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Hampshire chief takes over Basu role on Senior Command Course

One of the country’s top female Chief Constables is set to lead the Strategic Command Course.

Hampshire’s Chief Constable is taking over leadership of the Strategic Command Course, sparking fresh uncertainty over the future of Neil Basu.

The College of Policing announced CC Olivia Pinkney is joining on secondment to oversee the leadership development programme which prepares police officers and staff for the most senior ranks.

She takes over from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu who took up the post in April last year.

Hampshire’s current Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs will be temporary Chief Constable for the duration of the secondment.

CC Pinkney has led the force since 2016 and is a former Assistant Inspector of Constabulary, with a Masters from Cambridge University.

A QPM, she is also chair of the National Police Co-ordination Committee for Local Policing, the Police Steering Committee, Cumberland Lodge, and the national chaplaincy lead for the police service.

She said: “I am honoured to have been invited to this role which will see me step away from my ongoing responsibilities. It has been a long-held ambition to lead the SCC, having twice immensely enjoyed being a Syndicate Director.

“I am very excited to work with the excellent College team, to build on the brilliance of Neil, and to develop an enriching, yet challenging programme for the future leaders of UK policing – the finest police service in the world.”

It means Mr Basu is officially returning to the Met having been passed over for the job to lead the National Crime Agency. He is understood to be consulting with lawyers over the handling of the process as the job vacancy has now been re-opened.

He had stood down as the Head of Counter Terrorism and that role was taken over by Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told Police Oracle: "Neil remains an Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police.  Following a very successful secondment to the College of Policing, and the recent decisions by the Home Office in respect of the NCA role, Neil’s next role will be agreed shortly."

The leadership course is open to police officers at superintendent and chief superintendent ranks, and staff at equivalent grades, who have shown the potential to progress further in their careers. It is a statutory requirement for officers seeking promotion to assistant chief constable and above.

Her appointment comes as senior figures in policing have called for access opportunities to be improved to increase diversity at the top of the service, particularly for BAME officers.

The National Black Police Association, Police Superintendents’ Association and Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner have all warned more needs to be done – especially with forces struggling to attract candidates for Chief Constable posts.

The College of Policing said her appointment would help encourage more potential candidates to apply and continue the work on diversity started by Mr Basu.

CEO Andy Marsh said: “Olivia’s wealth of experience, and her dedication to policing and the communities we serve, will be an inspiration to those aspiring to the most senior roles in the service. I really look forward to working with her and know she will receive a very warm welcome from colleagues at the College, and those attending the SCC.”

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