kuwait developed rapidly by the late 1960s. In the early 1970s, in some parts of the Middle East male employees were warnd to not allow their wives and daughters to to the edge of the desert in cased they were kidnapped. In the 1970s, slavery was still legal in Mauritania.
Peter O’Toole met beduin who had ridden with Lawrence during filming of Lawrence of Arabia.
If you want some understanding of Arabian Peninsula in 1946/47, read Thesiger’s ” Arabian Sands “

Richard Woods
Richard Woods
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Yes, they did. Residents and Collectors of the East India Company did so with much enthusiasm, adopting local dress, culinary habits (they introduced “curry” to England), the language, and women.
Evidently your historical appreciation of the history of trade is sadly lacking.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

This is absolutely hilarious!!!
Because the British spent so much time and effort complying with local customs and traditions when abroad?!?! Utterly comical!!

John Reid
John Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Rape culture
 
he was called b*****d dave, well diane abbots called angry black woman and , police use to like to have nasty nicknames the b*****d squad or the pigs in a self mocking way
Allegations mean nothing as for couzens the allegation of flashing couldn’t be linked to him, when he lived in kent and was part of the nuclear royal navy constabulary hardly a proper police force

The fortune this federation spend isn’t that for officer pay? As for they defend criminal cops isn’t that like saying the national union of miners spent a fortune on lawyers to defend their members when accused of wrong doing or criminality of which many were found guilty

George H
George H
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I was struck by the reference to officers with “criminal records of a history of allegations”. The whole problem is that they didn’t have criminal records, which require convictions, which in turn require serious investigations.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Precisely.

What I suspect will happen is the fuzz will be sent on training courses berating them for their misogyny. Of course, while many men will make jocular and perhaps inappropriate comments about women most men treat women with courtesy and care. Few have hatred of women.

The police and many other institutions should stop these stupid courses and do their best to find the dangerous men. It’s tough. They’ll keep missing them but what struck me is that serious complaints about Cartill were not investigated. Shocking.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

When working overseas compnies often had a clause or two along the lines of
” Employees will comply with the customs, traditions and etiquette of the zone of operations and make strenuous efforts not to cause offence. Also it used to be required to learn the languages “. Secretaries in employed by Shell Sharja in the 1940s had to learn Arabic.
This meant that if the employee offended local people with regard to religion and customs, they could be sent home. It could be as simple as in Muslim countries as eating with one’s left hand at formal meal. This meant not only did each person have to behave but those with them as well. In addition, if the wife caused offence, both were sent home. Formal interviews used to be undertaken of husband and wife and they were briefed as to the conduct required which included children, especially after the age of puberty. If one did not accept the conditioons, one was not employed.
The simple phrase of ” Conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman or lady ” is all that is needed.

John Reid
John Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Rape culture
 
he was called b*****d dave, well diane abbots called angry black woman and , police use to like to have nasty nicknames the b*****d squad or the pigs in a self mocking way
Allegations mean nothing as for couzens the allegation of flashing couldn’t be linked to him, when he lived in kent and was part of the nuclear royal navy constabulary hardly a proper police force

The fortune this federation spend isn’t that for officer pay? As for they defend criminal cops isn’t that like saying the national union of miners spent a fortune on lawyers to defend their members when accused of wrong doing or criminality of which many were found guilty

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

“senior officers should have been more determined to root out a misogynist like Carrick.”
The quote above illustrates one of the problems that bedevils addressing the failure to root out criminal police officers. The problem with Carrick and numerous other officers against whom allegations of criminal conduct are made are not that they are “misogynist” – in the sense of guilty of telling inappropriate jokes – but that they are criminals and their criminality is not properly investigated. This, of course, is a major problem in general that far too many crimes are not properly investigated and this applies particularly to fraud.

The force has become a bureaucratic and politically correct “service” that is much more eager to spend time monitoring what is said rather than cracking down on criminality. The police need to return to the hard task of thoroughly investigating real crime and ensuring the evidence is made available to secure convictions. The failure to investigate and act upon previous allegations of criminal conduct against Carrick is part and parcel of the failure of the police force to do its job in rooting out criminals both within and without the force – major failure to prioritise what is important and to disregard the trivial and easy.

