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We're reaping the rewards of decade of under-investment in detectives, admits chief


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Bonuses are already helping force retain personnel, Surrey Police believe.

CC Nick Ephgrave is the NPCC lead for criminal justice

CC Nick Ephgrave is the NPCC lead for criminal justice


The chief who leads on criminal justice issues says the effects of ten years of under-investment in detectives are being felt nationwide.

Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave, of Surrey Police, told a public meeting his force is operating below its optimum number of investigators.

But he pointed out: “The detective shortfall in a national phenomenon. I think nationally they’ve been under-invested in over the last decade and I think we’re now reaping the rewards of that under investment - with big gaps.”

HMICFRS again flagged up the national crisis in detective numbers in its PEEL report last week.

CC Ephgrave said he is “confident we’ll get there” adding that his force does well in attracting detectives from other constabularies.

This is because of measures including targeted bonuses for detectives and firearms officers, he said.

Paying bonuses for specialist roles is a key part of the NPCC’s plan to boost numbers in those areas.

Current bonuses given for the roles in Surrey are far lower than the planned maximum annual £4,000 payment which is likely to be available to chiefs soon.

A full review of financial incentives for specialist roles will be in place by 2020.

Bonuses, an increase in the South East allowance payment, and a change in the culture of the senior management team to better support wellbeing, have all helped bring down the force’s attrition rate, CC Ephgrave claimed at a scrutiny meeting.

Overall resignations from the force have dropped from an average of 17 per month to 12.

PCC David Munro, who last year raised concerns about a loss of experienced officers, praised the chief’s work.

View On Police Oracle

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