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UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE
To be published as HC 617-iii
HOUSE OF COMMONS
TAKEN BEFORE THE
Home Affairs Committee
Leadership and Standards in the Police SERVICE
Tuesday 12 February 2013
Evidence heard in Public Questions 186 - 307
USE OF THE TRANSCRIPT
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Taken before the Home Affairs Committee
on Tuesday 12 February 2013
Keith Vaz (Chair)
Mr James Clappison
Dr Julian Huppert
Mr David Winnick
Examination of Witness
Witness: Alex Marshall, College of Policing, gave evidence.
Q186 Chair: Could I call the Committee to order, and could I refer all those present to the Register of Members’ Interests where the interests of Members of this Committee are noted? This is a one-off session that deals with the new College of Policing. I am delighted to welcome you, Mr Marshall, and congratulate you most warmly on behalf of the Committee on your appointment to this extremely important post. Welcome.
Alex Marshall: Thank you, Chairman.
Chair: I am just trying to think of how many days you have been in your post. It is about a week or eight days.
Alex Marshall: A week and two days, sir.
Q187 Chair: A week and two days. You are counting the days already, obviously. This Committee is a supporter of the idea of the College of Policing, and what we hope to do today is to explore some of the aspects of your post. Obviously you will not have every answer to every question, because it is a new job and a new organisation, but we hope that you will keep us informed in the months and years ahead of what you are doing, because we regard this as being a very important part of the landscape of policing. I want to start with an issue that is already being considered by the Committee. You may or may not have known we took evidence last week about undercover agents. We know that this has now been passed to your organisation. Could you tell us exactly what your role is in respect of undercover agents?
Alex Marshall: As the professional body, we will work with the ACPO leads in this area to set the standards for undercover work and make sure those standards are followed in all forces. Clearly, I am not commenting on the recent case that I think was the subject of questioning last week.
Q188 Chair: Of course, I understand that, although we will ask you about some of the aspects of Operation Herne, in view of what the Home Secretary said today. I am a little bit puzzled by your answer. I was under the impression in the evidence given to this Committee by the Home Secretary and by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Gallan that you were going to be responsible for setting the standards for undercover agents. You are telling this Committee now that you are going to be working with ACPO leads. I was also under the impression-and I am sure we will explore this a little bit later-that ACPO’s responsibilities were being transferred to you. Is it not your responsibility to deal with undercover agents rather than ACPO’s? When you say, "I will be working with them", who issues the guidelines on undercover agents?
Alex Marshall: There are already existing guidelines that have been issued by ACPO. As we go forward, it is the responsibility of the College of Policing to set the standards in policing, in including this area. Clearly, in setting those standards going forward, I need to look at the recently issued guidance on undercover work that was developed across the country and talk to the experts in this area, but ultimately it falls to the College, the professional body, to set the standards for all forces.
Q189 Chair: So, you are the person who will set the standards in your organisation. You may consult with ACPO, you may look at the guidelines, but at the end of the day it is the College of Policing that will set these guidelines. Is that what you are telling this Committee?
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir. The way that the business areas work is that the business areas are inclusive of everybody in policing and are often led by a chief officer, but the business areas now report to the professional committee, which is part of the College of Policing, the professional body.
Q190 Chair: All right; so, now we know it is going to be you. I know you do not want to comment on the issues that were raised in the media, but I am going to put this to you because you commented to the BBC, on 4 February-you may not want to comment to this Committee-that undercover work should only be pitched at the most serious criminality. Is that right?
Alex Marshall: Undercover work is a serious undertaking. It is difficult territory for those doing it, and the public have to trust the police that, in using these sorts of intrusive powers, they are carried out by people who are skilled, who are highly professional and have the utmost integrity. Undercover policing should be used for serious matters.
Q191 Chair: You have seen what is already in the public domain and the comments that were made to us last week by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Gallan about the use of the identities of dead children by undercover agents. She told us that that practice has stopped, and indeed stopped 10 years ago. Presumably, you deprecate the use of the identities of dead children by undercover agents?
Alex Marshall: I had no awareness of that practice. It has not happened in cases where I have been the Chief Constable and had to authorise that type of work. My understanding is that it does not happen and that it is outside the current guidance.
Q192 Chair: You would not authorise nor would you allow in your guidance the use of such tactics as part of undercover operations? You deprecate that practice, do you?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I would need to look at the detail of how we create legends for people who work in the undercover world, but sitting here now I cannot think of reasons why you would use those details in that way.
Q193 Chair: As DAC Gallan told us, you think this is not a good practice?
Alex Marshall: Sir, we should not be intruding upon people’s private and family lives if it is in any way avoidable. My understanding is that for undercover officers to work successfully it would not be necessary to do this.
Mr Winnick: One on this point?
Q194 Chair: I am coming to you, Mr Winnick. I know you want to come in, so just hang on.
In respect of Operation Herne-which of course deals with this whole area-we had a statement this afternoon. I am not sure whether you have seen the Home Secretary’s statement. She may well have informed you of what she was going to say; at least I hope she has informed you, because a lot of it relates to the College of Policing. Are you now involved in any way in Operation Herne, because we were very concerned that this had been going on for a year, it had cost the taxpayers £1.2 million and it had not actually come to any conclusions? Mick Creedon has now been put in charge. Is he running Operation Herne, or is he acting as a consultant to the Met?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I do not know the detail, other than that Chief Constable Mick Creedon is now carrying out an investigation into that case.
Q195 Chair: What do you mean "into that case"? It is a huge operation, isn’t it?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q196 Chair: Who is in charge now? Is it DAC Gallan, who gave evidence to us last week? Is she running Operation Herne, or is Mick Creedon running Operation Herne?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I am not briefed on the detail of this case. I have no direct involvement in it. My understanding is that Chief Constable Creedon is now investigating this matter.
Chair: Yes, I understand that, but you keep talking about "a case" and "an investigation". This is a police operation, like Operation Alice and Yewtree and Elveden. Is Mick Creedon in charge of the whole operation? Is he investigating? Who is he investigating? Is he running the operation? If you have responsibility for the guidelines on undercover agents, I would have thought someone in the Home Office would have told you what is happening. Is DAC Gallan still involved in Operation Herne or is she now relieved of her responsibility? Is this now Mick Creedon’s baby?
Alex Marshall: DAC Gallan’s responsibilities are a matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
Chair: I understand that.
Alex Marshall: He will decide what her current role is. I have been informed that Chief Constable Creedon has been brought in to look at this matter, as an outside, experienced Chief Constable and a very experienced detective. I have no direct involvement in it.