Of course getting solid evidence to secure a conviction of rape may be difficult where the offence is evidenced simply by allegations – but repeated allegations of a similar type ought to involve a serious investigation and evidence that falls short of that needed for a conviction should, if the investigators are convinced the offences probably took place, result in the conclusion that the officer involved should not continue on the force given the confidence that should repose in police officers.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

More rules and procedures won’t solve this appalling problem. What is needed is courageous leadership at the middle levels, so officers are prepared to back their judgement and take action, knowing they will be supported by the senior ranks. If I was in charge of a police station where one of my men was called the Rapist, and the other b*****d Dave, I would want to know why.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

More rules and procedures won’t solve this appalling problem. What is needed is courageous leadership at the middle levels, so officers are prepared to back their judgement and take action, knowing they will be supported by the senior ranks. If I was in charge of a police station where one of my men was called the Rapist, and the other b*****d Dave, I would want to know why.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

How much do the police spend on their HR and governance where they are committed to every progressive idea of tolerance, equality and inclusivity? Isn’t this the case with our hollowed out institutions that talk the talk but are really self-serving job creation schemes? And the last thing we need is another inquiry – there are systems there for rooting out bad apples and those who allow them to remain in place.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

How much do the police spend on their HR and governance where they are committed to every progressive idea of tolerance, equality and inclusivity? Isn’t this the case with our hollowed out institutions that talk the talk but are really self-serving job creation schemes? And the last thing we need is another inquiry – there are systems there for rooting out bad apples and those who allow them to remain in place.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
1 year ago

This criminality in the police and the culture of ignoring it has been around a long time. One of the issues is that officers being investigated just resign and claim their pension. As they have left the police have no sanctions other than prosecution and rarely see the need to make such a ‘fuss’ over an ex officer. Result they are completely unpunished and sometimes even join another force.

Internal investigations must not be dropped but continued until someone has to sign off the officer as innocent or not.

There must also be prosecution of all failures of professional standards so they cannot just resign to avoid punishment.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
1 year ago

This criminality in the police and the culture of ignoring it has been around a long time. One of the issues is that officers being investigated just resign and claim their pension. As they have left the police have no sanctions other than prosecution and rarely see the need to make such a ‘fuss’ over an ex officer. Result they are completely unpunished and sometimes even join another force.

Internal investigations must not be dropped but continued until someone has to sign off the officer as innocent or not.

There must also be prosecution of all failures of professional standards so they cannot just resign to avoid punishment.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
1 year ago

The problems with these issues go back 20 yrs or more. Back in the late 90s there was a government push to bring civilians into police forces to ‘free up bobbies to do real police work’ A nice idea on paper. In practice it meant that lots of areas were selected for civilianisation. Recruitment was one of them. Civil servants have mazing abilities to build little empires & police commanders enabled this. If you look at the senior officers in your average police force now they’ll have civilian equivalents with titles to match the senior officers & inevitably one will be in charge of the HR monolith. 
Prior to this, first line recruitment was often carried out by experienced sergeants. What they had in abundance was a copper’s instinct. I’m 22 yrs away from policing now, but I well recall attending a briefing on what were described as ‘the problem children’ (these weren’t criminal officers, just ones with a poor sickness record & were usually described as not being much use when they were at work either). Virtually all of their immediate colleagues wanted rid of these ‘passengers’.
There was a very interesting finding in the study around that briefing in 1999. In every case, the recruiting sergeant has made a negative comment or expressed doubts about the candidate & was over-ruled by someone senior in the recruitment process. In other words, they ignored the two most basic things that make a good police officer. Experience on the streets & the resulting instinct that comes with that experience. 
Of course nowadays the idea of a sergeant visiting the family home of an applicant & chatting to the parents & siblings & ‘getting a feel’ for the candidate are all seen as outdated. Now there’ll be focus groups & action centred workshops to identify initiative & leadership. Some of this is even contracted out. No one will have actually have got a real sense for the person, in the way that a seasoned recruiting sergeant would have. What’s more that sergeant wouldn’t be listened to, (even if they voiced concerns), lest the organisation be accused of discriminating against anyone. 
The other big failing in modern policing is the proper use of the probationary period. Under police regulations there is the ability to sack an officer without recourse during probation if they are deemed not to make the standard for a good officer. 
I can recall having a probationer once, who was just not cut out for the job. His time keeping was poor, his sickness record (especially for a probationer) was nothing special & when at work I described him as ‘work shy’. So in his appraisal I recommended that he shouldn’t be confirmed as a constable at the end of his probation. Truth be told I had a fight on my hands. But for a supportive Superintendent he’d probably have been nodded through. We got him removed & then the inevitable letter arrived from a solicitor. The Superintendent replied & suggested the solicitor acquaint himself with police regulations. We never heard from him again. 

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

When I applied (but didn’t eventually carry through*) for the City Police it was all done by current officers. It was clear that several unsuitable people were in our tranche of applicants, and these recruiting officers spotted and removed them rapidly.

*I chose to take a University place instead.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

When I applied (but didn’t eventually carry through*) for the City Police it was all done by current officers. It was clear that several unsuitable people were in our tranche of applicants, and these recruiting officers spotted and removed them rapidly.

