Police chief's legal challenge over degrees dismissed

Lincolnshire Police chief constable Bill Skelly
Image caption Chief Constable Bill Skelly said there would be staffing and financial implications for the force

A Lincolnshire Police chief's bid for a judicial review into plans for all new police officers to be educated to degree level has been dismissed.

From 2020, the College of Policing said prospective officers would either have to complete a degree or be prepared to study for one during work time.

Chief constable Bill Skelly said he was "disappointed" it was rejected "on a technicality related to timing".

He wanted an evaluation of the system and for it to be delayed until 2023.

Image caption The College of Policing had previously said the changes would prepare recruits for the complexity of the job

Mr Skelly said: "I wanted to give time for a legitimate evaluation of the new system being imposed across the country and for the results to be assessed and any adjustments made.

"We submitted a detailed challenge on the merits of the PEQF [Police Education Qualifications Framework] and the insufficient preparation that has been undertaken by the College of Policing.

"Unfortunately, the College chose to ignore the merits of our concerns and sought to strike out the legal case on a technicality."

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Mr Skelly described the scheme as "disastrous" and said it meant 40 fewer front-line officers.

He also said he was considering taking further legal action.

"This is a loss of police officers that cannot be afforded and it would create a harmful impact on policing in the county," he added.

The College of Policing's deputy chief constable Bernie O'Reilly welcomed the court's decision, and said: "We want every officer to be properly prepared and recognised for the difficult job they do every day."

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