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

Kent Police is making good progress against this issue and has been sighted upon it for several years. In our 2017 efficiency inspection we reported that:

Chief officers have agreed that the force will participate in the ‘Investigate First’ programme, which fast-tracks suitable new recruits into detective roles. The successful recruits will be eligible to investigate serious and complex crime and incidents within two years. All detectives are required to comply with the College of Policing’s re-accreditation requirements, namely to complete the NCALT package on case file quality and provide five examples of continuous professional development. These requirements are monitored through the personal development record (PDR) that each officer maintains. The learning and development department has used information from the profiling tool as a foundation for its training plans and, under a five-year timescale, it is using the force data, external data and information from the College of Policing to continue to make its work adaptable for the future.

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

This recommendation will be assessed during the force's Integrated Peel Inspection in early December 2018.

[/comment][/on][on]14th February 2019 [comment]

KNT have completed extensive work on this recommendation and have comprehensive plans in place.

In our 2018/19 IPA inspection we reported that:

'Senior leaders in Kent Police have worked hard to increase the numbers of skilled detective staff and the level of accredited detective officers continues to improve. Of the force’s detective establishment of 831 posts, 527 (63.42 percent) were held by accredited detectives, whilst over 300 officers are on the detective career pathway. Excellent support is given to candidates entering the detective career pathway such as providing a crammer course, mock exams, and access to on-line question sets. The force is talent spotting officers who might be effective detectives and it assesses its probationary officers as to whether they might be suitable for training as a detective, including an aptitude test. Probationary officers are placed on a rotation of detective roles during their probation, this includes being posted into the vulnerability investigation teams for 12 months once they are at around 15 months service. This is intended to enhance their investigation skills and better understand dealing with vulnerability. This taken with the work to further advocate the importance of the role, such as the graduation ceremony all successful officers are invited to, means that the detective role is now recognised by officers as something to aspire to'.