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HMIC Selection Process ‘Political’ - Poll says

An independent survey carried out by PoliceOracle.com reveals the vast majority of the policing family do not believe the government’s choice for HMIC Chief was impartial

Members of the policing community and the public are largely sceptical of the process which led to Tom Winsor being named as the preferred candidate for HMIC Chief, an independent survey has shown.

Almost 99 per cent of police officers who took part said they did not believe the selection process for the job had been fair, and 99.2 per cent said they believed the choice of Mr Winsor as the preferred candidate was in some way party political. Public perceptions in the online survey, carried out by PoliceOracle.com, closely followed these figures.

The results come as Mr Winsor is due to face the Home Affairs Select Committee today (June 26) at a pre-appointment hearing concerning the HMIC job – which is one of the most significant policing figurehead roles in the UK.

Our survey focuses on the perceptions of the wider policing community following the controversial choice – and government sources’ claims that Mr Winsor was “head and shoulders” above the rest of the candidates – including one serving chief constable and one former chief constable.

Even the president of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde, had deemed the comments “unhelpful”.

Mr Winsor will be supported today at the hearing in Westminster by Policing Minister Nick Herbert, who will speak supporting his selection. The committee says it is fascinated to know exactly why he believes Mr Winsor is the right candidate.

In the poll almost 97 per cent of the public who responded said it thought the choice of Mr Winsor was party political. Around 93 per cent did not believe the selection process was fair and almost 94 per cent said Mr Winsor was not the right man for the job.

This was supported by police officer opinion with almost 97 per cent of those polled saying Mr Winsor was not the right person to lead HMIC in future.

Around 70 per cent of those polled were police officers while roughly 30 percent were members of the public, which could include former officers and police staff.

Poll figures in full:

Question 1

Is Tom Winsor the right person to be the next Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary?

Police (Yes) 0.4%      Police (No) 99.6%

Public (Yes) 6.4%      Public (No) 93.6%

Question 2

Do you believe the selection process regarding the choice of candidate was fair?

Police (Yes) 1.1%       Police (No) 98.9%

Public (Yes) 7.8%       Public (No) 92.7%

Question 3

Do you believe the choice was in any way party political?

Police (Yes) 99.2%      Police (No) 0.8%

Public (Yes) 96.7%      Public (No) 3.3%

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