THE first of a new breed of detectives are expected to be recruited in North Wales in the next few weeks, but the move has not been welcomed by the Police Federation.

North Wales Police is one of eight forces chosen to take part in a pilot scheme through which new recruits can join CID without having gained any experience as uniformed bobbies.

The Government has provided extra funding for the experiment.

Simon Newport, who chairs the North Wales Police Federation, has “grave concerns” about the potential benefits of the scheme.

Reflecting the views of the Federation nationally, he said he accepted that there were plenty of people outside policing who, with the necessary training, could go on to be effective detectives.

“But historically detectives have come from within the ranks of police forces and have rightfully learned their trade after several years of response policing whereby they have developed their skills,” he said.

“They know the police, they have cut their teeth, they know the demographic society they work and live in, they know the issues prevalent in their area and, most of all, they have experience and know how policing works.”

PC Newport said becoming an effective detective took time and the Government and Home Office was merely trying to “put a plaster over a gaping wound that has been haemorrhaging great people for many years”.

In addition, he said, existing ambitious officers should be given the opportunities to climb the ranks.

The Federation says several questions about the new direct entry scheme – which runs alongside another pilot scheme for direct entry at Inspector level – remain unanswered.

“We don’t know what will happen if they fail their two-year probation period as a detective,” said PC Newport.

The Federation also claims that the concept that degree-level education is now required to be a police officer is flawed, as experience of life and other skills were more important.

“Throwing money and people with degree level education at policing without proper forethought is a folly that, in my humble opinion, will fail,” said PC Newport.

“It is time the Government takes some advice from those at the coal face before it destroys the very principles of policing.”

Julie Brierley, North Wales Police head of training and development, said: “We are responding to a national skills gap.

"All forces have a shortage of detectives and this is part of the solution to build resilience.

"There are 10 direct entry detective applicants going through pre-employment checks who will start training in the autumn and, if successful, should be in post by January 2020.”

She added: "This does not prevent constables applying to be detectives through the traditional process and we are currently recruiting internally too."