Rotherham MP hits out at plans for ‘elite’ police

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A SOUTH Yorkshire MP has hit out at a proposal for an elite class of police officers to be introduced – which could do away with the need for bobbies to begin their careers on the beat.

The Government has asked for the idea to be looked at as part of police reform plans.

But Rotherham MP Denis MacShane urged Police Minister Nick Herbert to refute the idea – and said it was ‘vital our senior police officers have spent a year or two on the beat in the local community’.

He said former South Yorkshire Police officer Bernard Hogan-Howe’s rise to Commissioner of the Met, started with grassroots policing.

Mr Herbert has admitted the Government was looking at additional points of entry into senior police ranks but said operational experience would be necessary.

He said it would help with the diversity of officers.

Now Mr MacShane has called on the Home Secretary to make the Government’s position clear.

“It is ludicrous to think having a new officer class of senior police leaders would help diversity,” he added.

“The British Army and Whitehall have their own officer or mandarin class leaders and no two British institutions are so dominated by white, male, public school educated graduates.

“There are many university-educated police officers and the police service encourages its high-flyers to take time off to obtain further university degrees – as we see with Bernard Hogan-Howe, who has a Masters from Oxford.

“But he along with every other chief constable started life as a beat officer. It would destroy the core community essence of policing by consent if the senior ranks were reserved for a new officer elite.”