Jump to content
Account Notice
  • To post a recruitment query in the "Recruitment Areas" or in the "Force Specific Areas" you will require a Recruitment Pass or a Membership Package. Click HERE to read more.
  • Your Account Is Currently Limited
Fedster

Force's recruitment of volunteer detectives 'unacceptable'

Recommended Posts

Fedster

Essex Police deny this represents 'policing on the cheap'.

PFEW's Karen Stephens

PFEW's Karen Stephens

 

An under-pressure police force's decision to hire "volunteer detectives" to help it investigate serious crimes is evidence of a recruitment "crisis".

Essex Police has been criticised for advertising two unpaid special constable roles to support detectives in the Serious Crime Directorate.

A job post on the force's website asks: "Do you want to help investigate the most serious crimes in Essex including murders, attempted murders, stranger rapes and kidnappings?"

It goes on: "Working alongside detectives, you'll receive training to help you bring justice to some of the most serious criminals in Essex."

The creation of the new roles has been called "unacceptable" by critics including the Police Federation, but Essex Police deny it represents "policing on the cheap".

Karen Stephens, secretary of the PFEW's Detectives' Forum, said: "We cannot ignore that there is a crisis in detectives within policing, with a serious shortfall in the numbers of detectives seen throughout England and Wales."

She said Essex Police's recruitment of volunteer detectives was the "first of its kind" but not "surprising".

"Forces across England and Wales are struggling to cope with minimal numbers and results from our National Detectives Survey show that detectives feel overworked and overwhelmed, with morale at rock-bottom and a staggering number taking sickness absence caused by exacerbation at work," she said.

"Being a detective was always a sought-after, desirable role - however, this is no longer the case."

She added: "Whilst these volunteers wouldn't be expected to carry out the same role as a trained detective and are not to take the place of a trained detective, the lower level basic support they may be able to give overstretched detectives can only be a positive thing as long as they have the adequate training and support in place."

Labour councillor Dave Harris, of Colchester Borough Council, said he was "absolutely appalled" by the force's move.

"It's the thinnest blue line I've seen in my life," he said.

"The volunteers have good intentions but they are going to make mistakes. It's just not right. It takes years to train these professionals."

Another Labour councillor, Michael Lilley, said volunteers do "fantastic" work, but the latest move was "not an ideal solution".

"Austerity has basically handed the streets over to commit crime," he said.

"All the police are doing is trying to play catch-up.

"If you go into the police station, it's the Mary Celeste at times, the officers are hardly there.

"We want to see police who are trained at the police college and trained in all aspects ofpolice work."

Leader of the Labour group on Essex County Council, Ivan Henderson, said: "(It's) unbelievable that we are now looking to rely volunteers to deal with such serious crimes. It's just unacceptable.

"We need more officers to make sure that they have got the resources for both the public safety and their own safety."

Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Nick Downing said: "This is not about policing on the cheap or lowering the status of detectives."

He said the force continued to invest in training detectives and that special constables were a key part of the "policing family".

"It may be the case that people hoping to join us as a special constable within the Serious Crime Directorate could bring specialist skills from their everyday professional life which could be really beneficial to this specialist area of policing," he added.

"It may be that someone enjoys their day job but is looking for an exciting challenge that enables them to give something back to the community.

"Or someone may be interested in a career in policing but they want to find out what it is like before they make that commitment to joining, volunteering as a special constable allows people to have the best of both worlds."

Essex Police's new special constables will trained to work alongside detectives in the force's Major Crime Unit and Serious Economic Crime Unit.

Potential recruits need to be "driven, organised and self-motivated individuals who can volunteer for a minimum of 16 hours a month".

In August, Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh revealed his force was coping with 600 fewer officers and 300 fewer PCSOs than it had in 2010.

In a letter to Colchester MP Will Quince, Mr Kavanagh said his officers were under "unimaginable" strain.

Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst set an average £12 increase in council tax to provide 150 more frontline officers in 2018-2019.

View On Police Oracle

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Zulu 22

They can deny that it is intended as Policing on the Cheap But, that is just what it is. Just trying the cover over the shortages chasm. 

Will the public be fooled, probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

skydiver

What a joke.  What meaningful experience or contribution can a SCDC make when working 2 days a month?  SC can assist investigations but I can't see an  inexperienced DC doing much apart from getting in the way.  It also devalues the training and experience that current trainee DCs or f/t DCs bring to the role.  Current training involves an exam, a 2-3 week interview course, a 4 week CID and portfolio.  How is a SCDC going to do any of that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Indiana Jones

CID skipper goes into the Response office and asks someone to go and seize some CCTV. Response SC allocated to do it. No dramas.

CID skipper asks his own CID-embedded SC to go and seize some CCTV. Suddenly the world's fallen apart apparently.

I don't think I've seen anything to suggest that an SC will be on the phone to CPS for hours trying to argue for a charging decision or dueling with a brief in the interview room.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Rocket

Are these Detective SC's warranted in that they are Special Constables and do the full training needed to be operational SC's or are they just 'hired' to perform the role as DSC? with just the training for the Special Detective role?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Funkywingnut

As others have already said, many tasks can be conducted by an SCDC, in reality it’s extra manpower (sorry person power).  It’s not a difficult task conducting enquires in support of a regular DC. 

