Committee launches inquiry into leadership and standards in the police

08 August 2012

The Home Affairs Committee is today launching an inquiry into leadership and standards in the police service

In December 2011, the Home Secretary announced plans to establish a professional body to further professionalise policing, which will be known as the College of Policing.
The College of Policing is intended to create opportunities to open up the leadership of the police service, to harness greater diversity and experience at a senior level and to equip the service with new skills.
This inquiry will look at the current situation in the police service and will investigate how the leadership of police forces must adapt in the new landscape of policing to improve standards, eliminate corruption and deliver a more diverse and effective service, and how new institutions should contribute to that aim. 

Terms of reference

The Committee invites responses addressing some or all of the following terms of reference and other relevant matters. 

  • What powers, responsibilities and resources should be given to the College of Policing?
  • What lessons can be learnt from other professional bodies within the UK and from police professional bodies in other countries?
  • Is it possible for one institution to balance responsibilities for: representing police services; setting and upholding standards; testing and rewarding; training; and guarding public interests?
  • Would it be preferable to create two separate institutions to provide delivery functions and professional representation?
  • How will the professional body interact with HMIC; the IPCC; ACPO; and other institutions in providing leadership and setting standards for police forces?
  • What role should the College of Policing have in recruitment and training?
  • What role could the College have in recruiting non-police officers to senior roles within the police service?
  • Are police recruitment processes fair and open and how could they be improved?
  • Is the Metropolitan Police Force over-represented in senior positions?
  • Are there specific challenges facing the leaders of the Metropolitan Police Force, which the College of Policing should address?
  • Should the professional body be responsible for civilian police employees?
  • How should the College of Policing be funded?

Comment from the Chair

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said: 

"As the landscape of policing is being redrawn we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to open up our police service so that it really represents the communities it serves and to build on the brilliant professionalism our forces already display.
The Home Affairs Committee is launching this inquiry so that we can make sure that everyone—the public and the police—has a real say in whether a College of Policing is the right body to bring our police forces up to date and up to scratch. We will be looking at the current make-up of leadership in police, in particular the practices within the Metropolitan Police Service which produces the vast number of chief constables.
We will be asking what tools the College will need to train up our future policing leaders and what teeth it needs to ensure that the standards we expect are met."

Written evidence is invited from interested parties. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Friday 5 October 2012.

Further Information

Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format - not PDF format - and sent by e-mail to The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary.

Further guidance on the submission of evidence is available:

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the
Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The remit of the Home Affairs Committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies.

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