Why don’t police officers have licences to practice?

This is difficult – but, after the conviction of Wayne Couzens, we have to face up to it..

I’ve had friends in the Police (many of whom I disagreed with… but, even so I’m pleased to say that I never considered them dishonest).

But we now learn these statistics:

I’d really suggest that, for police officers, the balance of guilt – as it were – should actually be not in their favour- i.e. they should be presumed not to keep their jobs, if they were ever found guilty of sexual misconduct.

Life is decidedly difficult – especially in policing – so I’d certainly suggest that this requirement should be accompanied by a pay increase.

That is no more than fair.

Further, when I ran licensed premises I had to have a licence myself – in order to run the premise. I confess I was not a great fan as I thought that the (Police) Licensing Officer was a much more effective role.

Still, with the help of Osborne’s austerity, personal licensing became an inexpensive method of control and unless I trip up in a major way, as long as I retain my licence, I will still be able to manage licensed premises..

Yet for a Police Officer, that appears to be different – they can often change policing areas and seemingly continue regardless.

We need the College of Policing to issue licences – just as we old fashioned licensees have to endure… And are consequently enabled to fulfill our function.

It is very odd that someone appointed to enforce the law seems to be less onerously controlled than someone who is required simply to supervise licensed premises… or even as we now know, HGV drivers who need a CPC. Why shouldn’t the Police Officer checking this driver need a similar and regular Certificate of Professional Competence approval in order to ply his or her policing ‘trade’?

That would, I suggest, surely be a proper confirmation of ‘Policing by Consent‘…


  1. Jeremy GH -

    In a trans-Atlantic (American) rather than British context, I have long thought it inappropriate for police officers (and the like) to be able to ‘plead the fifth’ (amendment against self incrimination) – as being incompatible with them being ‘sworn officers’.

    1. Peter May -

      That sounds like something I’d agree with too…

  2. Michael G -

    Credit to those police officers who gathered the evidence and charged a serving officer with murder. They knew the trouble it would create and how it would affect their future work with colleagues. It will be interesting to follow their future careers versus those of the officers who swept aside earlier complaints.

    1. Peter May -


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