Seven days into his role as Chief Executive of the College of Policing, Chief Constable Alex Marshall appeared before the Home Affairs Committee yesterday to give evidence to its enquiry into leadership and standards in the police service.
Committee Chairman Keith Vaz extended a warm welcome to Mr Marshall, and in his opening remarks said that the Committee supports the idea of the College of Policing and regards it as a very important part of the new policing landscape.
Committee members asked a wide range of questions. Mr Marshall set out his ambition for the College to be a world-class professional body for policing, and in time for it to be recognised as a Royal College. He described the College’s objectives, its focus on setting standards based on evidence of ‘what works’, the composition of its board, and the role of its Professional Committee.
Mr Marshall said that, following his initial discussions with stakeholders and based on his reading of the public’s main concerns, the College would initially be focusing on three urgent priorities: integrity and ethical conduct; protecting the public from dangerous people; and local and neighbourhood policing.
The Committee asked about the College’s role in taking forward some elements of the package of integrity initiatives that the Home Secretary had outlined shortly beforehand in an oral statement to the House of Commons. Mr Marshall described how he will develop a new code of ethics which will be distributed to officers of all ranks, and how the College will create a single set of professional standards on which officers will be trained and tested throughout their careers.
Other areas covered included standards for undercover operations, how the College will increase all aspects of diversity throughout policing, the role and status of ACPO, how the College will be different from the NPIA, the benefits and governance of membership, and exams and assessments. A full transcript of the session will be published as soon as it is available.
Keith Vaz closed the session by thanking Mr Marshall for coming to the Committee. He added that the Committee has high hopes of the College, wishes it well, and will take a great interest in its work.