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HighspeedLowdrag

Do you do the investigative leg work?

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HighspeedLowdrag

Colleagues,

I have about 12 months service as a Constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland. In the PSNI, when you pass out from the training college, everyone is sent to response. No one likes being in response for reasons why I will go on to outline in a moment. The coveted roles, available only to Con's outside of probation are the Neighbourhood teams, road policing teams, various crime/pro active teams, investigative departments, Firearms etc.

One of the most stressful things about working response is the investigation of the crimes you pick up, all the way to court. I don't know what your experience in response has been like, but I go from emergency call to emergency call. In between times, I am supposed to conduct my enquires, process them at custody interview suspects, prepare the file for the public prosecution service and go to court. This is what I signed up too. It's been very stressful however I thought that was the only way to do things. 

I've had the benefit of working alongside Con's who where formerly attached to Merseyside and the Met. They've advised me that in their previous forces, they arrested suspects, wrote up a statement and notebook entry then passed the investigation on to dedicated case progression/investigative teams to follow up. I couldn't believe this. It makes so much sense. Rather than a half baked investigation from a Constable who his running pillar to post they have a team of people 9-5 dedicated to investigative follow ups.

In short, I'm wondering is this standard throughout GB police forces? Do you carry out your own investigations from start to finish or what mechanisms do you have in your force to complete investigations?

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Ether

We do all the investigative work from the start to the end, including file building, liaison with prosecutors and gathering of additional evidence. This will include travelling the country to get statements/evidence. 

Takes a lot of time.

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Tempo

In my force we do all of the investigative work. Obviously for more 'complex' crimes or specialist investigations they will be transferred over to the appropriate department but more often than not as response and being the first port of call we will usually get the wheels moving.

 

Friends I have in the Met have made me aware that they are also holding a workload these days.

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Radman

I investigate all the crime that I pick up or is allocated to me bar the more serious jobs which gets picked up by CID (although I will often ask to keep certain investigations if there is some mileage in it.) 

I really enjoy investigation and the work that goes along with it, I enjoy casework, putting files together and taking the matter through to courtm. I have the luxury however of often having the time to crack on with casework as it isn't often I'm being rushed from one immediate to the next. 

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Beaker
Posted (edited)

I don't carry jobs obviously.  I do however do initial investigations and pick up legwork like statement taking, CCTV checks and any bits that need doing while I'm on duty.  Also we put our own Connect files together before we hand over jobs so the regs who end up carrying the job doesn't get overloaded with stuff we didn't do.

Edited by Beaker

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Beaker
4 hours ago, Beaker said:

I don't carry jobs obviously.  I do however do initial investigations and pick up legwork like statement taking, CCTV checks and any bits that need doing while I'm on duty.  Also we put our own Connect files together before we hand over jobs so the regs who end up carrying the job doesn't get overloaded with stuff we didn't do.

 

What's up @Zulu 22?  What is the confused face for?

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HighspeedLowdrag
Author of the topic Posted

Out of curiosity, what forces do you hail from?

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junior_7178
Posted (edited)

In GMP we do all of it from the initial response, primary investigation, prisoner processing and then file progression all the way through to court.. Although the fun bit is always the initial response, i find the most rewarding  part is the investigation, interview and liasing with CPS for a charging decision.

I've heard stories about days gone by where there were prisoner processing teams who would take a job off you once you'd written an arrest statement. Sounds very boring to me and if i worked under then model now i would not be such a rounded officer.

I'm not sure what your workload is like in N.I, but i carry on average between 10 and 15 crimes at any time, and probably slightly less live case files.

Edited by junior_7178

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MindTheGap
On 23/07/2019 at 10:26, junior_7178 said:

In GMP we do all of it from the initial response, primary investigation, prisoner processing and then file progression all the way through to court.. Although the fun bit is always the initial response, i find the most rewarding  part is the investigation, interview and liasing with CPS for a charging decision.

I've heard stories about days gone by where there were prisoner processing teams who would take a job off you once you'd written an arrest statement. Sounds very boring to me and if i worked under then model now i would not be such a rounded officer.

I'm not sure what your workload is like in N.I, but i carry on average between 10 and 15 crimes at any time, and probably slightly less live case files.

Much the same in Her Majesty's railway militia - we handle our own investigations and allocations and handle prisoners. I have to admit it's not my favourite part of the job, and I've seen things through court and always feel like the sentences handed out never match the amount of leg work required from me.

 

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Mazza

I carry my own workload and I handle everything in relation to that crime, including speaking to the complainer, noting statements, carrying out enquiry, requesting forensic tests, arrest and interview, and writing the case. Sometimes I get them from attending calls and sometimes they have been noted over the phone.

 

I personally think that is the best way of doing it because then the complainer has one point of contact, one person has all the knowledge, and it minimises court citations if only one (or in my case two) people is dealing with it.

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Jeebs

@HighspeedLowdrag

My advice would be to leave the PSNI and never look back. It is a force that I believe would be classed as failing if it were not for the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

The investigative culture of the force is unrealistic. Supervisors are far too reluctant to write off nonsense jobs and would rather see you gather a load of “evidence” for it to be binned by the PPS. For example, why take witness statements without a complainants statement. It always made my blood boil being told to investigate something the IP didn’t want investigated. 

Even worse than that is for them to say that they won’t write it off and a “no prosecution” file be submitted to protect them from having to make a decision. 

I was there in the days of “service first” when they promised to set up file prep teams and get cops back out on the streets doing actual police work. It never happened and died a death, with Belfast and Derry being the only ones to get those sort of unit.

I take it the small VCST teams still exist consisting of the sick, lame and lazy? They always worked harder at avoiding dealing with a prisoner or file than they did actually trying to get them processed and out the door.

Enforced overtime, rostered 20hr shifts, a culture of bullying by senior management and a “performance” driven culture were eventually the straws that broke the camels back. 

I would recommend picking a mainland force, begging the MOD Police for a cushy number at Theipval or finding a civil service job somewhere. The PSNI will never change and certainly in my 5 years, things only got worse.

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Sir Penguin

In Merseyside as response officers we deal with emergency and priority jobs (formerly grade 1 and 2s) and will do the initial investigation. If there are initial enquiries that we can do there and then (statements, CCTV etc) then we will complete these.

If it is going nowhere then we will file it. 

If there are further enquiries that need to be made then we will send it off to investigations (Level 1 or 2 depending on the seriousness). 

If an arrest is made we will arrest, drop off at custody and an interview team will interview the prisoner. 

We don’t carry or investigate any crimes and it’s fab!! Once we have dealt with a job at scene we are likely never to hear about it again unless we are called to court.

 

 

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1970

Lots of differing experiences , personally I prefer handing the prisoner and further investigation to a dedicated processing unit, this is mainly because the quality of the investigation is much higher using this system. A response officer, with the greatest will in the world is being pulled from pillar to post and simply cant follow things up in a timely manner which impact on the momentum of an investigation and does the victim a disservice.

That said, a draw back I can see with this system is young in service officers will not achieve the all round policing skills they need to take forward in their service.

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skydiver

When I started 10 years ago response had their own crime q's  and kept simple jobs. It was great for development and tutoring as it led to more well rounded constables who had a lot of variety in their day to day jobs.  We then had a revolution and went to a system  of response  purely responding and handing everything over to a force investigation unit to deal with the prisoners and investigations.  Another revolution followed which changed the model again with dedicated prisoner management units being formed in addition to the investigation units.  Guess what...we're having another go at reinventing the wheel and will be going full circle back to response having crime q's and dealing with their own prisoners and low level investigations.

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