Q197 Chair: So, nobody has told you whether he is running the operation or he is just coming in to oversee it and investigate?
Alex Marshall: No, Chairman.
Chair: You do not know anything about this?
Alex Marshall: No. My role is that any lessons that come out of this type of inquiry need to feed into the guidance that I set, going forward, and the standards to be followed across the whole of England and Wales.
Q198 Chair: You will wait for Mick Creedon to finish and Operation Herne to be brought to a conclusion, and then you will use the lessons from Operation Herne to draft your guidance?
Alex Marshall: In principle, yes, sir. But if any lessons emerge during any of these inquiries, my style is to adopt them as soon as possible. For example, if there are a couple of clear things that come out in the first few weeks, I will make sure that those are then included in the guidance. It could be interim guidance pending the full inquiry report.
Chair: That is very helpful.
Q199 Mr Winnick: Yesterday, Chief Constable, when I asked a question of the Home Secretary about undercover agents, where it is alleged the names of dead children had been used, she agreed that if that was the practice, it was despicable. Chief Constable, would you agree with that?
Alex Marshall: Sir, as per my earlier answer, we should not intrude into people’s personal and family lives unless it is absolutely necessary. If we do so, it should be a conscious decision, and we should take care of that family in doing so. I cannot see the necessity to do what is alleged to have happened in this case.
Q200 Mr Winnick: I do not want to press you on a particular word, but I think I would take your answer-without putting words into your mouth-that you agree that it was despicable. I am not going to press you on a particular word, because I think your answer more or less indicates that.
Chief Constable, can I ask you, do you believe that it was in the interests of the public that this matter has come into the public domain? I know that you put a great deal of emphasis on the word "if" regarding this, but if in fact this happened-and I think most people who have studied this would agree it has happened, otherwise the Home Secretary would not have set up an inquiry-do you think it was in the public interest that this has come into the public domain?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I think that in policing, whenever we use coercive or intrusive powers, we should be held to account for their use and if that intrudes upon people’s lives, we should be answerable in public for that type of decision.
Q201 Mr Winnick: One more question on this aspect, if I may: if the names of dead children have been taken, obviously without the permission of the parents, and if it is shown to be the case-and I hope a conclusion will soon be reached in the inquiry that is taking place-should there not be as quickly as possible an apology given to the parents, at the highest level of the police as well as by the Home Secretary? Leaving aside the Home Secretary, as far as the police are concerned, would you agree with that?
Alex Marshall: Sir, we owe a duty to those families if their privacy has been intruded unreasonably, and we should then deal with that, but I think the correct position for me to take is to let Chief Constable Creedon complete his investigation so that I am really clear what happened.
Q202 Mr Winnick: Yes. When you say "deal", can I take that to mean-in effect, in plain English-that if the facts are as told to us at a previous hearing, an apology should be given?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I would want to see what comes from Chief Constable Creedon’s investigation. If an apology is due, then we should be clear who we are apologising to and exactly what for and it should come from the person who holds responsibility for it.
Chair: Thank you, Mr Marshall.
Q203 Mr Clappison: I draw reassurance from what the Chief Constable has already said. I think he has pre-empted the questions that I am going to put to him, but if I could simply put to him my reaction as a Member of the Committee to the evidence that we heard last week, which frankly I thought was bizarre, I would like to suggest to the Chief Constable that, while undercover work clearly can be a very important part of police work, and intrusive undercover work can be justified in the most serious of cases, what we heard was unacceptable, insofar as the effect of the long-term relationships that had been formed with the women concerned. Even more serious was the fact that we were told that, apparently, children had been born as a result of these relationships. It strikes me that it cannot be right for a child to be brought into this world whose father is an undercover police officer with all that that implies for the future of the child. I hope that that is taken into account.
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir.
Q204 Chair: Thank you, Mr Marshall. Let us move on to the rest of your post in the organisation. You obviously have high hopes for this organisation, as does this Committee; so does the Home Secretary and the Government. If you were going to think of your main objectives as far as this post is concerned, what would be your top three issues that you want to pursue?
Alex Marshall: I want to set up a world-class professional body for policing. I want to make sure we focus on the issues that the public most care about, that the people we serve deserve us to be focusing on. I would start with integrity in policing and making sure that our reputation is as it should be at the highest level. In protecting the public from dangerous people, the public deserve to know that we are consistent in how we manage dangerous people across the country. The third priority, looking at the Police and Crime Commissioners’ main focus during their campaigns, is making sure we can describe the best models of local and neighbourhood policing that make local communities feel safe and secure.
Q205 Chair: Let me just talk about the board. Is the board now fully established? Do you have all the members of it?
Alex Marshall: No, sir, I am awaiting the final details of the board members.
Q206 Chair: How many board members are you going to have, Mr Marshall? We know you have a chair. I spoke to her last week; Shirley Pearce.
Alex Marshall: Yes, we have a chair, sir. There will be four Police and Crime Commissioners, three members of ACPO, a member of the Police Federation, a member of the unions, a member of the Superintendents Association, and from memory, sir, an academic.
Q207 Chair: There seem to be no consumers on there, no ordinary people-and nobody in this room on this side of the dais I would describe as "an ordinary person"-members of the public. Do you think it would have been a good idea to have someone from the public, as opposed to someone who happened to be a member of ACPO or a professor or a Police and Crime Commissioner, or do you think the PCCs are actually, in effect, members of the public?
Alex Marshall: In addition to those I mentioned there are three independent members, who I am sure will all have a degree of responsibility for representing the public. There are the Police and Crime Commissioners, who hold Chief Constables to account on behalf of the local public, but I accept that we want as much external scrutiny as possible. I am looking at setting up independent advisory groups to make sure that the public have greater access to critique what is going on in the College of Policing.
Q208 Chair: Bearing it in mind that a quarter of all police officers are in the Met, do you think that the Metropolitan Police ought to be sitting on the board as of right? I was surprised that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Commissioner, has not been asked to serve on this board. You have three people from ACPO on there, and, as we know, the future of ACPO is something that we need to discuss. Do you not think that it would have been sensible for Sir Bernard or someone from the Met-not necessarily him, because obviously he is very busy-to represent it as of right on the College of Policing? Bearing in mind at some time in everyone’s career they pass through the Met, as indeed you did, on the way to-
Alex Marshall: I passed through for 20 years, sir, yes.
Chair: Yes, exactly.
Alex Marshall: I do not choose the board. The board holds me to account, and the Chief Executive.
