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Police forced to pull Direct Entry scheme advert due to frontline officer complaints

Police officers at graduation. Credit: PA

A recruitment advert has been dropped by the College of Police following complaints from frontline officers.

Current police officers say the direct-entry ad insulted their intelligence. The online advert aimed at people outside the police force said potential recruits would be "within the top 1% of officers in the police service" in less than a year and a half.

It was targeted at those in other industries with a track record of leadership to be hired at superintendent or inspector level, “rather than having to work their way up from the rank of constable”.

Some officers complained the advert suggested constables do not have the "strategic experience" desired from these potential new recruits.

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Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, the head of the College of Policing, was forced to apologise for the offence caused by the advert, which has now been removed.

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John Apter National Chair of the Police Federation, which represents frontline officers, said: “This advert has prompted an understandable backlash from many of our members who work tirelessly doing an incredibly tough job to keep us safe every day.

"The tone of the advert and what it suggests is offensive and shows that those who have put the advert together are somewhat out of touch with policing.

“In response I have made a complaint to the College CEO, Mike Cunningham. He has since offered a full apology and a review into why this has happened.

“I would like to thank him for his swift response and action.”

Amber Rudd championed the scheme as home secretary. Credit: PA

The direct-entry system has garnered support from ministers and senior officers in recent years, as it hoped to diversify the talent pool within the police force.

Amber Rudd, then Home Secretary, said in 2016: “You must recognise that talent does not only come from within police ranks. It can be found elsewhere too, in both the public and the private sector.

“These men and women bring expertise from the worlds of finance, the civil service, the military and business. Expertise that can make a difference.”