§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the report of the working party on the training of police probationers.
§ Mr. Brittan
The report, which follows a similar report on community and race relations training, is being published today. I accept its recommendations, which are based on the proposition that probationer training for police recruits should be regarded as a two-year apprenticeship, centred on job-related skills, with emphasis on high professional standards of conduct. The report is the work of a group comprising representatives of the police service, local authorities and an academic adviser, and I am grateful to them for their recommendations.
Implementation will be in two stages. Stage 1 will consist of a considerably improved version of the present pattern of probationer training. For provincial officers the initial course will be extended from 10 to 14 weeks and on return to their forces the recruits will have further training, including instruction by experienced tutor constables in their main task of street duty. Recruits will receive about seven months training before they are allowed to patrol unaccompanied by a more experienced officer; and after that their training, formal and informal, 544W will continue throughout the remainder of their two-year probationary period. This improved pattern of training will be introduced in January 1984. Similar arrangements apply in the Metropolitan police.
In stage 2 a small research team of academic advisers and police officers will continue the review of probationer training, assessing present methods and evaluating the overall results, with a view to recommending further improvements, both in initial training centres and in forces.
Copies of the working party's report are being placed in the Library, and will also be available from my Department on request.