Q209 Chair: Would it have been helpful if that was the case? Obviously, the Committee can make recommendations and you will come before the Committee.
Alex Marshall: I have already been in discussions with the senior people in the Metropolitan Police. I already feel I am forging good, productive relationships with them. From my point of view, I am not sure any particular advantage would be served by an additional seat on the board.
Q210 Chair: Before we move on let us deal with diversity, because that is going to be one of your key issues in the College, and look at your record in Hampshire. It is not spectacular, is it, as far as black and Asian police officers at senior levels are concerned? I looked at the figures. When you took over as Chief Constable, you had 85 BME officers working for Hampshire. When you left it had actually gone down. If you look at the ranks of the BME officers, I think you had only one at chief superintendent level. The same thing applies to gender. For someone who is going to take control of the diversity agenda for the whole of the police, this is not a particularly outstanding record, is it? I know what you have done as far as the gay and lesbian community is concerned, and that you won a Stonewall award for that work, but in terms of the black and Asian community, and the concern that there is about getting a police force that is representative of the country, it has just not happened, has it, in Hampshire?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I share those concerns about making sure we have a representative police force. As the Chief Constable of Hampshire, I took responsibility for trying to improve the level of representation within the force. I set up a BME managerial advice group, a group of middle managers, black and Asian middle managers, who I met on a regular basis who gave me advice and critiqued my proposals in terms of recruiting, progression and retention. When I took over as Chief Constable, we needed to make about 20% savings in the running costs of Hampshire Constabulary once the cuts and savings were brought in. That meant reducing the workforce by several hundred people during my time as Chief Constable, so we lost about 700 or 800 posts out of the organisation. There was only one period, at the start of my time as Chief Constable, where we recruited any number of new recruits into the organisation. On that occasion, we recruited 79 people, of which 11% were BME. After that, we recruited very, very small numbers, because we had to reduce the size of the workforce. In effect, we only recruited from within, so we only carried on reflecting the make-up of the organisation we already had.
Q211 Chair: You accept that it was not a good record?
Alex Marshall: Sir, you mentioned gender. In my time as Chief Constable, I appointed five chief superintendents. Three of them were women. In my time as Chief Constable, I appointed 11 superintendents. Four of them were women. In my time as Chief Constable, we appointed two assistant chief constables with the police authority. One of those was a woman. As you say, I received a Stonewall award for my work with the lesbian, gay and bisexual community, and we are seen in Hampshire-my previous force-as a very good employer and somewhere where, if you come from a non-traditional background, then you can progress.
Q212 Chair: But if you look at the comments of Commander Dal Babu, who is very well respected in the Met, he said only last week, "We’ve really got to look at using those precious recruiting and promotional opportunities to make sure we get more BME and more representative workforce, particularly at a senior level". What worries me is not your commitment and your wish to do it-and I am not sure I am quite convinced by your answer that, because of the austerity measures, you have not done very well with BME police officers in Hampshire-but I do not believe that you can only have a BME officer working in Brent. You can have them in Hampshire as well. If you take someone like Mike Fuller, in the end he was Chief Constable of Kent. The fact is you are now in charge of this. What are you going to do about it? Peter Fahy has come up with a pretty radical idea of positive action.
Alex Marshall: Sir, my point about Hampshire Constabulary is if we are not recruiting anybody, it is hard to change the make-up of those coming into the organisation. We had already recruited women into the organisation and we had large numbers of women-you see my track record at promoting women in the highest levels. Where we already had gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the organisation, you can see my track record at recruiting them into the highest positions. A black or Asian senior officer was never in front of me for a board for a senior position. If they have not come through the organisation, I am not in a position to promote them. The best way of solving the problem is to recruit a good pool of talent into the organisation who will then move through.
In terms of what I will do in the College of Policing, there are some specific actions that we are now undertaking in my second week. Three specific development courses for people at the beginning of their career have been established: a foundation course for people from non-traditional, particularly BME, backgrounds to give them support and guidance; mentoring, to help them develop in the early years; then a middle management course to bring those people on towards superintendent and chief superintendent; and a third level to make sure we realise the potential of the people in superintendent and chief superintendent to bring them through.
Chair: Thank you; very helpful.
Q213 Mark Reckless: Mr Marshall, to say that you never had a black or Asian candidate in front of you, is that really sufficient? Wasn’t it for you to ask questions as to why the pool of people you were interviewing was so narrow, at least in ethnic terms?
Alex Marshall: I could see why it was so narrow, sir, because we were not recruiting in and we did not have large numbers in the constable, sergeant and inspector ranks.
Q214 Mark Reckless: Mr Marshall, I could have said the same as a member of Kent Police Authority when we were appointing and then reappointing Mike Fuller as the Chief Constable. We did not have any difficulty with appointing what was a truly outstanding Chief Constable, but it seemed to us at least that elsewhere in the police people appointed people pretty much like themselves, at least in terms of ethnicity. Don’t we need to open up the police at a senior level to outsiders in order to deal with the issue of ethnic under representation?
Alex Marshall: Yes, we do. In my last round of promotions as Chief Constable I opened up to the whole country and, for example, women were successful in those promotion processes coming from other forces. But again, we did not attract people in-
Q215 Mark Reckless: I was not suggesting that we open it up to other police officers elsewhere in the country; I was suggesting we open it up to people who are outside, at least initially, the policing profession or outside our national borders. Would you support that?
Alex Marshall: Certainly we need to open up policing, and we need to make sure we can get talent that makes us more representative. The College has a role in bringing that talent through quickly into senior positions.
Q216 Mark Reckless: Good. Certainly, as a Member of the Committee, I look forward to seeing further work from the College to really show some urgency in that area.
Could I ask you what relationship the leaders of the College will have with Government and Parliament? How do you envisage being held to account?
Alex Marshall: Being called to the Home Affairs Committee, sir, speaking with the-
Chair: Good answer.
Mr Winnick: One of the pleasures of life.
Alex Marshall: Clearly, the Home Secretary has a role and engages with the College. I answer to the Home Secretary in that sense. Parliamentary questions have already been asked about the College, and I would expect Parliament to continue to ask questions about the College of Policing.
Q217 Mark Reckless: What about the Police and Crime Commissioners?
Alex Marshall: Yes, I have already started engaging with the Police and Crime Commissioners. Four Police and Crime Commissioners will be on the board that hold me to account. I am also going around the country to see all the Police and Crime Commissioners, to make sure that the College of Policing produces what they need to succeed in their roles.
