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Seventeen applicants for each direct entry detective post

Met Commissioner declared herself 'a firm believer in bringing different people into policing at all levels'
Published - 2017-07-31 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle

The Met Police has received more than 2,800 applications from civilians who want to work as detectives without serving in uniform first.

In May, the force began a drive to hire people into 160 warranted investigator roles via what it calls its “detective pathway”.

More than half of those who applied were women, according to the officer in charge of the initiative.

Det Chief Supt Stephen Clayman said: “We are thrilled to have received such a positive interest in the new detective pathway.

“We have seen a good standard of candidates, with a significant number of career changers who will bring with them some diverse skills and existing experience that will assist them in the role they will be trained for. Unlike other recruits, they will not perform a uniformed role once they start.

“Of the completed applications, 33 per cent are from BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] backgrounds and 51pc are female, the latter being a significant number for a recruitment campaign.”

Wannabe detectives will have to go through several assessment stages before successful candidates join the force in January.

HMIC warned in March over a crisis in policing due to an acute shortage of detectives

As previously reported, two other forces have started recruiting in similar ways since the Met launched this scheme. 

But the Police Federation says that warranted investigators need experience of operational policing in order to know the role properly.

The recruitment, often labelled direct entry for detectives, is distinct from the schemes for superintendents and inspectors in which the College of Policing assesses and trains candidates.

Former Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has been personally credited with having made those direct entry schemes viable propositions in spite of opposition from other senior officers at the time they began.

At a conference for participants in the Police Now graduate scheme on Saturday, his successor Commissioner Cressida Dick indicated she will continue to support such initiatives.

She said: “What we used to do is not fit for today. Although throughout our history we were very good at keeping people safe in our communities, the world is changing so fast, the demands are very different, the responsibilities so complex and the expectations are so very high that I am a firm believer that we need to bring different people into policing at all levels, not just at the front-end.

“Equally importantly, we need to give those people the freedom to use their true diversity of thought, of character and agency without getting in their way.”

She went on to tell the graduates that she believes they will see things in their forces that they disagree with and should challenge.

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