Fedster + 1,307 Posted August 28, 2018 Share Posted August 28, 2018 Record number of civilians hired by forces. Gap filler: 'In order for us to have set the roles up permanently, it would have taken far longer to plan and implement, creating bigger risks around resilience and service levels being maintained' Date - 28th August 2018 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle 3 Comments A record number of civilian investigators are plugging the gap to cover dramatic falls in officer numbers as policing reports facing up to “hundreds of years of time off” through stress. The unprecedented cuts to the police service has seen a fourfold increase in outside sourcing since 2014. A total of 126 civilian investigators were used by West Midlands Police and 89 by Staffordshire Police in April – compared to a combined total of 51 for the two forces four years ago. New designated jobs include work in the Financial Crimes Investigation Division and the Public Protection Unit, ranging from missing people to vehicle and drug crime. The police staff investigators are also assigned alongside safeguarding agencies while carrying out duties relating to child abuse and adult vulnerability. In the last five years, recruiting temporary staff has become a necessity for the West Midlands force as it needed more time to plan how the role could dovetail into the investigations area of business as a longer-term strategy. At the time, the force did not have enough permanent employees with the skills to undertake the roles to support officers. The West Midlands force has spent more than £4million on the investigators since then. A force spokeswoman said: “In order for us to have set the roles up permanently, it would have taken far longer to plan and implement, creating bigger risks around resilience and service levels being maintained. “Since then, a number of officer posts have been converted into permanent investigator roles undertaken by police staff.” In Staffordshire, investigative officers receive six to eight weeks training covering interviewing techniques, taking witness statements, criminal law, administration and working with police systems, building a case file, first aid and how to create a case file for an investigation. Jobs include carrying out house-to-house enquiries following a crime, providing support for detectives and neighbourhood officers to help them focus on more advanced tasks and to progress an investigation. A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Police said: "The detective will make all the decisions around an investigation and be assisted by the investigating officer.” At West Midlands, the civilian officers get up to £26,802 a year, at Staffordshire, £24,030. Campaigning Rob Quarmby, membership development officer at City of Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats, said: "The unprecedented cuts to the police service have meant that officers are under more strain now than ever before. “We are now seeing police officers taking hundreds of years of time off in stress. "We always thought the thin blue line was getting thinner but it's now the sick blue line." View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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