NEWS
11/06/2018 10:50 BST | Updated 11/06/2018 15:15 BST

Graduates Offered Fast-Track Detective Training To Tackle 'Severe Shortage' Of Investigators

A new scheme called Police Now will train graduates in just 12 weeks to investigate crimes.

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Graduates are being offered a chance to train to become detectives in just 12 weeks, as part of a government drive to tackle a severe shortage of police investigators. 

Ministers announced £350,000 in funding for the development of a fast-track programme following warnings of a “national crisis” due to a dearth of qualified detectives. 

Last year, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services revealed there was a shortfall of 5,000 investigators across England and Wales.

Police hope to boost the number of detectives by up to 1,000 in the next five years as a result of the new initiative, according to the Home Office.

The department will work with Police Now, a police graduate recruitment programme, to develop the scheme.

It will include digital training to ensure recruits are equipped to deal with the “changing nature” of modern crime and focus on problem-solving, crime prevention and safeguarding.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “Detectives are the fact-finders of our police service. They play an important role in bringing criminals to justice and getting to the bottom of complex crimes.

“I’m keen to get more new detectives trained up, so I’m delighted to support this innovative Police Now programme, which will bring in new talent, train detectives in a matter of months and complement other measures that the Government and police are taking to keep the public safe.”

Possible reasons for the shortfall in investigative staff include a growth in demand in specialist areas such as counter-terrorism, and difficulties in retaining detectives as their skills are increasingly attractive to the commercial sector.

The Police Federation warned last year that morale among detectives had hit “rock bottom” amid mounting workloads, exhaustion and stress.

Chief Constable Matt Jukes, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for detectives, said: “The complex nature of investigations and our work to protect vulnerable people has made the role of detectives more challenging than ever.”

Police Now started in the Metropolitan Police before expanding and becoming an independent charity operating across 25 force areas in England and Wales.

It will receive £350,000 in “seed funding” for the new detective entry programme, in addition to £2.8 million already committed by the Home Office for 2018/19.

David Spencer, co-founder and chief executive of Police Now, said: “As a former detective myself, I understand the positive impact that detectives can have on reducing crime, increasing confidence in communities and protecting the most vulnerable in society.

“Working with forces and the Home Office, we hope this new scheme will encourage a new group of diverse and brilliant individuals to enter the police service and contribute to the outstanding work being done by existing detectives up and down the country.”

No start date for the scheme has been fixed but it is not expected to go live this year.