Graduates from other professions will not be fast-tracked into Scotland’s police service at higher ranks like in England and Wales, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf will pledge today.
In a speech at the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) conference, Mr Yousaf will back the SPF’s opposition to a “direct entry” scheme such as that south of the border which allows recruitment at the rank of inspector or superintendent.
Mr Yousaf will say that those who lead other officers must have spent time “working on the frontline” to develop their knowledge of policing.
He will also emphasise the importance of attracting and retaining a diverse range of officers and staff who reflect the communities they serve.
Addressing the SPF conference for the first time as Justice Secretary, Mr Yousaf will say: “Let me make it crystal clear, there will be no direct entrants under my watch. I will not be supporting any proposal for direct entry to inspector or superintending ranks in Scotland, in the way which is proposed south of the border.
“I believe that those who lead other officers must have spent time working on the frontline, to develop the knowledge of how we police our communities and understand the demanding jobs that our officers undertake day in and day out.
“While training is, of course, important, officers must carry the authority and the respect of communities they serve, and also of their colleagues – and that is something built up as an organisation, as the sum of all its parts, and embodied in the actions of every officer as they go about their work.”
In his speech at Turnberry in South Ayrshire, Mr Yousaf will refer to the ongoing work of Scotland’s Health and Justice Collaboration Board to ensure that police and health services work together, making the best use of their respective skills and resources so that vulnerable people can access the support they need when they need it.
He will also update officers on Scottish Government plans to implement “restitution orders” which could see attackers required to pay a financial penalty to help fund support services for both the physical and mental health impacts of assaults on officers.
The Justice Secretary has written to the UK Government highlighting his commitment to progressing the implementation of restitution orders.