*I chose to take a University place instead.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
1 year ago

The problems with these issues go back 20 yrs or more. Back in the late 90s there was a government push to bring civilians into police forces to ‘free up bobbies to do real police work’ A nice idea on paper. In practice it meant that lots of areas were selected for civilianisation. Recruitment was one of them. Civil servants have mazing abilities to build little empires & police commanders enabled this. If you look at the senior officers in your average police force now they’ll have civilian equivalents with titles to match the senior officers & inevitably one will be in charge of the HR monolith. 
Prior to this, first line recruitment was often carried out by experienced sergeants. What they had in abundance was a copper’s instinct. I’m 22 yrs away from policing now, but I well recall attending a briefing on what were described as ‘the problem children’ (these weren’t criminal officers, just ones with a poor sickness record & were usually described as not being much use when they were at work either). Virtually all of their immediate colleagues wanted rid of these ‘passengers’.
There was a very interesting finding in the study around that briefing in 1999. In every case, the recruiting sergeant has made a negative comment or expressed doubts about the candidate & was over-ruled by someone senior in the recruitment process. In other words, they ignored the two most basic things that make a good police officer. Experience on the streets & the resulting instinct that comes with that experience. 
Of course nowadays the idea of a sergeant visiting the family home of an applicant & chatting to the parents & siblings & ‘getting a feel’ for the candidate are all seen as outdated. Now there’ll be focus groups & action centred workshops to identify initiative & leadership. Some of this is even contracted out. No one will have actually have got a real sense for the person, in the way that a seasoned recruiting sergeant would have. What’s more that sergeant wouldn’t be listened to, (even if they voiced concerns), lest the organisation be accused of discriminating against anyone. 
The other big failing in modern policing is the proper use of the probationary period. Under police regulations there is the ability to sack an officer without recourse during probation if they are deemed not to make the standard for a good officer. 
I can recall having a probationer once, who was just not cut out for the job. His time keeping was poor, his sickness record (especially for a probationer) was nothing special & when at work I described him as ‘work shy’. So in his appraisal I recommended that he shouldn’t be confirmed as a constable at the end of his probation. Truth be told I had a fight on my hands. But for a supportive Superintendent he’d probably have been nodded through. We got him removed & then the inevitable letter arrived from a solicitor. The Superintendent replied & suggested the solicitor acquaint himself with police regulations. We never heard from him again. 

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

In this Metro-tier analysis, Joan Smith highlights how Labour will introduce a vetting system.

The party that can’t define a woman will be able to vet and identify misogynists applying to be police officers…..

Have I just ruled myself out of a copper job for disagreeing with a woman?

Maybe this would have been solved sooner if the police weren’t so busy arresting Christians for silently praying near abortion clinics, questioning people over tweets and assisting eco protests

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago

In this Metro-tier analysis, Joan Smith highlights how Labour will introduce a vetting system.

The party that can’t define a woman will be able to vet and identify misogynists applying to be police officers…..

Have I just ruled myself out of a copper job for disagreeing with a woman?

Maybe this would have been solved sooner if the police weren’t so busy arresting Christians for silently praying near abortion clinics, questioning people over tweets and assisting eco protests

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

The problem when the Police was formed it was decided there would no officer class and all would be promoted from the rank of constable. What do we want of a police man or woman. Are they an Officer of the Law and expected to behave as officer of the Armed Forces or are they a private in blue.
Up to the mid 1960s part of this problem was circumvented by many Chief Constable being ex Military officers. Trenchard who was Commissioner of the Met in the 1920s was a Former Air Chief Marshall. Many Chief Constable were colonels or above. I think at stage one could moved from the Armed Forces to the Police. A captain became a Chief Inspector. Also, certainly the City of London recruited many formers sergeants from the Guards Petty Officers from the Royal Navy.
Over Carrick’s career there has been a complete failure by senior officers to o judge that his behaviour was worthy of sacking. This comes down to massive failure   judgement. Once one is in position of leadership, a person’s worth is basically the quality of their judgment. In the Armed Forces there is a charge of conduct unbecoming of an officer. If senior officers cannot detect that Carrick was a criminal, how good are they of detecting criminals outside of the Police for which they are employed?. Another explanation was  that Couzens and Carrick held onto their positions because they are able to blackmail senior officers?
What is to be done? I suggest the following
1.  Senior Military officers of Lt Colonel or higher are appointed as Chief Constable. Deputy CC would be the career police officer.- return to pre 1950s situation.
2.  Entry standards to be raised to RN Accelerated Apprenticeship and copy the selection procedures. A Levels to be restricted to classical and Modern Languages, History, English, Maths and Sciences. Many arts degrees are worthless, A Levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry are not.
3.  Entry from Armed Forces at Sergeant and Officer Level to be encouraged. I suggest returning to pre 1950s/WW2 where rank was kept, Sergeants became Sergeants, Lts were appointed as Inspector, Captain Chief Inspector and Major Superintendent.
4.  Introduce the sackable offence of ” Conduct unbecoming of an officer “.
5.  Annual fitness tests up to the age of 40 years. The standard required would be RN or Technical Corps of The Army.
6.  All police to maintain the same conduct expected of the officers of the Armed Forces.
7.  Should all Police be sent to the officer training establishments and be taught the duties, responsibilities and conduct required of an officer? This appears to be lacking from present day Police training.
8.  Unless Police behave as Officers and Gentlemen /Ladies they will have a graduate only recruitment policy and probably an officer class imposed upon them. 

