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CID structure

Wolfgang Munster

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Hullo, I am interested in how CID is structured and where they are stationed? For instance, in the Metropolitan area are the station by borough, or does each ward have a CID department? How are they organised within units? What fiction, TV shows, show a good representation of CID?


thank you

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It really does vary. Probably Force to Force too.

My understanding is traditionally CID used to a catch all to investigate all serious or PIP2” and above offences. So you could find an officer dealing with rapes, burglaries, robberies, fraud, GBHs etc at any time on their work book.

Now CID seem to deal with robberies, burglaries, attempt murders and serious/high value thefts and fraud.

The other bits are dealt with by specialists. So sex crimes generally have their own unit of specialist detectives; blackmail, crimes in action, organised crime and murder generally will go to a major incident team.

Sat beneath all of these can be volume crime or prisoner process units who clear up everything “low-level”. Usually this is the first place a trainee DC goes.

There’s a chronic national shortage of detectives. In truth it’s not seen as the sexy and prestigious job it once was. And having friends in other Forces it seems the same issues prevail nationally. In reality there’s more responsibility and risk on a DCs shoulders and whilst there’s always been a uniform v investigator rivalry (friendly); a change is probably needed to make CID more attractive, dare I say becoming a DC should attract a pay rise and be seen as a promotion. It was talked about 5 years ago but never happened.

Most police dramas do not reflect reality. Especially with investigation units. There’s a lot of office based working and paperwork which would not make interesting viewing. When I first joined the police 15 years ago, I used to hear a lot of old timers saying “It used to be like Life on Mars”. Though I doubt there were a DCI, Inspector, Sergeant and two DCs running the whole CID for a station, Division, Command Unit or whatever was the structure. Even 24 hours in police custody which is “fly on the wall” only truly shows a small snapshot of what goes on in an investigation/Investigation Dept. Again watching a DC go through a disclosure list or CPS action plan for hours would probably cause a lot of tellys to switched off.


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