Police job ads should copy Armed Forces’ campaign says police improvement agency people chief

EXCLUSIVE

Police recruitment should mirror that of the Armed Forces by advertising for the full range of career paths it has to offer, a senior policing figure has urged.

Only in this way will the police service offer a career path to rival any other in the public and private sector, and attract the best and brightest graduates, according to chief people officer Angela O’Connor at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, O’Connor praised the current television and internet adverts used by the Army and Navy to attract all types of job roles, from engineers, to ICT support to soldiers. She said the police service should do more to ‘sell’ the various careers on offer to new graduates by joining the police, from forensics work, to covert operations to response units.

“Police recruitment needs to be a lot more confident and assertive about selling ‘policing UK’. The brand is there in some ways but it’s quite narrow. People think of an officer on the street [when they think of a policing career] but that’s narrow.

“The more you find out about what’s on offer, and the difference between someone out on streets dealing with response, to forensics, to covert – it’s amazing. One of things we need to do is think about how we communicate about the jobs that are available.”

She added the Armed Forces adverts, which focus on other careers available other than purely being a frontline soldier, were “excellent campaigns”.

In July the policing green paper announced a graduate fast-track scheme that will be brought into the service as early as October. Overseen by the NPIA, it will last up to three years for each officer.

O’Connor said that already 87 officers had passed the relevant assessments to enter the scheme, known as the high potential development scheme. She acknowledged the programme would be as good as any other graduate schemes run by the public or private sector to attract the best talent.

“This will rival other schemes, it’s about modernising the police force,” she said.

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