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'Offensive' direct entry advert pulled

College of Policing CEO, CC Mike Cunningham, apologises 'unreservedly'
Published - 23/01/2019 By - Martin Buhagiar - Police Oracle

A direct entry advertising campaign that asked would-be applicants why they would want to "start at the bottom" has been pulled.

The Metropolitan Police advert has been widely criticised by rank and file officers and the Police Federation.

It was part of the “Lead Beyond” campaign, fronted by the College of Policing.

Last week Police Oracle revealed as many as 19 forces could take on direct entry personnel later this year.

Recruitment windows for both superintendents and inspectors with no previous policing experience opened on Monday January 7 and will close at midnight on February 18.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO of the College of Policing, said: “The DE advert has caused huge offence to many great people doing a great job. I unreservedly apologise for that. I have had the advert taken down and shall be making enquires today to understand how it was posted in order that it won’t happen again.”

PFEW chairman John Apter responded saying he welcomed CC Cunningham's statement.

He added: "I have made a complaint about the advert and since making it CC Cunningham has apologised and promised a review into why this happened. This is the response I wanted and what policing needed.

"I started ‘at the bottom’ and am very proud I did. I would suggest a very quick rethink.”

The advert said the inspector role will be be filled by a “forward-thinking, creative leader from a completely different background to policing”.

It was posted to the force’s Instagram account and added: “Are you looking for a career change? Want to use your leadership skills for good? Searching for a varied and exciting career where you don’t have to start at the bottom?”

After it was posted officers took to social media to criticise the advert.