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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]27th March 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]27th March 2018 [comment]

Effectiveness 2017 found the force to be approx. 50 investigators lower than required. Some plans were found to be in place to increase training, recruit more civilian investigators and also transferee detectives from other forces. D/Supt Hart is coordinating this work. Update required.

[/comment][/on][on]1st June 2018 [comment]

I have requested further information from the force to inform my review of this recommendation. This includes an update on the current number of vacancies within the investigation workstream and the projected outcome, with timescales, of the various recruitment campaigns in place to fill the vacancies.

[/comment][/on][on]9th August 2018 [comment]

There are approximately 440 PIP2 investigator posts in the force in total although there is currently a short fall of 63 PIP2 investigators and this is forecast to rise to 78 by the end of 2018 (source Force Management Statement June 2018 page 45). The force have an investigations resilience programme team. I am waiting for further information regarding the role of the team in addition to requesting to meet with them. There is a monthly PIP2 vacancy and deployability meeting. I have requested to observe this meeting and the terms of reference and minutes from meetings. I am also aware that the force hold an investigations standards board, chaired by chief officers. I am waiting for dates of this meeting from the force to enable me to attend. This information will inform my review of progress against this recommendation.

[/comment][/on][on]19th December 2018 [comment]

I discussed this recommendation with the Deputy Head of Performance and Analysis on 18/12/18. The force lead for this recommendation is D/Superintendent Hart whom I have been in regular contact regarding this and other recommendations. The force have developed a plan to address this recommendation, the progress of which is scrutinised and governed through a number of strategic meetings including the Investigations Standards Board. I have requested a progress update from D/Supt Hart prior to finalising my review of this recommendation.

[/comment][/on][on]2nd May 2019 [comment]

I have contact D/Supt Hart by email today requesting a progress update in regard to this recommendation. I have also discussed this recommendation with the D/Head of Performance today.