The Home Secretary has appointed Chief Constable Alex Marshall to be the first Chief Executive of the new College of Policing. As the first professional body in policing to embrace all ranks and roles, the College is charged with setting and raising standards for police practices, training, education and many other matters, drawing on the best research available to support evidence-based decisions.

The Chief Constable of Hampshire at the time of his appointment, Mr. Marshall was previously Assistant Chief Constable and then Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police. He started his career in 1980 with the Metropolitan Police Service, transferring to Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2000. During this time he also worked as a consultant for the Home Office on bureaucracy in frontline policing. In 2004 he joined the Chief Constable’s team in Thames Valley Police where he was Gold Commander at Royal Ascot and the wedding of HRH Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Marshall studied at the Institute of Criminology and Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge and became a Cropwood Fellow in 1999. He obtained a Masters Degree in Criminology and Police Management at the Institute of Criminology of the University of Cambridge in 2006.

Marshall outlined his view of the role of the College as follows:
To improve professionalism across the whole of policing To focus on the things in policing that make most difference to the public To make sure the best things that are happening in individual forces happen across all forces To build a strong body of evidence demonstrating what works in preventing crime and solving policing problems He looks to achieve this through working with academia to ensure that proper scholarly rigour is brought to evaluating approaches in policing.

Marshall stated that “by 2016, police officers and front-line practitioners in policing will need to be even more self-sufficient and self-reliant because budget cuts will mean fewer supervisors and less support across their police force. Therefore we need to equip, in every sense, the person dealing with the problem at the front end.....with knowledge, skills, [and] access to knowledge while out and about, and the technology to make them able to make professional judgements, use their discretion, and resolve things themselves. When you consider what a police officer has to deal with in a day (e.g. a cot death, a burglary, writing case notes) the range of skills and what we expect from people at the front is very high, constantly changing and requires excellent training and excellent access to knowledge.”

“My exposure to Cambridge on three occasions, more recently through completing the Masters in Criminology, exposed me to well-founded methodology in establishing what works, how to sustain an experiment, how to evaluate the experiment, where to draw information from, the importance of a literature review and the importance of challenging and testing ideas with established academics who lead in their particular field.” Marshall said he was very impressed with the people he met at Cambridge. “As Chief Constable, I’ve been very supportive of sending several of my senior staff to Cambridge to complete the Diploma and the Masters and I believe this has been a very successful investment in their leadership and in understanding what works in policing.”

In summing up his feelings about his new appointment, Marshall said, “I dislike the idea of leaving Hampshire Constabulary which has been a brilliant job, and I’ve been made to feel very welcome and it’s gone very well, but to be the first Chief Executive of a professional body for policing and to set it up and hopefully deliver higher professional standards across the whole of policing is a fantastic opportunity and should be an exciting and rewarding two years.” Marshall will take up his new role early next year.

What the College of Policing will do: Protect the public interest by promoting the values of effective policing; learning from and supporting improvement in policing; and maintaining ethics and values.

Set and enhance first-class national standards of professionalism to ensure excellence in operational policing: by developing a set of nationally agreed standards for officers and staff to attain; providing frameworks for standards to be tested and achievement rewarded; and by supporting national business areas. Identify evidence of what works in policing and share best practice: by providing access to a body of knowledge that is informed by evidence-based research and best practice; continuing to develop an understanding of the evolving threats to public safety, the challenges of leading complex organisations and enable the service to develop the capabilities needed.

Support the education and professional development of police officers and staff: by developing and maintaining the national policing curriculum, assessment and accreditation frameworks; delivery of leadership and specialist training; accrediting and quality-assuring training providers; developing future leaders and expertise through effective talent management Enable and motivate staff and partners to work together to achieve a shared purpose: by working with partners to make the best use of specialist knowledge; supporting desired behaviours and actions that embody the service’s values; and by ensuring interoperability with partners and other sectors.