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Superb analysis, ‘this should be known as “The Hedges Report”!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Thank you. Having worked in good, average and bad organisations; played a variety of sports, had friends in a variety of military organisations, lived in rough violent parts of cities and studied history, I have become interested in what works and why decline sets in.
If one takes three organisations; Shell, TheAll Blacks and Royal Marine Commandos they set the standards which others follow and have done so for over a hundred years. Why? They have a clear understanding of the challenges and obstacles they face and have a selection procedure   which recruits people with potential. All training does is cut and polish the stone: one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Training cuts and polishes the stone. In all organisations selection and training has varied as challenges and obstacles have varied.
The Police are recruited from the People. Britain by the 1870s, apart from a few rough areas, such as the docks, Britain had very low rates of killings and robbery: honesty, chivalry and gallantry were respected virtues by all classes. Since the 1960s a combination of ill manners, ill- discipline, coarseness, crudeness, crass materialism evolved in America and migrated to Britain and combined with white British Middle class Trotskyism which ridiculed and undermined politeness, good manners, and honesty has coarsened and reduced the honesty of vast numbers of British people. Many West Indian and West African parents were horrified of theses attitudes in London comprehensives and sent their children back home to be educated.The Police who recruit from the British people reflect the change.
In the 1960s, Jack Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dr Martin Luther King, Motown and the entertainment industry maintained a degree of decency which rapidly declined post early 1970s. Those who grew up in the horrors of the Depression, suffered poverty, the hunger and the squalid living conditions, then endured combat, know how thin is the veneer of civilisation and how self-control and self- discipline is needed to prevent killing. Men queuing for a days work to earn money to feed their family will soon resort to violence and only decency and self control will prevent it. Both the killings and woundings  by gang members and actions by Carrick and Couzens are result of the under mining of the Judaeo Christian morality which underpins chivalry and gallantry. There will be no doubt those who mock me but I would ask them ” How would you cope in a fight when out  numbered and being attacked by people with knives or broken bottles?”. If you would not cope, then I suggest a return to the British concepts of chivalry and gallantry could save you from being killed, raped, crippled or scarred for life.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Your two comments are hopefully a parody because they are almost beyond mockery.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

I have worked with Irish foremen and they did not allow swearing in front of ladies let alone conversation with sexual innuendo. Swearing was not allowed in front the ladies who worked in construction site canteens. I have spoken to ladies who said they preferred working in construction companies and even on site because they were treated with respect.
During the height of football hooliganism men in the crowds at rugby league matches did not not allow foul language or bad behavior in front of ladies. The men who play rugby league are far larger, stronger and tougher than footballers, often come from the,same disadvantage backgrounds as footballers, so why was there next to no violence and foul behavior? When there was pitch invasion at Hull RLFC, the Chairman threaetned to close the club if it happened again.
Historically many women have worked in pubs in rough areas and even owned them but they were unmolested even while there were fights between men.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Rose tinted view of the past I think CH. Look up what Robert Marks had to do when appointed in 70s to Head of the Met. Huge corruption problem he had to take on.
As we all appreciate many Officers are fantastic public servants, and must be furious with the few that damage the trust in which they are placed.
As regards the military – my time in the military introduced me to racism, sexism, anti-semitism and anti-catholicism way beyond anything I had experienced in my prior 18yrs. Elements were utterly dreadful. It of course though also embedded some tremendous lifelong values too for which I remain v grateful, but the dichotomy remained. Fortunately I know from my Son and Daughter, both who’ve served, things are much improved.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Do not deny corruption of 1970.
You mention the Army,The City of London Police recruited ex- sergeants from the Guards and Royal Navy, how did they behave? Those failed to enter the City of London often went into the Met’.
Your comments about the Army: did those who worked alongside other races in WW2 and Colonial Conflicts, say Palestine, Malaya, Borneo, Oman, etc and had to learn local languages behave in a racist manner ? What about Roman Catholic officers?
How much was due to poor pay by 1970? How much of pay of police officers had been boosted by Army Pensions and as numbers declined, corruption increased?
How did our Police compare to any other country, say France or Italy or New York in 1970? How did our murder rate compare with other countries ?
Please compare violence from Rugby League with Football supporters ? Cannot remember much violence from Rugby League supporters.
Drunk in enough rough pubs, female bar staff were safe.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Do not deny corruption of 1970.
You mention the Army,The City of London Police recruited ex- sergeants from the Guards and Royal Navy, how did they behave? Those failed to enter the City of London often went into the Met’.
Your comments about the Army: did those who worked alongside other races in WW2 and Colonial Conflicts, say Palestine, Malaya, Borneo, Oman, etc and had to learn local languages behave in a racist manner ? What about Roman Catholic officers?
How much was due to poor pay by 1970? How much of pay of police officers had been boosted by Army Pensions and as numbers declined, corruption increased?
How did our Police compare to any other country, say France or Italy or New York in 1970? How did our murder rate compare with other countries ?
Please compare violence from Rugby League with Football supporters ? Cannot remember much violence from Rugby League supporters.
Drunk in enough rough pubs, female bar staff were safe.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Rose tinted view of the past I think CH. Look up what Robert Marks had to do when appointed in 70s to Head of the Met. Huge corruption problem he had to take on.
As we all appreciate many Officers are fantastic public servants, and must be furious with the few that damage the trust in which they are placed.
As regards the military – my time in the military introduced me to racism, sexism, anti-semitism and anti-catholicism way beyond anything I had experienced in my prior 18yrs. Elements were utterly dreadful. It of course though also embedded some tremendous lifelong values too for which I remain v grateful, but the dichotomy remained. Fortunately I know from my Son and Daughter, both who’ve served, things are much improved.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

