College of Policing needs to be more connected to frontline says Chief Executive

19 May 2016

The College of Policing has admitted it needs better links to frontline police officers.

Chief Executive Alex Marshall said he was “less pleased with the connection with the frontline bit of policing” when asked about the organisation’s track record over the past couple of years. “It is not a good connection,” he said, when challenged by a conference delegate who told him: “The College is a long way away from our frontline officers – unless you have got a rose or a crown on your shoulders. The College doesn’t have anything to do with frontline officers.” Rachel Tuffin, the College’s director of knowledge, research and education, agreed, saying “It’s a fair challenge and we are trying to sort it out.”

The conference heard that officers found it hard enough to get routine appraisals due to lack of time, let alone undergo regular training as advocated by the College. Mr Marshall agreed and said policing compared poorly with other professions in that respect. And  he said much more needed to be done, particularly in the areas of training officers involved in public protection including those investigating child, sexual and domestic abuse.

According to recent research by the College of Policing, a typical force supported around 2,700 troubled families and 1,600 domestic abuse victims; they also monitored nearly 1,200 registered sexual and violent offenders, and oversaw 1,000 children and young people on the at risk register.

Making the case for a new ‘Licence to Practise’ he said it was a priority that officers working in these high-risk areas had the proper training and qualifications to carry out their jobs. “We are pretty strict about licensing to carry firearms, for example, and those officers are checked each year, but in the public protection arena and other high risk areas we are quite weak. Officers do not have a qualification in that area and do not have the protection of a licence to practise. We will look at that.”