The Police Federation denounced government plans today to fast-track outsiders into senior policing roles.
Under Tory proposals new starters would be able to skip the compulsory two years on the beat and join a force at superintendent level rather than as constables.
Policing Minister Damian Green also revealed plans for a fast track to inspector scheme and said that foreign police chiefs will be able to run British forces for the first time.
The plans, which are out for consultation, are part of a raft of controversial reforms put forward by ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor in his government commissioned review of police pay and conditions.
Mr Green claimed the fast-track scheme would attract the brightest to go on to become leaders.
But the Police Federation, which represents 124,000 officers, said it did not support external candidates joining the police service at any rank above that of constable.
Vice-chairman Steve Wight said: "We believe the rank structure allows officers to perfectly equip themselves for their next role within the service."
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