I have worked with Irish foremen and they did not allow swearing in front of ladies let alone conversation with sexual innuendo. Swearing was not allowed in front the ladies who worked in construction site canteens. I have spoken to ladies who said they preferred working in construction companies and even on site because they were treated with respect.
During the height of football hooliganism men in the crowds at rugby league matches did not not allow foul language or bad behavior in front of ladies. The men who play rugby league are far larger, stronger and tougher than footballers, often come from the,same disadvantage backgrounds as footballers, so why was there next to no violence and foul behavior? When there was pitch invasion at Hull RLFC, the Chairman threaetned to close the club if it happened again.
Historically many women have worked in pubs in rough areas and even owned them but they were unmolested even while there were fights between men.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Your two comments are hopefully a parody because they are almost beyond mockery.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Thank you. Having worked in good, average and bad organisations; played a variety of sports, had friends in a variety of military organisations, lived in rough violent parts of cities and studied history, I have become interested in what works and why decline sets in.
If one takes three organisations; Shell, TheAll Blacks and Royal Marine Commandos they set the standards which others follow and have done so for over a hundred years. Why? They have a clear understanding of the challenges and obstacles they face and have a selection procedure   which recruits people with potential. All training does is cut and polish the stone: one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Training cuts and polishes the stone. In all organisations selection and training has varied as challenges and obstacles have varied.
The Police are recruited from the People. Britain by the 1870s, apart from a few rough areas, such as the docks, Britain had very low rates of killings and robbery: honesty, chivalry and gallantry were respected virtues by all classes. Since the 1960s a combination of ill manners, ill- discipline, coarseness, crudeness, crass materialism evolved in America and migrated to Britain and combined with white British Middle class Trotskyism which ridiculed and undermined politeness, good manners, and honesty has coarsened and reduced the honesty of vast numbers of British people. Many West Indian and West African parents were horrified of theses attitudes in London comprehensives and sent their children back home to be educated.The Police who recruit from the British people reflect the change.
In the 1960s, Jack Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dr Martin Luther King, Motown and the entertainment industry maintained a degree of decency which rapidly declined post early 1970s. Those who grew up in the horrors of the Depression, suffered poverty, the hunger and the squalid living conditions, then endured combat, know how thin is the veneer of civilisation and how self-control and self- discipline is needed to prevent killing. Men queuing for a days work to earn money to feed their family will soon resort to violence and only decency and self control will prevent it. Both the killings and woundings  by gang members and actions by Carrick and Couzens are result of the under mining of the Judaeo Christian morality which underpins chivalry and gallantry. There will be no doubt those who mock me but I would ask them ” How would you cope in a fight when out  numbered and being attacked by people with knives or broken bottles?”. If you would not cope, then I suggest a return to the British concepts of chivalry and gallantry could save you from being killed, raped, crippled or scarred for life.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Superb analysis, ‘this should be known as “The Hedges Report”!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

