How to home-grow a police chief
The Education and Home Affairs scrutiny panel have been investigating succession planning within the States of Jersey Police and they are now calling for action.
They says the skills deficit throughout the senior management of the Force is 'a matter of concern' which must be sorted out if there is ever to be any realistic chance of appointing a local officer as police chief.
The new police chief, Mike Bowron, was brought over from London and is the former Commissioner of the City of London Police. He took over from David Warcup who stepped down after two years as the acting officer and had been a deputy chief constable of Northumbria Police.
The panel say the imported bosses at Police HQ must be held accountable by the new Police Authority for putting a training plan into action.
In their report the panel say: "We received evidence from the former Chief Officer that significant measures were taken, particularly during the early part of his period as leader of the Force (2001 - 2004). However, it seems to us that the momentum for succession planning was diminished. There is no record of political oversight after that time.
The establishment of the new Police Authority provides the Minister with an essential mechanism to oversee and monitor the development and ongoing implementation of effective succession planning."
The panel also wonder if the bar is set too high for the positions of Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief in Jersey. At present, candidates must have completed the UK's Strategic Command Course.
"A review of this requirement in respect of the Deputy Chief Officer may improve opportunities for local candidates to progress to the top positions of the Force," say the panel, adding: "The Minister should consider whether the successful completion of the Strategic Command Course standard is entirely appropriate for both the Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer in a small Island Force. He should seek advice from the National Police Improvement Agency on this question."
Another key recommendation is that local officers with high potential should have extensive periods of secondment to command positions in other UK forces.