A Sandhurst Parade
This weekend the MSM report that Downing Street wants to create an 'officer class' in local forces by fast tracking Army officers into the highest police ranks.
A Sandhurst-style police training college is also being considered by ministers for university graduates says The Times. Tom Winsor, the former rail regulator, has proposed this change since he was called in by the westminster government to advise on a future structure of the police force. He is also the government's independent reviewer of police pay and conditions.
Last week David Cameron suggested senior officers from abroad could be brought in to 'turn around' the police force. His government is introducing elected police and crime commissioners to ensure there is an individual holding their local force to account.
Will all these reactive decisions make a difference to the police service?
There is one rather large obstacle in the way and that's the culture within the police force. Police have no love for the military or those who have undergone military training. The military reciprocate the compliment.
I can't see many Army officers taking positions in the police force. To quote a couple of post-graduate youngsters who couldn't decide which service to join upon leaving university: "the police force has little camaraderie and the atmosphere is very competitive, whereas the Army's priority is team working which develops a strong camaraderie involving trust." I'm paraphrasing here because it was a few years ago I spoke with these young people who had spend some days attached to both a police force and an Army battalion. Both joined the Army and have never regretted it. They cite living together, eating together and working together as making the unique culture and strong bonds - something which they feel is missing in the police force. Both have had dealings with the police in the course of their work and say the animosity directed at army personnel is more pronounced an ever.
The chairman of the Police Federation isn't happy with the prospect of Army officers joining his organisation:
"... it was important that recruits began as constables "in order to understand and appreciate the importance of policing by consent".
He also said it was imperative that senior officers had an "understanding and real experience" of working within Britain's legal system.Some Army officers know as much about Britain's legal system as the police and many are very well educated and highly skilled people who, when they leave the armed services, will quite easily acquire very well paid jobs in civilian life. Why would they want to join the police - particularly when the ACPO feels this way:
Peter Fahy, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned that allowing people from outside policing direct entry into senior positions would like "a medical student acting as a surgeon".
The police have created, with the help of politicians, an unyielding culture which will be extremely challenging to eradicate and I doubt if many retired/redundant Army personnel of any rank would enjoy the task. Dare I once more suggest that David Cameron disbands ACPO first - and the Scottish government gets rid of ACPOS - for a start?