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Friday, 20 May 2011

"Can Jersey Train Up A Top Ranked Cop?"

How to home-grow a police chief

There is little chance of Jersey producing a home-grown police chief because officers are not given the necessary skills - that is according to a watchdog looking into the way the force is run.

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.


  1. The investigation into Andre Bonjour would have scuppered his chances of promotion.

  2. So what does this problem say about the Parish Police - the Honorary officers?
    Are they recruited from another planet? Since they have even greater policing powers than the States Police just the same conflicts must arise. But they would claim that it is an advantage to be related to half the Island's population or to be involved in this or that business etc.
    We regularly see how recruits to the lowly grades - like Constables Officers - "work" their way up through the system as Vingteniers to Centeniers and then as Constables or Parish Deputy, Senator or as a Jurat sitting in judgment in the Courts.

    Why is this introverted system so desirable among the Parish system yet so undesirable among the paid force?

    Warcup (from memory) served within the same north country police force throughout his career before moving to Jersey as acting chief. He had retired from his English force as Deputy Chief. How could he have risen to such a high level in the UK if all the same problems arise?

    Obviously his UK force was ten times the size of Jersey's so he might have been able to claim to be less conflicted there - but what is the conflict problem all about. Can we really not trust a full-time copper these days? Better re-write the song because something does not add up here. In the private business world the office junior who rises through the system to become CEO is commonplace and considered desirable - just what is so difeerent about police officers and should the Parish Police be retired automatically after 10 years?

    TOM GRUCHY says...