New detective fast track programme is 'nonsense' says Federation
A new 12-week fast track programme to get more detectives into forces has been dismissed as ‘nonsense’ by the Metropolitan Police Federation.
The scheme was announced by the Home Office this week in a bid to fill the 5,000 vacancies in investigative policing nationally.
It will be led by Police Now, a police graduate recruitment programme, and has the backing of South Wales Chief Constable and National Lead of Investigative Resilience Matt Jukes.
He said the scheme, aimed at graduates, would bring a ‘diverse and talented group of people’ into investigative policing.
Its goal is to recruit 1,000 more investigators over the next five years.
However, Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh scoffed at the plans.
“It’s unbelievable that they think they can get someone within 12 weeks to be able to perform the role of a detective when officers have to serve a two-year probation before they can even take the detectives exam,” he said.
“I’m almost speechless, it’s absolute nonsense.”
His views were echoed by Karen Stephens, secretary of the PFEW’s National Detective Forum. She said the new plans were not the answer to the crisis.
“This news is an insult to the experienced hard-working detectives that we have left in service.
"Detective policing is in crisis and our colleagues are struggling to cope with heavy workloads and increasing demand but another ‘direct entry scheme’ is not the answer.
“The service and the public deserve better than detective officers who will be trained ‘in a matter of months’.
“Let’s not forget that detective officers deal with the most depraved and complex of crimes – this requires experience.
“Also, new, inexperienced detectives will require a lot of supervision, putting extra pressure on those already in service.
“What about encouraging officers we already have in service to move into investigative policing?
“What about making detective policing a desired career choice? What about listening to the practitioners and voice of the service?” she added.
“The answer is not to disregard the skills and experience we already have or show complete disrespect for officers who have worked hard to become investigators.
“Whilst we welcome any new investment in policing, this appears to be divisive and ill-conceived. A direct entry scheme will serve to shatter morale even more and do nothing to instil public confidence and trust,” she added.
Matt Jukes said the scheme has been designed to reflect the changing face of crime.
“Crime is changing, we need people who are going to be cyber investigators, who can deal with a massive amount of information that's coming through social media," he said.
He added that new detectives would work on crime and robbery cases at the beginning of their training, rather than more complex cases.
"We must recognise they're working under enormous pressure, this is the opportunity to bring in a diverse and talented group of people.”