The problem when the Police was formed it was decided there would no officer class and all would be promoted from the rank of constable. What do we want of a police man or woman. Are they an Officer of the Law and expected to behave as officer of the Armed Forces or are they a private in blue.
Up to the mid 1960s part of this problem was circumvented by many Chief Constable being ex Military officers. Trenchard who was Commissioner of the Met in the 1920s was a Former Air Chief Marshall. Many Chief Constable were colonels or above. I think at stage one could moved from the Armed Forces to the Police. A captain became a Chief Inspector. Also, certainly the City of London recruited many formers sergeants from the Guards Petty Officers from the Royal Navy.
Over Carrick’s career there has been a complete failure by senior officers to o judge that his behaviour was worthy of sacking. This comes down to massive failure   judgement. Once one is in position of leadership, a person’s worth is basically the quality of their judgment. In the Armed Forces there is a charge of conduct unbecoming of an officer. If senior officers cannot detect that Carrick was a criminal, how good are they of detecting criminals outside of the Police for which they are employed?. Another explanation was  that Couzens and Carrick held onto their positions because they are able to blackmail senior officers?
What is to be done? I suggest the following
1.  Senior Military officers of Lt Colonel or higher are appointed as Chief Constable. Deputy CC would be the career police officer.- return to pre 1950s situation.
2.  Entry standards to be raised to RN Accelerated Apprenticeship and copy the selection procedures. A Levels to be restricted to classical and Modern Languages, History, English, Maths and Sciences. Many arts degrees are worthless, A Levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry are not.
3.  Entry from Armed Forces at Sergeant and Officer Level to be encouraged. I suggest returning to pre 1950s/WW2 where rank was kept, Sergeants became Sergeants, Lts were appointed as Inspector, Captain Chief Inspector and Major Superintendent.
4.  Introduce the sackable offence of ” Conduct unbecoming of an officer “.
5.  Annual fitness tests up to the age of 40 years. The standard required would be RN or Technical Corps of The Army.
6.  All police to maintain the same conduct expected of the officers of the Armed Forces.
7.  Should all Police be sent to the officer training establishments and be taught the duties, responsibilities and conduct required of an officer? This appears to be lacking from present day Police training.
8.  Unless Police behave as Officers and Gentlemen /Ladies they will have a graduate only recruitment policy and probably an officer class imposed upon them. 

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The real problem, which the dreaded Home Office studiously fails to address, is that the Police lack a proper ‘Officer Corps’, and have done so since at least the late 1950’s.

It’s all very well ‘promoting from the ranks’ but inevitably the ‘Canteen Culture’ follows, with frankly appalling results. This may at first glance appear snobbish, but it works very well for the Army, and has done so for centuries.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Of course, the army has no problems whatsoever with sexual assault or young women committing suicide during training. The hoary old ‘they need an officer class’ argument is bunk. The police isn’t an army, nor would we want it to be. And I’ve served in both.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Do you have a better solution?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Actually I do, but I doubt anyone would listen as I’m not “officer class”.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That sounds a bit ‘chippy’ and also rather anachronistic if I may say so.

However we live in a egalitarian age a thousands who are not “Officer class’ have performed outstandingly well, so why NOT in the Police?

Perhaps it has something to do with that inherent feeling of inferiority or ‘chippines’ that you speak of?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Don’t let that stop you. If the ‘subaltens’ don’t speak out how will anything change?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That sounds a bit ‘chippy’ and also rather anachronistic if I may say so.

However we live in a egalitarian age a thousands who are not “Officer class’ have performed outstandingly well, so why NOT in the Police?

Perhaps it has something to do with that inherent feeling of inferiority or ‘chippines’ that you speak of?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Don’t let that stop you. If the ‘subaltens’ don’t speak out how will anything change?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Actually I do, but I doubt anyone would listen as I’m not “officer class”.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

As a former member of the officer class, I have to agree with Charles. It’s nothing to do with social class, it’s to do with having leaders who have been recruited specifically as future leaders and exhaustively trained to lead. That doesn’t preclude promotion from the ranks, quite the reverse, but it sets the standard for leadership that such candidates for promotion know they must aspire to.
The Army does have a problem with the treatment of women, especially trainees, but then trainees have always been vulnerable to bullying by NCOs. The greatly increased numbers of women joining the armed forces over the past three decades has simply enabled sexual assault to be added to the list of abuses visited upon trainees. The officer class knows this is completely unacceptable, even if they haven’t managed completely to prevent it, whereas the NCO class (analogous to almost the entire police force) has a proportion of members who don’t seem to know this at all.
Interestingly, almost all police forces now point blank refuse to recruit ex-service personnel even though most people would consider them ideal candidates. Police forces claim it’s because they are not graduates but I suspect the reason is a fear of having their lax standards of both work and personal conduct exposed.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Excellent, your last two sentences neatly encapsulate what has gone wrong.

Frankly I find it simply incredible that we could have reached such a nadir.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Excellent, your last two sentences neatly encapsulate what has gone wrong.

