Warning of a national crisis for investigative policing
Detectives no longer have the time or resources to investigate crime properly, the national police Federation has warned.
Karen Stephens, national lead for detectives and secretary for the Police Federation's National Detectives' Forum, has said this specialist area of policing is in crisis and that officers’ views are needed to make a change.
She said: “Crime is on the increase, the number of detective officers is not. The whole service is at breaking point with huge resilience and retention issues across the board. It's all hands on deck and everyone is prepared to share the load but the result is a diluted service with officers who are tired, stressed and frustrated with the knock-on effect this is having on the public - the reason why we all do the job in the first place.
“The bottom line is we do not have the time or resources to investigate properly - this year's survey seeks to prove that.”
She was speaking as the Federation launched the 2017 national detectives’ survey, which she said would provide the evidence needed to improve the situation.
Karen said: “A shortage of detectives is something that affects many of our forces, if not all. The PFNDF wants to gather evidence as to why there is such a shortage and the impact this is having on those already in the role, so that we can better determine possible solutions and push for change.”
To fill out the online survey, detectives and trainee detectives should request a link from their Federation office. (The link is not being circulated online to protect the integrity of the data collected.) The survey closes on 24 September 2017, with headline findings expected mid-October.
Karen added: “Traditionally to become a detective you had to fight for it. Prove that you had what it takes - it was a career that I long aspired to pursue, my vocation. But I've watched colleagues become down heartened with the job - stressed, over-worked, under paid, and with no incentive for promotion decide to leave the service.
"Our latest national detectives' survey seeks the views of serving officers. We want their voices to be heard - the reality to be told.”