The police service will be able to boost the overall number of detectives by up to 1,000 in the next five years following the announcement of new Government funding to develop a national training programme. The Home Office will work with Police Now, an award-winning police graduate recruitment programme, to develop the scheme. The Home Office is providing £2.8 million to support Police Now from 2018 to 2019 and will provide an additional £350,000 seed funding for the detective entry programme.
The programme will include digital training to ensure that recruits are equipped to deal with the changing nature of modern crime. It will also focus on problem solving, crime prevention and safeguarding such that detectives on the scheme meet the needs of forces and communities alike.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said: “Detectives are the fact-finders of our police service. They play an important role in bringing criminals to justice and getting to the bottom of complex crimes. I’m keen to see more new detectives trained, so I’m delighted to support this innovative Police Now programme, which will bring in new talent, train detectives in a matter of months and complement other measures that the Government and the police service is putting in place to keep the public safe.”
Matching capacity and capability to demand
The programme will include an expanded version of the innovative summer academy model which Police Now uses to offer accelerated neighbourhood officer training.
Together, these steps will help to ensure that police forces are matching the capacity and capability of their workforce to the demands they face, while at the same time also recruiting more people directly into specialist roles via accelerated training programmes.
David Spencer, co-founder and CEO of Police Now, explained: “As a former detective myself, I understand the positive impact that detectives can have on reducing crime, increasing confidence in communities and protecting the most vulnerable in society. Working with forces and the Home Office, we very much hope that this scheme will encourage a new group of diverse and brilliant individuals to enter the police service and contribute to the outstanding work being done by existing detectives up and down the country.”
More challenging role than ever
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing are also leading work on providing a national assessment of detectives and developing sustainable solutions to ensure that forces have adequate investigative capacity. Chief Constable Matt Jukes, the NPCC’s national lead for detectives, observed: “Detectives do a vital job investigating crimes, apprehending offenders and protecting people from harm. The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives more challenging than ever. In order to mirror the changing nature of crime, we need to recruit and develop a diverse group of individuals who will contribute to this vital area of policing and its future, underlining the critical nature of effective investigations to public confidence and trust.”
Police Now is a national police recruitment programme which began in the Metropolitan Police Service. The former Home Secretary Amber Rudd granted more than £5 million to the scheme back in 2016, which enabled Police Now to expand and become an independent charity supporting multiple police forces across the country.
Police Now currently operates across 25 forces in England and Wales and, last September, was recognised as offering the best learning and development initiative in the public and third sector by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.