Frankly I find it simply incredible that we could have reached such a nadir.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Do you have a better solution?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

As a former member of the officer class, I have to agree with Charles. It’s nothing to do with social class, it’s to do with having leaders who have been recruited specifically as future leaders and exhaustively trained to lead. That doesn’t preclude promotion from the ranks, quite the reverse, but it sets the standard for leadership that such candidates for promotion know they must aspire to.
The Army does have a problem with the treatment of women, especially trainees, but then trainees have always been vulnerable to bullying by NCOs. The greatly increased numbers of women joining the armed forces over the past three decades has simply enabled sexual assault to be added to the list of abuses visited upon trainees. The officer class knows this is completely unacceptable, even if they haven’t managed completely to prevent it, whereas the NCO class (analogous to almost the entire police force) has a proportion of members who don’t seem to know this at all.
Interestingly, almost all police forces now point blank refuse to recruit ex-service personnel even though most people would consider them ideal candidates. Police forces claim it’s because they are not graduates but I suspect the reason is a fear of having their lax standards of both work and personal conduct exposed.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
1 year ago

I stand to be corrected, but isn’t part of the problem that the police does have an officer corps recruited direct from university and fast tracked to senior positions with limited experience of life at the sharp end of policing and even less experience of rank and file colleagues?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I was under the impression that that policy had been abandoned, after that Pannick chap.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
1 year ago

You may be right. Unfortunately the earlier recruits have risen to the top with predictable results.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
1 year ago

You may be right. Unfortunately the earlier recruits have risen to the top with predictable results.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

The police certainly had a fast-track for graduates, before the bizarre decision that all police now have to be graduates. The problem was that the fast-track was simply that, a means of filling more senior ranks with people who, as you say, did not have the experience for nor understanding of the role.
The police seemed to think that this was equivalent to acquiring an officer class but of course wasn’t. They got the same recruit training as everyone else, not a training designed to produce future leaders.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I was under the impression that that policy had been abandoned, after that Pannick chap.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

The police certainly had a fast-track for graduates, before the bizarre decision that all police now have to be graduates. The problem was that the fast-track was simply that, a means of filling more senior ranks with people who, as you say, did not have the experience for nor understanding of the role.
The police seemed to think that this was equivalent to acquiring an officer class but of course wasn’t. They got the same recruit training as everyone else, not a training designed to produce future leaders.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago

You seem unaware of what’s being going on at Sandhurst then.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Kaye

Completely!
Please tell me more!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Kaye

Completely!
Please tell me more!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron
1 year ago

The ‘officer class’ or ‘Ruperts’ as they are often called by the ‘ranks’ were a mixed bag. Some were good, many were average and many more were hopeless. The Sergeants have tended to run the army and again they can be a mixed bag. I prefer a meritocracy where those with talent can flourish. The armed forces have benefitted enormously with the number of NCOs taking commissions over the last 50 years. At the same time many of the ‘officer class’ elected to not join the armed forces and instead used their family and school contacts to build mediocre, over-paid careers in the City.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Cameron

You’re confusing officer class with social class. Yes, there were, still are I suspect, certain prestigious regiments where Ruperts congregated. You wouldn’t find many in, say, the REME, though. In the RN they were rare and in the RAF virtually unknown.
Officer recruitment is very meritocratic and has been for decades. Yes, recruitment from the ranks is a great strength of the British forces but the point is that such candidates are selected on their demonstrable potential to perform as a member of the OC. As the police don’t have an OC they cannot promote on that basis.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Cameron

Well the Brigade of Guards, now (sadly) the Household Division used to operate on a system of simply superb Non Commissioned Officers, and a cocktail of some absolutely useless Commissioned Officers, combined with a number of simply outstanding ones.

The Sergeant Mess, twice the size of those in other ‘Line Regiments’ was the real ‘furnace’ of this creativity, but sadly is now under threat.

One interesting feature of this system was the nightly attendance of a normally very young Piquet Officer (Duty Officer) at about 2200hrs. This was an opportunity for the ‘Sergeant Mess’ to tell the young miscreant how exactly the Battalion was to be run! I gather it worked rather well.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Cameron

You’re confusing officer class with social class. Yes, there were, still are I suspect, certain prestigious regiments where Ruperts congregated. You wouldn’t find many in, say, the REME, though. In the RN they were rare and in the RAF virtually unknown.
Officer recruitment is very meritocratic and has been for decades. Yes, recruitment from the ranks is a great strength of the British forces but the point is that such candidates are selected on their demonstrable potential to perform as a member of the OC. As the police don’t have an OC they cannot promote on that basis.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Cameron

Well the Brigade of Guards, now (sadly) the Household Division used to operate on a system of simply superb Non Commissioned Officers, and a cocktail of some absolutely useless Commissioned Officers, combined with a number of simply outstanding ones.