Q218 Mark Reckless: So there is no real proposal that we should not actually have any PCCs on the board, but they should be set off in some sort of separate advisory thing? That has gone by the board. You have four PCCs on that leadership board. Why then do we have these three ACPO representatives? The Home Secretary was saying yesterday the Government has now cut all funding to ACPO and sees it as a sort of private company. I am not quite clear what its role is in being on the board or overseeing the College of Policing.
Alex Marshall: Its role, sir, is that the Chief Constables have operational control within their force areas. They are responsible for implementing change within their force.
Q219 Mark Reckless: What does that have to do with ACPO?
Alex Marshall: Because it is the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Q220 Mark Reckless: But that is a private company. There is a terminology in policing: we refer almost to ACPO level merely because they are assistant chief constable or above. Aside from that, I am not quite sure what business, if any, ACPO has having three representatives on the board. Your answer seems to suggest they were there as representative forces rather than as ACPO representatives. Can you clarify?
Alex Marshall: They are there as representatives of the chief officers, and it is the chief officers who have operational control over the forces.
Q221 Mark Reckless: So, do they represent ACPO?
Alex Marshall: ACPO is the body, the association that brings together all the chief officers and, therefore, through ACPO chief officers sit on the board. The limited company status is the legal construct for parts of ACPO to exist, but it-
Q222 Mark Reckless: Mr Marshall, I and other Members of the Committee are very familiar with the ACPO structures and the way that organisation has developed. I would like you to answer the question: are those three senior officers there representing ACPO or not? If you do not know the answer, the Committee would be very happy for you to write back and clarify that position, but I think it is a really important question to answer.
Alex Marshall: They are there as the senior ACPO representatives, with ACPO being the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Q223 Chair: I think the answer is "Yes"; they are there representing ACPO. That is right? You are saying they are representing ACPO?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Chair: Is that okay, Mr Reckless?
Mark Reckless: I am surprised it took so many iterations to get there, but yes.
Q224 Dr Huppert: That may be a factual answer. I am not entirely comfortable with the idea that they are ACPO delegates. Are you also implying that the PCC people on there are acting as representatives of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, or are they there as a subset of the individual Police and Crime Commissioners?
Alex Marshall: They are there as Police and Crime Commissioners, but somebody will need to co-ordinate which of the PCCs are chosen to sit on the board.
Q225 Dr Huppert: But are you saying that in each of these groups they could be delegated or mandated by in one case the association and in the other by ACPO, or are they there in their own right as force leaders?
Alex Marshall: As directors of the board, they have to be there in their own right with legal responsibilities as directors on the board. They come from organisations such as the Police Federation, who will nominate somebody to represent the Police Federation on the board. Of course, once they are on the board, they do have those personal and individual legal responsibilities as a director.
Q226 Dr Huppert: When we are talking about ACPO’s status as a limited company, am I right that the College of Policing is currently a limited company as well?
Alex Marshall: That is correct.
Q227 Dr Huppert: I believe the plan is for that to be set out in statute. What are the consequences of the fact that you are currently simply a limited company?
Alex Marshall: It means that the single shareholder is the Home Secretary, and that the board has to operate within the accounting rules and the legal construct of a limited company. In terms of operating, in terms of setting standards, in terms of establishing the best practice in policing, in terms of making links with the academic world and making sure what works successfully is rolled out in all forces, it does not impact on the work of the professional body.
Q228 Dr Huppert: I think there are a number of questions about the set-up that we will possibly have to look at later, but can I move on to what you just touched on about the relationship with universities, because I think that is an innovation? What are you proposing to do? What will be on offer to officers and to universities? What are you proposing?
Alex Marshall: There are already many good links between individual forces and universities. I want to make sure that we formalise those links, and where universities are carrying out research that might be to the benefit of the public through improving policing-for example, the best ways of preventing crime-that that is channelled through the professional body and then made available to all forces to adopt as appropriate. It is formalising the relationship with universities, setting up a "what works?" centre under the Cabinet Office rules to make sure that when we describe something as what works in policing it follows proper academic rigour, it has been published, peer reviewed, challenged, tested in the field, and we can say with certainty that this approach works.
Q229 Dr Huppert: What do universities get?
Alex Marshall: Universities get access to the priorities in policing, access to police practitioners, in terms of operationalising the research in the field, and hopefully the opportunity to test approaches. So, there may be trials of approaches in policing, but that can only happen if the Chief Constable and the local force are willing to participate, but as the professional body, we should be able to co-ordinate that.
Q230 Dr Huppert: A number of officers are doing a whole range of programmes. For example, there are a number at the University of Cambridge. Are you proposing that at some point particular ranks or particular roles would require particular university qualifications or, indeed, any university qualification at all?
Alex Marshall: I have not got into that level of detail yet. Clearly, we want to make sure that senior people in policing have the right skills and understand how academic research works, and already many senior officers will have a Master’s degree or other research experience within a university environment. At this point, I would not say that for a particular level you must have a particular academic qualification, but as we get into the detail of the professional body, working with its membership, we will address that.
Q231 Dr Huppert: You are saying you would not say that because you have not thought through it, or you would not say that because you do not believe that that would be the right answer?
Alex Marshall: Because I want to work with the membership to establish for the best in policing, taking a long-term view, what skills and academic qualifications we are looking for, and I do not think I have come to any firm view on that yet.
Q232 Dr Huppert: But it might be that a Master’s would be a requirement for some level of rank?
Alex Marshall: In theory, it could be but I have not reached that point yet.
Q233 Chair: Mr Marshall, is there merit in actually calling this the Royal College of Policing, bearing it in mind what the Home Secretary, the Government and Parliament want to do is to try to make policing much more of a profession, such as those represented by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians? Is that perhaps one of the things that you would like to see happen?
Alex Marshall: Sir, it is absolutely my aim that policing becomes an established profession, where we have continuous professional development and we can point that the way we operate is comparable with any other profession. In terms of the "royal" status, I would like to see us move towards that. I have to be very careful, because it is the Privy Council who grant the Royal College status and then the title can only be used with permission from the Queen. While I would like to get to that point, there are many hurdles for me to get through before I can get there.
Q234 Chair: In respect of your answer to Dr Huppert, you were at the Committee seminar when Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe talked about the Metropolitan Police funding universities directly. Do you think it would be better if those resources were spent on the College of Policing, or is that a parallel operation that can go on?
Alex Marshall: It could go on in parallel. I am meeting with the Commissioner, and I have already spoken to Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne about this issue. I would rather the College and the Metropolitan Police work together on this.
