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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]17th April 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]17th April 2018 [comment]

Evidence from Dorset Police Effectiveness Inspection October 2017 – The force has reviewed current and future gaps in capability and has plans in place to address this. There were (in October 2017) 30 detective vacancies across crime and criminal justice work areas. The Initial crime investigators development programme (ICIDP) was running at the time of the inspection. Furthermore a sergeant to detective sergeant lateral conversion programme runs twice yearly.

The force plan to recruit 4 x intakes of 10 detectives in 2018/19 and an additional 10 transferee detectives. Furthermore, the force are exploring opportunities to fill specialist detective posts with transferees. The force are also exploring direct entry detectives.

Police staff investigator development pathways to progress to PIP2 accrediation are progressing and a recent roadshow event resulted in 17 applicants for 3 posts. There has been a decline in internal applications for detective posts and the force are working to understand the reasons why.

Force work in this area remains ongoing and I'm satisfied that the force has plans in place to do so effectively. However, I have requested a meeting with the Head of Crime to probe further progress against this recommendation prior to proposing it's closure.

[/comment][/on][on]12th June 2018 [comment]

There has been a recent change within the head of crime post. I have requested a meeting with the new post holder to review progress against the force action plan. This information will inform my review of this recommendation.

[/comment][/on][on]17th December 2018 [comment]

The force has implemented an action plan aimed at increasing investigative capacity and capability over the next 3 years. The plan focusses on improving accessibility and support to those seeking a career in investigations. A new force lead is due to take post in January 2019. I have contacted the new post holder to discuss progress against the force action plan in place regarding this recommendation. This information will inform my review of this recommendation.