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https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/recommendation/hertfordshire/8857/

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]11th May 2018 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]11th May 2018 [comment]

Hertfordshire Constabulary are sighted with regards to the capacity and capability of investigators. A plan that concentrates upon recruitment and retention is owned by the Head of Workforce Planning. This plan features a pioneering “Accelerated Detective Constable Programme” as an example of the constabulary’s innovative approach to this national concern. The Constabulary is on course to meet the submission date of the 31st May 2018 for the first Force Management Statement. This document will elaborate in further detail with regards to all aspects relative to investigative capability. Similarly the constabulary will welcome the NPCC advice regarding planning around this area, when published later this month.

During the PEEL Effectiveness Inspection in 2017, the force understood the national detective shortage has affected their force and has put in place an initiative to reduce this. The head of safeguarding and serious crime stated that they were looking at introducing apprenticeships, from May 2018, and will utilise one intake to recruit detectives (cohort of 16-20) to help fill this gap. New officers will undertake a 12 month period in uniform prior to taking up the role as a trainee detective. They will run this for a further 2 years. Recruitment has impacted on their ability to resource safeguarding and it takes about 2 years to get staff ready for the role. They have sufficient applicants for next May and very significant interest in this scheme. To support improvements in investigations, the force is working with the NCA to develop a safeguarding standard for police staff investigators. This will be a level 6 qualification, the same as officers and individuals can aspire to both PIP1 and PIP 2 levels entry.

To make sure their 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.

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