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https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/recommendation/essex/8852/

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]4th April 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]4th April 2018 [comment]

Essex Police have maintained an action plan on this issue since 2015 after the Interim Crime Inspection identified an issue. Since then the force has been successful in increasing detective numbers and in developing a process to ensure new detectives are identified and progressed onto the career pathway. The action plan included the removal of non detectives from detective posts. We have assessed the force's progress against this issue on every relevant inspection since 2015 and reported our findings.

[/comment][/on][on]24th August 2018 [comment]

This recommendation will be reviewed and assessed during the force's integrated peel inspection in early September 2018.

[/comment][/on][on]11th February 2019 [comment]

In our 2018 IPA inspection we reported that:

'Senior leaders in Essex Police have worked hard to increase the numbers of skilled detective staff and the levels of accredited detective officers have continued to improve. Of the force’s detective establishment 67 percent were held by accredited detectives, whilst over 200 officers are on the detective career pathway. Excellent support is given to candidates entering the detective career pathway and this is coupled with a consistent stance on compliance with national detective guidelines, whereby a candidate who fails to pass the mandatory exam after two attempts is posted to a none detective role. This means that the detective role is recognised as something to aspire to, which is important as detectives in Essex Police earn around £1,200 a year less than their uniformed colleagues, of a similar length of service, due to the latter’s anti-social working hours allowance'

[/comment][/on][on]11th February 2019 [comment]

Recommendation can be closed.

Unable to upload latest plan update as too large for system. Held by FLL and a version is also held in our 2018 IPA document folder on i-manage

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