PEEL: police effectiveness 2017 (8882)

Shortage of investigators

We found that the police service has 17 percent fewer investigators than it needs. Most forces have a substantial shortage in qualified detectives and other investigators. This constitutes a continuing national crisis.
It will take time to address this crisis. The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on investigative resilience has made a strong start in analysing why this is the case. He has also recommended what national bodies and individual forces should do about it.

It is vital that all chief constables act on these recommendations so that there is a nationally co-ordinated and planned response. We will keep monitoring the extent to which investigative capacity and capability meet demand in the integrated PEEL assessment in 2018.

Recommendation 2

By September 2018, all forces with a shortage in qualified detectives and/or other investigators should develop an action plan. The plan should set out in detail what the force will do to address the shortage in the short, medium and long term. It should be in line with the national plan to develop investigative capacity and capability that all chief constables in England and Wales have agreed.

This plan should draw on the information in the force management statement about:

• the investigative demand the force expects to face in the next four years; and • how the force will change and improve the condition, capacity, capability, serviceability, performance and security of supply of its workforce and other assets to cope with that demand.

To make sure the plans are consistent, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on investigative resilience has agreed to provide advice on the areas each plan should cover by April 2018.

[on]22nd March 2018 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]10th August 2018 [comment]

The force recognises that it has a shortage of detective officers. It has started to address its shortfall and has developed a comprehensive plan to address the problem. There has been a concern regarding recruitment and retention of detectives, which is a national issue. Within Wiltshire, there are some significant gaps in CID, particularly in the South of the county (Salisbury). The Heads of Crime have worked hard to rectify this and have temporarily adjusted the CID boundaries, to ensure teams with better resilience have taken some of the demand from teams with significant vacancies. This has meant that no area is significantly below workforce establishment and therefore no current backlog of investigations, with investigator workloads being stable and reasonable. A process of placing attachments for aspiring detectives on other departments, and developing CID roadshow/recruitment drive to attract prospective candidates, has been undertaken.

There is currently a commissioned piece of work in relation to CID career pathways, which seeks to ensure that the route into detective roles is clear and accessible for both police officers and staff. Policies and procedures are being re-written to enable the modernisation of appropriate posts within investigations. Key elements of this plan are the development of the CCC investigators skills programme which delivers basic investigative skills to all our call takers in order to help identify key lines of enquiry. Also ongoing work regards policy amendments to entry and withdrawal regarding the National Investigators Exam (NIE), policy changes for routes into CID and PPD for police staff and police officers. In addition the development of a joint PPD / CID exchange programme as part of standard ICIDP training, and development of new contracts for ‘specialist investigators’ (PIP level 2 police staff investigators) to allow more flexible deployments across PPD, CID and other teams within different locations. The career pathways work for CID will be governed through the crime and justice board and the vulnerability development board.

Wiltshire Police continues to look at other innovative ways of recruiting detectives from other forces and other organisations to ensure recruitment and retention is sustainable. In the last twelve months there has been a significant improvement to recruitment and retention of detectives, with support from the Resource Management Panel (RMP) to ensure those with detective skills are not posted out of CID or investigative roles.

[/comment][/on][on]13th August 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]13th August 2018 [comment]

This recommendation states that the force must develop a plan to address the shortfall in the number of detective officers and how the force will change and improve the condition, capacity, capability, serviceability, performance and security of supply of its workforce and other assets to cope with that demand, which is now in place within the plan. However, it also asks what investigative demand the force expects to face over the next four years. This still needs to be addressed by the force.