The Sergeant Mess, twice the size of those in other ‘Line Regiments’ was the real ‘furnace’ of this creativity, but sadly is now under threat.

One interesting feature of this system was the nightly attendance of a normally very young Piquet Officer (Duty Officer) at about 2200hrs. This was an opportunity for the ‘Sergeant Mess’ to tell the young miscreant how exactly the Battalion was to be run! I gather it worked rather well.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

The Royal Marines are very good at training those from the ranks to become officers and many have done so. . perhaps the Police could adopt the RMs method?
The basic difference between the Sergeant and Platoon Officer is responsibility.The officer is responsible for effectiveness of the troop and is advised by the Sergeant and NCOs.
Many of the best officers in the Armed forces have been promoted from the ranks, Field Mrashal Bramhall, General Sir Peter de la Billiere after they have undergone officer training.
Perhaps promotion to Inspector and above should require passing an officer course ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Precisely, with something like the RCB and Lympstone to follow perhaps.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Precisely, with something like the RCB and Lympstone to follow perhaps.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Of course, the army has no problems whatsoever with sexual assault or young women committing suicide during training. The hoary old ‘they need an officer class’ argument is bunk. The police isn’t an army, nor would we want it to be. And I’ve served in both.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
1 year ago

I stand to be corrected, but isn’t part of the problem that the police does have an officer corps recruited direct from university and fast tracked to senior positions with limited experience of life at the sharp end of policing and even less experience of rank and file colleagues?

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago

You seem unaware of what’s being going on at Sandhurst then.

Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron
1 year ago

The ‘officer class’ or ‘Ruperts’ as they are often called by the ‘ranks’ were a mixed bag. Some were good, many were average and many more were hopeless. The Sergeants have tended to run the army and again they can be a mixed bag. I prefer a meritocracy where those with talent can flourish. The armed forces have benefitted enormously with the number of NCOs taking commissions over the last 50 years. At the same time many of the ‘officer class’ elected to not join the armed forces and instead used their family and school contacts to build mediocre, over-paid careers in the City.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

The Royal Marines are very good at training those from the ranks to become officers and many have done so. . perhaps the Police could adopt the RMs method?
The basic difference between the Sergeant and Platoon Officer is responsibility.The officer is responsible for effectiveness of the troop and is advised by the Sergeant and NCOs.
Many of the best officers in the Armed forces have been promoted from the ranks, Field Mrashal Bramhall, General Sir Peter de la Billiere after they have undergone officer training.
Perhaps promotion to Inspector and above should require passing an officer course ?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The real problem, which the dreaded Home Office studiously fails to address, is that the Police lack a proper ‘Officer Corps’, and have done so since at least the late 1950’s.

It’s all very well ‘promoting from the ranks’ but inevitably the ‘Canteen Culture’ follows, with frankly appalling results. This may at first glance appear snobbish, but it works very well for the Army, and has done so for centuries.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

It is now very hard to sack people in this country.
‘How’s that Employment Rights thing workin’ out for ya?’

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

It is now very hard to sack people in this country.
‘How’s that Employment Rights thing workin’ out for ya?’

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“The best Police money can buy “ as ‘we’ to used to say.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

My dad used to say the police were biggest gang in the country.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

He wasn’t far wrong, annoyingly!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

An element of truth in all the old sayings 🙂 tbf they aren’t too bad around here.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

An element of truth in all the old sayings 🙂 tbf they aren’t too bad around here.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

He wasn’t far wrong, annoyingly!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

My dad used to say the police were biggest gang in the country.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“The best Police money can buy “ as ‘we’ to used to say.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

The answer is the development of strong, principled and empowered leadership at all levels throughout the organisation. Empowered means, amongst other things, being able to overrule the HR Department if needs be, even if doing so might risk a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Leadership must be accountable for its actions but matters of clear principle should always override bureaucratic process.

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Better still, get rid of HR altogether. Useless people.

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Better still, get rid of HR altogether. Useless people.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

The answer is the development of strong, principled and empowered leadership at all levels throughout the organisation. Empowered means, amongst other things, being able to overrule the HR Department if needs be, even if doing so might risk a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Leadership must be accountable for its actions but matters of clear principle should always override bureaucratic process.

Peter Hall
Peter Hall
1 year ago

Not to mention the corruption that must exist as a result of the massive illegal drugs industry.

Peter Hall
Peter Hall
1 year ago

Not to mention the corruption that must exist as a result of the massive illegal drugs industry.

Mick Davis
Mick Davis
1 year ago

He will be lucky to keep his job

Mick Davis
Mick Davis
1 year ago

He will be lucky to keep his job

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago

Why is there never any mention of the Police Federation? Over the years they have spent a fortune on legal help for criminal policemen and are probably infiltrated by the very people the police need to get rid of.