Q235 Chair: Indeed; in other words, they would be supporting you in what you are doing rather than going to individual universities?
Alex Marshall: I would like to see it come through one channel, and, to be fair to the Commissioner, I only started last week and he wanted to get his ideas moving before I was in post.
Q236 Steve McCabe: Mr Marshall, I would like to ask a few questions about the structure of the College and how it is going to work. We know that the chair of the board will be paid up to £57,000 for up to two days’ work per week. What are the other members of the governing group going to be paid, and will they work full-time or will they work part-time also?
Alex Marshall: My understanding, sir, is the other members of the board are not paid. They are expected to work for about two days per month on the board.
Q237 Steve McCabe: So, no pay; does that mean they will be receiving expenses or something?
Alex Marshall: My understanding is they will receive expenses where they are due, sir, yes.
Q238 Steve McCabe: A number of the NPIA functions are being transferred to the College. How do you think the College will deliver its training and standard-setting functions differently from what we are used to with the NPIA?
Alex Marshall: I want to make sure that I am providing the standard setting and the training that everyone in policing needs to improve standards. I think there will be some areas of very specialist training. For example, covert policing is an area that is so sensitive and so specialist that it will stay within the professional body. Perhaps some of the senior leadership training will stay within the professional body. I need to look at all other areas of training and make sure that it is appropriate, that the professional body is both setting the standards and licensing the training and then delivering the training itself. I think there is an opportunity for forces and collections of forces and other training providers to come into that market and do some of the training themselves.
Q239 Steve McCabe: I realise you are at the very early stages of this, so I understand it may be hard to be too definite, but if I am looking at this, say, in three years’ time, what will I see that will be visibly different? What would be the first thing that would strike me and make me think that it is no longer the National Policing Improvement Agency? Will there be an obvious new definition of standards and training?
Alex Marshall: You will see a professional body, sir. You will see an organisation that its members, in all aspects of policing, look to for knowledge, advice and guidance. You will see a firm relationship with universities where the College of Policing has a "what works?" centre and makes very good use of academic research right into practice on the ground. You will see the best aspects of policing, many of which have emerged in the last three or four years during this period of austerity. Lots of brilliant new approaches have arisen in policing. I want to make sure we are describing the best of those approaches in plain English and giving everyone the opportunity to roll those practices out across every force.
Q240 Steve McCabe: So, that is one way we will be able to judge and measure your progress. Mr Huppert asked about the status of the College as an interim limited company, but the plan is to be defined by statute. What are the main things that will need to be set out in statute? What is it that needs to happen?
Alex Marshall: The objectives of the College, the powers that the College has, its ability to generate income, and its clear status in law will have to be set out.
Q241 Steve McCabe: It may seem as if I have not quite grasped this, but I am trying to understand: why does that have to be set out that way? Why couldn’t you carry on, as other policing organisations do, as a limited company?
Alex Marshall: At the moment, sir, to operate independently from the Home Office or Government is very difficult, because the one shareholder is the Home Secretary. There is a clear declaration, from the Home Secretary and the Police Minister, that the College of Policing will be independent. At the moment, I have to seek permission from the Home Office to recruit people into the organisation. The funding comes directly from the Home Office, and I am subject to all the accounting rules and the ways of operating that are found within the Home Office and Government. It needs to be created separately in statute to have more freedom to operate.
Q242 Steve McCabe: So, in large part it is to define your independence?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Steve McCabe: Thank you.
Q243 Chair: Can you confirm how many members of staff you are going to have in the College of Policing?
Alex Marshall: Sir, I will start the detailed design next Monday, on 18 February. The design will be finished by the end of June for me to then present it to the board. Involved in the design work will be people from all parts of policing, as well as members of the College. At the end of the detailed design phase, we will know exactly what it looks like-for example, how the different parts are made up-and it is only then that I will be able to assess exactly how many people I need. I have roughly 600 people who have come to me from predecessor organisations, and I would anticipate it will be a smaller organisation in the future than the one I inherited.
Q244 Chair: You have 600 who are transferring over at the moment?
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir.
Q245 Chair: You will have to find something for them to do, presumably, once you have built your organisation. But you have 600, correct?
Alex Marshall: To be clear, Chairman, they are very busy now. They are delivering various parts of training, overseeing promotion and exam processes and various other roles, so they are fully occupied in the roles they were carrying out in the predecessor organisation.
Q246 Chair: You have been there for 10 days. You have 600 staff. We do not know yet what they are going to do, but at the moment they are busy doing what they are doing already. Is that it, roughly? They are undertaking other functions that they have already been carrying out?
Alex Marshall: For example, sir, there are people involved in setting standards for recruiting into policing.
Q247 Chair: Are they physically all in Marsham Street? Where are you based at the moment?
Alex Marshall: No, they are Harperley Hall in Durham and in Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Q248 Chair: They are all over the place?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q249 Chair: How many centres are they in?
Alex Marshall: Five centres.
Q250 Chair: But they are still under you as the Chief Executive?
Alex Marshall: Yes, they are.
Q251 Chair: What is your budget?
Alex Marshall: My budget for next year is about-
Chair: "Next year" meaning 2013 and-
Alex Marshall: 2013-14 is about £50 million.
Q252 Chair: Do you how much was the budget for the predecessor organisation?
Alex Marshall: I do not know the detail. It was larger, much larger, because it had responsibility for IT and running databases and other functions that-
Q253 Chair: Which has gone elsewhere in the new landscape?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q254 Chair: When do you think you will be able to come to this Committee with a firm plan as to how this organisation is going to look?
Alex Marshall: The detailed design will be finished by the end of June. I will then present it to the board, I would hope, in July or August, so I should be able to come here in the autumn to give you a clear picture of how the organisation will look.
Q255 Chair: Can you just confirm to us your salary as Chief Executive?
Alex Marshall: £180,000, sir.
Q256 Chair: How many personal staff do you have in the organisation? Do you have staff officers as you had as Chief Constable of Hampshire?
Alex Marshall: I have a staff officer, yes, sir.
Q257 Chair: You just have one member of your staff with you, or do you have a bigger private office? We are trying to envisage how this is all going to work. How are you going to put together this huge enterprise by the end of June with one person?
Alex Marshall: No, sir, to do the detailed design work I am bringing people in from outside of the College to work with people within the College, to make sure that what we design is what my members would want; so, members of the Police Federation, Superintendents Association, from the unions, from other parts of policing, from non-Home Office forces will be working with six to 10 people from across the College who I am selecting to work on this team. The team will be flexible depending on the skills it needs, but about 12 to 15 people will be working full-time, from next Monday until the end of June, to work up the detailed design.
