The policing minister, Damian Green, has also confirmed radical plans to open up the recruitment of middle-ranking officers to outsiders with business and leadership skills for the first time.
The introduction of a direct-entry annual recruitment scheme for at least 20 police superintendents and 80 fast-track inspectors from next year will end a century’s tradition of all police officers starting their career on the beat.
The police themselves have always resisted the idea of an officer class. And pissing off establishments is always a useful guide to interesting policy. So on that side, OK, fine.
And yet, and yet: the police are supposed to be us. The citizenry. Adopting a more military style management doesn’t seem to aid in that very much.
Or, of course, we could end up with the wannabe middle management types who have their sociology degrees being this new officer class and that would be even worse than having the force run by the rejects from the Life Guards. And I think my greatest fear here is that that is exactly what will happen. It’ll be a career path for those too dim to go into normal management. Heads stuffed full of diversity advisoring rather than how to actually police and area.