(Original post by GeoJones94)
Quick bit of background about me- I completed my Audio and Music Production degree back in 2015. Since then I have had various roles relating to my degree but i've never quite felt satisfied in terms of future employment within the field as well as the general feeling of "not actually making a difference to anything". I've always been fairly interested in joining the police, even more so at the thought of being a detective as I'm really big on problem solving, psychology, research and actually helping people.
Recently I noticed the Met have created a Detective Constable pathway for graduates due a shortage of detectives. This sounds like it could be great opportunity to actually make a difference to people as well as get into something really interesting. However upon looking into this scheme, I get the impression that there is a fairly high percentage of people serving in the Police who believe that it would be beneficial to have served as a constable first before becoming a detective. I can of course understand this as a far greater understanding of policing as a whole would be obtained as well dealing with the public and criminals etc. Equally though, there is a shortage in the number of Detectives, that the Met appear eager to regrow.
Does anybody have any experience with the mentioned Detective pathway/as a detective/ in the police and has any thoughts?
Any opinions will be greatly appreciated!
Hey, I've just been searching the forums to see if anything like this had come up. I have considerable experience with what your referring to, 11 years in fact! I'll start with a little background information about the whole scheme.
The Police service has a significant problem with recruiting/advancing those in to the rank of Detective. This is as a result of a number of things:
- The Police has rarely recruited in the last 10 years owing to the cuts to the Public sector, thus, there are has been a dearth of new people joining who wished to be a Detective. Generally, when people join the Police they have an idea of what they want to do and set about achieving that, whether it be a Dog Handler, Firearms Officer, etc.
- The role of Detective requires you to undertake an exam, interview and complete another portfolio similar to the one in which you complete when you join the Police. All of this is for no extra money whatsoever.
- Detectives, dependent on role, commonly work longer hours than other departments (such as frontline officers) and therefore a myth has developed that Detectives are never at home and therefore have a poor work/life balance.
- Detectives carry a considerable amount of responsibility at work. Cases that go to court rest with the Officer in Case, which in cases that go to Crown Court (which are the most serious), are Detectives. The fact that you take responsibility for the investigation, the evidence presented and bear all of this along with your operational reputation, makes the role extremely demanding, given the power that the judiciary has in general.
- There has been an increase in serious crime requiring Detectives to undertake the investigation, this has lead to Detectives carrying a higher work load which becomes less attractive to other officers.
- All of the above has contributed to Detectives being in an extremely high demand.
The high demand for Detectives, widely reported in the press and amongst Police publications has lead the Police to adopt non-standard approaches in an attempt to identify and recruit people in to the rank of Detective. It first started with recruiting "Police Staff Investigators" who were to assist with investigations, with the opportunity to become an accredited "PIP2" Investigation (the national accreditation for Detectives allowing you to investigate serious crime) however Staff members were paid considerably left, therefore this did not work.
The next logical step was to offer direct entry in to the Police under the premise that you become a Detective. The process will likely be as follows:
1) Attend training school for 4 months, learn all your basic operational skills.
2) Spend 6 months on frontline policing. During this period you would be expected to become an effective constable and achieve the rank (which usually takes 2 years) and pass the National Investigators Exam. You would then be transferred to CID.
3) In CID, you will complete your PIP2 Portfolio (1 year) and then become a Detective.
It all sounds great! Here would be my comments about what you may encounter:
1) It took me 3 years to know exactly what I was doing on frontline, to be fully comfortable with all but the most rare of situations. With 6 months operational frontline experience, you may not have fully grasped the full array of work. This is not to say that you wouldn't, or couldn't, over time.
2) You will likely encounter 'old sweats' you believe that you don't deserve to be a Detective because of the way in which you have been recruited. Im not saying this is going to happen, and it shouldn't happen, I'm just saying..
3) The Police are a great organisation which offers stability and an above average pay packet. There are however lots of things that come with the package in general, including, the way people treat you, the way people look at you, how you review your own honesty and integrity, how you view your friend group, how you view your family, how you will not conduct yourself in your personal life.. It often isn't just turning up and going home. What are you going to do when your mates are off their head at the next festival you attend, how do their friends feel about you being there? I could go on..
In terms of 'making a difference', I don't believe there are many other roles out there where you truly do make such a difference. The most job satisfaction I have ever had is achieving justice for the most vulnerable and serious victims of crime. You bear that responsibility and reap the rewards when it goes your way. But you are also the punching bag, in the firing line when it doesn't, when the jury says not guilty, and there is nothing you can do about it.
I've rambled on a little bit there however, If you have any specific questions, drop me a PM, I'm more than willing to help