Q258 Chair: This is not the Public Accounts Committee, but we are interested in these matters. Do you know how much of the £50 million that you have as your budget is going to be on start-up costs, as opposed to, "Let’s teach these police officers who have come to the College"?
Alex Marshall: No, sir.
Q259 Mark Reckless: Will all police officers be members of the College?
Alex Marshall: My aim is they will all be members of the College, yes.
Q260 Mark Reckless: How about police staff and PCSOs?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q261 Mark Reckless: Special constables?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q262 Mark Reckless: When you say your aim is they will all be members, will they be required to be, or are you going to attract them voluntarily by giving a service that they will want to use?
Alex Marshall: My starting position is they are all my members of the professional body, and I am there to provide this service of knowledge, to give them access to material and best practice and set out continuous professional development. We need to work out through the detailed design of how you become a member formally, but my starting position is everyone currently working in policing will become a member of the professional body.
Mark Reckless: So, it will be compulsory? Is it compulsory?
Alex Marshall: It is not compulsory, because as yet we do not have a detailed design of how the membership operates. My working assumption is everyone will become a member. I am working for all of my members.
Q263 Mark Reckless: Will your members have to pay for their membership and, if so, have you any idea how much that would be?
Alex Marshall: No. For the first two years I know there is funding from the Home Office that should sustain the organisation. I need to come up with funding proposals for year three and beyond.
Q264 Mark Reckless: What would you highlight that you believe officers will get from your organisation that they do not get from any of the current bodies in policing, including the Federation?
Alex Marshall: They will get clearly laid-out continuous professional development, in a way that we do not have in policing at the moment; so, each year your professional development will be laid out. The expectation will be placed on you to make sure you maintain and improve your skills and knowledge of policing. Easy access to knowledge in the area that you work in in policing will be offered, so you will know to go to the professional body because you work in crime and you want to know the latest on this area of crime, or you work in neighbourhood policing and you want to see the best model of neighbourhood policing. It will set out how you progress through your career, how you specialise and what the standards are in each of those areas.
Q265 Mark Reckless: Is there any prospect that the sergeant and-to a lesser degree, I think-inspector exams might move away from an emphasis on memorising criminal law to perhaps a greater emphasis on leadership skills?
Alex Marshall: One of the early items in my in-tray is the current exam system called OSPRE. It has been around for many years. It is seen as very high quality across other sectors, but within policing there is an alternative, which is work-based assessment; in other words, seeing how somebody performs in the field rather than through those tests. Over the next few weeks the College will need to decide with its members which promotion system we go forward with.
Chair: Thank you. We are about to have a Division, Mr Marshall. So, rather than interrupt your evidence, we are going to suspend the Committee and then come back as soon as the vote is over. We are three-quarters of the way through, you will be pleased to know, so it is an opportunity for you to have a breather. I will suspend the Committee until the Division is over. Thank you.
Alex Marshall: Thank you, sir.
Sitting suspended for a Division in the House.
Q266 Chair: Let us resume the Committee proceedings.
Mr Winnick: Chief Constable, the actions of police officers, day in and day out, are of course appreciated. These are not empty words. They are the feelings of all Members of Parliament and the vast majority of the public, certainly all those who are not in any way engaged in criminality. I should just like to preface my questions by saying that the brutal shooting and murder of the two police officers in Manchester so recently illustrates the work that the police do, so there is no "but" or "however" or "what have you". What I want to ask you is, recognising what I have just said, is there a possibility that the sort of negative features of the police are less likely to arise from the College of Policing?
Alex Marshall: The College, the professional body, has to set and maintain the very highest standards from the moment people apply to join the police, at every stage in their career, when they are promoted and when they go into specialist posts. As a professional body, I will be looking at a new code of ethics for all police officers. I have looked at the Northern Ireland model, which they brought in when they changed from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It spells out in very clear terms what is expected of everybody and what they must do actively to ensure very high ethical standards.
Q267 Mr Winnick: At this juncture, when we look at the more negative aspects: Hillsborough; the death of Mr Tomlinson; undercover agents-which has already been dealt with-the shooting of a totally innocent person on 21 July 2005, a fortnight after the terrible atrocities; then, going back some years, of course, the Birmingham Six; and then only two years ago the shooting of Mark Duggan, in circumstances that are far from clear and which many people believe did initiate the rioting, how much do you feel, Chief Constable, that those negative aspects have undermined public confidence in the police?
Alex Marshall: Sir, as you said at the beginning, I think most people judge policing on the service they get locally. For example, if your neighbourhood team care about what is going on in the local area, work to solve problems long term and are part of that community, that creates a lot of trust. I am very pleased to say that the general level of trust in policing is still very high and has stayed high, despite many of the things that you describe. I would also point out that over the last few years, despite the budget cuts, crime has fallen substantially. The Olympics were policed to a really high standard and the Jubilee celebrations were an example of sensible policing connecting with local communities.
Do I think that the events you have listed have created a serious question mark over the integrity of policing? Yes, I do. I think the College of Policing, the professional body, has a very big role to play in removing that question mark. Police officers will always get into difficult situations, where they have to make a decision quickly in the most difficult of circumstances, and they will not always get it right. But the professional body has to make sure we equip those officers and police staff making those difficult decisions with the skills, training and experience, and access to knowledge, while they are out and about in the field that helps them make even better decisions.
Q268 Mr Winnick: As a very senior police officer, did what the Prime Minister said in his statement to the House at the time of the Hillsborough inquiry come as a shock to you?
Alex Marshall: I think in any of those major events where police integrity is called into question-and I have to say the Hillsborough event is still being properly investigated and there is no outcome to that inquiry as yet-those comments from the Prime Minister are a reflection of how people feel when they hear about things that go badly wrong in policing. We hold coercive and intrusive powers and we must use them wisely and professionally, and we have to do so with integrity.
Q269 Mr Winnick: Is it intended as the procedures of the College to strike off police officers?
Alex Marshall: It is my intention, sir, that somebody who has transgressed should not be allowed to continue and, therefore, they should not be a member of the professional body anymore. For example, someone who is dismissed as a result of misconduct hearings should, in effect, have their certificate to practise withdrawn.
Q270 Mr Winnick: Does that include all ranks of the police?
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir.
Q271 Mr Winnick: Without exception?
Alex Marshall: As yet, we have not fully designed the professional body. That is the work we are doing over the next few weeks and months. It is my long-term intention that, once we have a register of all of our members, if you are found guilty of misconduct, you can have your registration withdrawn and be dismissed from the police.
