Essex could miss out on potentially great police officers if A Levels become the minimum standard for entry.

Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, said proposals, set to be implemented in April, which insist on an A Level or degree will damage rather than help policing.

The change is part of an attempt to “increase the educational requirement for constables” according to the Winsor report into policing reform.

The Police Advisory Board claim A Levels are the minimum level “appropriate to the demands of modern policing”.

But Mr Smith insists personal characteristics are more important and recruits already have to prove they have a certain level of education with the entrance exams.