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Having spent two years in uniform I was then successful in applying for an investigative role and from there recognised that I enjoyed the attention to detail and challenge of having to identify, apprehend and prove the suspect was the actual offender through investigative techniques.
In 2008 I completed my Initial Crime Investigators Development Programme (ICIDP). This was very similar to the current pattern in that I experienced Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Public Protection Directorate (PPD) and Proactive departments. Upon completion I was posted to Chester CID (the PPT as it was called then) predominantly targeting prolific offenders committing burglary dwelling offences.
The training was varied and across several departments – allowing trainee detectives to get a feel for where they believe their passion lies.
Since then I have worked as a Detective Constable (DC) and Detective Sergeant (DS) on Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Beat Initiative Team (BIT), Public Protection Directorate (PPD) and enjoyed secondments to Major Investigations Team (MIT) before becoming Detective Inspector (DI).
There are many different pathways when you become a Detective – there are options to specialise in areas such as Major Crime, Serious Organised Crime, Public Protection, Online Child Abuse for example, whilst also covering a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team with a variety of incidents ranging from robbery, burglary and rape to protracted frauds.
As the Detective Inspector at Chester I am able to witness daily the work across the team and the variety it offers - detectives can find themselves responding to live incidents of serious crime, attending suspicious deaths, interviewing suspects in custody, attending Crown Court or Coroners Court to provide vital evidence or reviewing detailed documents for file building purposes.
The team ethos is a big plus - everyone wants to get involved in the new reports of serious crime and this initial buzz is hard to describe as the team work together to get the investigation on the path to justice.
It is important to balance the job and family life - we have several team members on flexible working patterns to assist with child care and although long hours are sometimes required to ‘see the job home’ the team work together to ensure everyone feels supported.
The Detective Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events are growing each year and provide opportunity to learn about new developments in tactics, resources and support.
Quite often the best investigations are the ones where the suspect was causing serious harm to victims and the communities - for example putting a suspect behind bars for many years after they have been found guilty of historic child abuse or identifying and arresting a serial house burglar who had caused real fear in a local town due to their prolific offending. Quite often the families of those affected will remember your work and appreciate your efforts for a long time.
If you are motivated by every day being different, have an eye for detail and want to see an investigation through from start to finish then becoming a Detective is the natural step.
A talented detective demonstrates passion, patience and professionalism - being able to communicate with a wide variety of audiences in an attempt to elicit that one piece of vital information and then presenting the case to the CPS and ultimately the Courts.