Q272 Mr Winnick: Including Chief Constables-
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir.
Q273 Mr Winnick: -and presumably the Commissioner of Police, if that ever arose, the Metropolitan police chief?
Alex Marshall: Sir, it would apply to everyone in policing.
Q274 Mr Winnick: Everyone; good. A new conduct for the police: is it intended that there should be a code initiated from the very beginning, which all police officers of whatever rank will be expected to adhere to?
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir, and there already is. They already swear an oath, and there are already statements they must adhere to concerning behaviour.
Q275 Mr Winnick: Is this a new code or the same?
Alex Marshall: No, I want to introduce a new code of ethics in the style of that used in Northern Ireland, which was introduced in 2008.
Q276 Mr Winnick: And what is the difference between that and the existing code?
Alex Marshall: The code in Northern Ireland is clear. It lays out for all officers and staff in Northern Ireland in plain English exactly what is expected of them, and there is a positive obligation, for example, on supervisors to be intrusive in making sure that standards of integrity are upheld.
Q277 Chair: Thank you, Mr Marshall. Would you be kind enough to send us a copy of the code? We could write to Matt Baggott and get it from him, but if you have a copy.
Alex Marshall: I have a copy with me, sir.
Chair: If you could leave it, if that is okay, that would be wonderful. Steve McCabe has a supplementary to a previous question that was raised.
Q278 Steve McCabe: Yes, I want to check-in answer to Mr Reckless, I thought I heard you say that all people employed by the police would be members of the College. I wonder if that includes scenes of crime officers, interpreters and other civilian staff and at what point you would stop recruiting people into the College. While I am on it, how will people cease to be members of the College, apart from those who are struck off, which I think I probably can guess at?
Alex Marshall: At the moment, sir, we have not laid out how the membership will operate, because we do not have the detailed design. I have been in post for a week. The detailed design starts next week, so please allow me the two weeks to reach the point of getting into the detailed design. My ambition is that everyone who works in policing will be a member. So, all of the roles you mentioned, whether important investigative tasks, helping the public, catching criminals and reducing crime, are part of people’s work and they will be a member of the College of Policing. When you leave policing, you will no longer be a member or, if you are dismissed from policing for misconduct reasons, then you would no longer be a member.
Q279 Chair: If I want to be a police officer-just to explain in simple language to those who want to join the police force-I do not apply in Leicestershire any more. I apply to become a member of the College of Policing, is that right? Or do I apply in the normal way to become a police officer in Leicestershire and you hope that they will also become members of the College?
Alex Marshall: Exactly how membership is established needs to be worked out with the members in the detailed design over the next few weeks. Already-
Q280 Chair: We do not know at the moment?
Alex Marshall: No, we do not. Much of the recruiting is already done nationally, and then forces are given the results of that national recruiting. We are likely to see that the College will set the standard for recruiting across all forces. The College will also have a responsibility for providing information to the public and people who are interested in joining policing, so people can see what they need to do to apply and join the police service.
Q281 Chair: If you look at the Royal Colleges, for example-and you are seeking to make it into a Royal College-you do not have to be a member of the Royal College, but you have to pass the exams that they set. In effect, most people are members of the Royal College, but it is not a compulsory thing.
Alex Marshall: In most of the professional bodies I have looked at, Chairman, if you are not a member of the professional body, you cannot practise.
Q282 Chair: In conclusion, can I deal with some points that were raised by the Home Secretary this morning? Of course she announced the register of second jobs, and presumably you were aware that she was going to make this statement?
Alex Marshall: I was aware of some of the content but not the full detail, sir, until I heard it today.
Q283 Chair: You are going to be responsible for policing the register, is that right? The register of second jobs is going to come under the College of Policing?
Alex Marshall: I am not aware of the detail of that proposal. I do know that it is the intention of the Home Secretary to publish that register nationally. Where the register is held I don’t think is certain.
Q284 Chair: It is very strange that with something as important as this people should not tell you in advance what they expect of you. I am not saying that the Home Secretary should ring you up every day, but if you come before Parliament and you make a statement to say that the College of Policing is going to be involved in policing a register of gifts, hospitality and second jobs, then perhaps the chief executive ought to know about this.
Alex Marshall: Sir, the Home Secretary did inform me of the intention of her speech today and the main content of it, and my understanding is that the College of Policing will have the role in setting the standard for forces to follow in that area.
Q285 Chair: Yes, but not looking after the register?
Alex Marshall: Not for keeping the register.
Q286 Chair: Where will that be?
Alex Marshall: I think it needs to be established which national body best holds that register, sir.
Q287 Chair: Are you ready to have it if they give it to you?
Alex Marshall: I am happy to discuss it if it wants to come to the College of Policing, but there might be other national organisations where it would sit better.
Q288 Chair: Like-
Alex Marshall: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate would be one example if they felt it was appropriate for them to take that on.
Q289 Chair: At the moment, of course, 23,000 police officers have a second job. You are aware of that?
Alex Marshall: Yes, sir.
Q290 Chair: At the start of this organisation, do you think in principle that police officers should be allowed to have a second job? Should it still rest with the local Chief Constable to decide whether or not they should be able to take up these second jobs? As a matter of ethics, you as Chief Constable presumably had lots of people who wrote to you and said, "I am a serving police officer in Hampshire, but I also work as a decorator at weekends". Presumably you had such requests?
Alex Marshall: Absolutely.
Q291 Chair: Did you turn down many?
Alex Marshall: I did not deal with them personally. I set the standards for the organisation. Lots were turned down if, for example, they were in the area of licensing or an area where policing might come into contact with that business and, therefore, it would be inappropriate because there would be a conflict of interest. Similarly, lots of people want to be sports coaches or do a bit of woodwork or do other things for a small number of hours per week, and in those cases there are clear regulations on business interests. I wouldn’t object to somebody carrying out that business interest, for example, as a cricket coach.
Q292 Chair: There will be a national register. We know that. It has been announced today, but we do not know where it is going to sit and we do not know when it is going to start, but we will obviously ask the Home Secretary about that. As far as corruption issues are concerned-and obviously we know this only applies to a small number of police officers; that is what the figures show us-will you have any responsibility for dealing with that?
Alex Marshall: With investigating corruption?
Alex Marshall: No.
Q293 Chair: Will you have any responsibility for dealing with the ethics of advising people what they should and should not do?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q294 Chair: You will; that is clear now. That is not something that is going to come to you. That is built into your core tasks, is that right?