Time the police tried new things, it’s clear the archaic system at present doesn’t work. Rose tinted glasses being donned all over the place.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


skydiver
22 minutes ago, Funkywingnut said:

As others have already said, many tasks can be conducted by an SCDC, in reality it’s extra manpower (sorry person power).  It’s not a difficult task conducting enquires in support of a regular DC. 

 

In that case there's no need to give them the DC title.   PCSO's and ISAs do H2H and CCTV enquiries without being called a DC so why should a SCDC be doing tha be called a DC.  DC implies a certain level  of experience and training so calling someone that if they don't have the experience or knowledge is misleading. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Funkywingnut
3 minutes ago, skydiver said:

In that case there's no need to give them the DC title.   PCSO's and ISAs do H2H and CCTV enquiries without being called a DC so why should a SCDC be doing tha be called a DC.  DC implies a certain level  of experience and training so calling someone that if they don't have the experience or knowledge is misleading. 

It also encourages engagement does it not? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Reasonable Man
What a joke.  What meaningful experience or contribution can a SCDC make when working 2 days a month?  SC can assist investigations but I can't see an  inexperienced DC doing much apart from getting in the way.  It also devalues the training and experience that current trainee DCs or f/t DCs bring to the role.  Current training involves an exam, a 2-3 week interview course, a 4 week CID and portfolio.  How is a SCDC going to do any of that?

Where does it say they are working 2 days a month? Where does it say they are untrained and/or unqualified?
In the force I worked in before I retired two officers became Special Constables when they retired as regulars. They were certainly not short on skills, training or experience. Maybe a retired DC would like to come back as a Special and help out for a couple of days a week.
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Indiana Jones
In that case there's no need to give them the DC title.   PCSO's and ISAs do H2H and CCTV enquiries without being called a DC so why should a SCDC be doing tha be called a DC.  DC implies a certain level  of experience and training so calling someone that if they don't have the experience or knowledge is misleading. 
Where's it say they'll take the title SCDC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Beaker

I'm assuming that anyone who joins this would have some specialist skills anyway. Why not if they can bring skills and experience that the force is lacking without having to invest tens of thousands? Even as said retirees who can trot up with 30+ years worth of experience? The computer security guys who can open up a computer like a letter? Financial experts who don't work as coppers because they're making 3 times the wage in private industry?

The assumption that SCs can't bring a skillset from outside the force, and can't possibly add anything useful is a real bugbear for a lot of us. We're not stupid, we're not all adrenaline junkies and some of us aren't doing it just to get in the regs.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Truck driver 1

Essex Police are advertising for two unpaid special constables to help support detectives working on real cases.     https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/wanted-volunteer-detectives-on-£0-a-year/ar-BBS6LJr?ocid=spartanntp   so sad when you se news like this. shame on the government to let things this bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Indiana Jones

Real cases eh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

Zulu 22

Why not get two people on day release from prison, after all they have a knowledge of the system. Who thinks up these daft idea's and do they get paid.We had a Research  and Development dept who came up with such daft idea's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements


Reasonable Man
Why not get two people on day release from prison, after all they have a knowledge of the system. Who thinks up these daft idea's and do they get paid.We had a Research  and Development dept who came up with such daft idea's.

I don’t think serving prisoners can become Special Constables.
  • Haha 2
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member Achievements

There are 4 hidden replies in this thread that you do not currently have access to as a Guest User of our forum. To unlock the forum register for an account for FREE today by clicking HERE

About us

Police Community was originally founded in 2014 by two serving Police Officers.

In 2016 it was incorporated as a limited company called RAW Digital Media Limited and then purchased 3 other forums; Police Specials, UK Police Online and Police UK to form the largest policing discussion forum network in the UK.

Get in touch

  • 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 7GU
  • contact@rawdigitalmedia.co.uk
  • 0844 357 0111
  • Forums In Our Group - Police.Community - UKPoliceOnline.CO.UK - PoliceSpecials.COM - PoliceUK.COM

Twitter

Facebook

    Meet The Team

  • Chief Bakes
    Chief Bakes Management
  • Chief Rat
    Chief Rat Management
  • Chief Cheetah
    Chief Cheetah Management
  • Rocket
    Rocket Global Moderators
  • David
    David Global Moderators
  • Fedster
    Fedster Global Moderators
  • Devil
    Devil Global Moderators
  • MindTheGap
    MindTheGap Global Moderators
  • blakey
    blakey Global Moderators
  • Techie1
    Techie1 Global Moderators
  • Sir Penguin
    Sir Penguin Global Moderators
  • PCW
    PCW Global Moderators
  • Hoofing
    Hoofing Global Moderators
  • XA84
    XA84 Global Moderators
  • Remmy
    Remmy Global Moderators
  • job_done
    job_done Global Moderators
  • Sapor62
    Sapor62 Global Moderators
×
×
  • Create New...