Alex Marshall: I said at the start, sir, one of our main priorities in the first year is integrity and working with Chief Constable Mike Cunningham. We are already commissioning some work to research the best examples across all sectors of high integrity and successful leadership, as well as learning lessons from recent cases where integrity has been called into question, to make sure that the College sets the standards going forward to avoid those mistakes in the future.
Q295 Chair: In terms of the vetting of police chiefs that the Home Secretary has announced today, as you know we have had a lot of vacancies recently; I think 12 vacancies of Chief Constables. I am not sure, but I understand they have been filled. Of course, these rules come too late for them to be vetted. Will you be responsible for that? Will that sit with you, or do we not know where that is going to sit?
Alex Marshall: The College will set the standards for vetting across forces including the standards for chief officers.
Q296 Chair: If somebody is applying to become the Chief Constable of Leicestershire-I keep mentioning Leicestershire, but you will understand that is my home town, and of course there is no vacancy, Simon Cole is very much there-would they come to you and say, "Please vet this Chief Constable for us"?
Alex Marshall: No, the professional body will set the standard and is likely to say, "You cannot fulfil that post until you have completed the vetting. Here are the standards of vetting you must complete".
Q297 Chair: In respect of foreign police officers, who I understand are now in the UK-I do not know whether you have seen the report that, for example, there are a number of Romanian police officers who have come over to serve with the Met-because of the high level of crime in certain communities associated with other countries, will you have any responsibility for setting their standards?
Alex Marshall: The professional body will set all the standards for vetting across all areas of policing.
Q298 Chair: For any police officer who serves in the United Kingdom?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q299 Chair: But since we have all these foreign police officers coming over-we do not know a number yet, but apparently there are officers coming from some countries to work with our Met-will you be notified of the existence of these officers, or you will just set the standards and send it off to the local police chief?
Alex Marshall: We would set the standard for every force. But equally, individual forces have to be clear about the vetting requirements they have for anyone working in any of their buildings. The Metropolitan Police has their own responsibility for setting standards of anyone working within their organisation.
Chair: Thank you; Mr McCabe, then Mr Winnick, and then we will close.
Q300 Steve McCabe: Chairman, I do not know if I am missing something here. I am struggling to understand how easy it is going to be for the College to set the standards and the code of ethics but for someone else to be responsible for enforcing the College’s code and standards. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of an organisation where that actually happens. If you are responsible and they are your standards and your code of ethics, wouldn’t it be normal to expect the College to also try to enforce them? I may have misunderstood, but if I have understood correctly, Mr Marshall, it sounds as if what you are telling us is that you will set them but hand over responsibility for their enforcement to somebody else. How are you going to know that they are being properly interpreted and enforced?
Alex Marshall: In terms of the standards or the code of ethics being delivered across the country, I will work with all the Chief Constables to make sure that we all apply the same standards in every force. Where training is delivered, the professional body will set the standard for training. The professional body has responsibility for checking that training is delivered to that standard, and at various points in your career, for example, people going for promotion or a specialist post, there are again opportunities to make sure that people are compliant and living to those standards and values. In terms of investigating a breach-misconduct, for example-then that is a matter that sits with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, not with the professional body. In terms of inspecting forces for their efficiency and effectiveness, that sits with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.
Q301 Steve McCabe: Isn’t it possible that someone could have committed a breach of discipline but not necessarily have breached the standards? Therefore, they may be deemed to be guilty at one level but not at the other. What would happen to a person in those circumstances?
Alex Marshall: I am not sure I fully understand the example, sir. In the code of ethics of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, it lays out quite clearly the type of behaviour that is acceptable, how you should treat the people we serve, members of the public, and a breach of that will get you into trouble. It is for the forces and for the Independent Police Complaints Commission to deal with individual cases of misconduct.
Q302 Steve McCabe: The example I was thinking of was there have been numerous examples of police officers with second jobs, where the suggestion has been that they have been given permission but actually when the detail of the second job has been examined, questions have been raised. As I understand it, the argument that is generally employed by the Federation is that they say it was not sufficiently clear that they were not permitted to do this.
Alex Marshall: In that type of instance, sir, then the service, the professional body, has to take responsibility for making sure it is clear. In the example you give, it is covered by regulations. It is covered by law.
Chair: Thank you.
Q303 Mr Winnick: On hospitality, arising from some of the questions put to you by the Chair and by my colleague Mr McCabe, do you feel that the regulations or the practices could well be tightened, in view of some of the incidents that have occurred certainly arising from phone hacking?
Alex Marshall: We should be completely open about all hospitality and all types of contacts that you are referring to. There is very good guidance already existing nationally, and Transparency International came in and did some work with the Association of Chief Police Officers, which highlighted how you can be even more transparent in those sorts of areas.
Q304 Mr Winnick: If a senior police officer has a meal which is quite possibly above board and nothing sinister whatsoever, as Chief Executive of this new college would it be your view that that should be registered?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q305 Mr Winnick: So, all forms of hospitality should be registered?
Alex Marshall: Yes.
Q306 Mr Winnick: It has come to our attention during evidence on other matters that a very senior police officer received medical treatment free. There is no question of that particular person’s integrity being questioned, as I said at the time, but would you consider it a desirable practice for any police officer of any rank, from the most junior to the senior, to receive free treatment? Private free treatment I am obviously referring to.
Chair: Mr Marshall, if you do not know the answer, you can say you do not know.
Alex Marshall: I am sorry, I don’t know.
Q307 Mr Winnick: You do not know that particular case, and I am not pursuing that case, but in the future, Mr Marshall, what would the code lay down if anyone of any rank received free medical treatment?
Alex Marshall: If it was given as a gift or in the form of hospitality, which does not seem to fit very well, then all gifts and hospitality should be declared. I think that is as far as I can go with that, sir.
Mr Winnick: Thank you very much.
Chair: That deals with it. Mr Marshall, thank you for coming before us. We have high hopes for you and this organisation. We support what you are saying about trying to build a world-class brand for British policing, and we share your enthusiasm. I think you said you found this was "a fantastic opportunity to replace bureaucracy and unnecessary policies in policing with practical, common sense approaches based on the evidence of what works". It must be wonderful to have your words being quoted back at you, but we really do wish you all success for the future. We will take a great interest in the work of the College of Policing, because you have very important responsibilities. We look forward to seeing you again in the future with some firm plans as to how you can see this organisation developing. Please do keep us updated, and the very best of luck in your new appointment.
Alex Marshall: Thank you.
Chair: Thank you. That concludes the Committee’s deliberations for today.