Officers urged to consider detective roles

19 January 2021

Uniformed officers are being encouraged to consider training to become a detective.

Karen Stephens, secretary of the Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum, says the role is tough but rewarding.

Writing in a blog as part of a month-long Federation focus on the role of detectives, Karen says being a detective gives you skills for life.

She said: “When I joined the police in 1991, I was told then that the job was not like it used to be – but I can honestly say that the job itself hasn’t changed, it’s everything around us that has.

“We all have our tales to tell and I can reminisce with the best of them but the general premise of what we do is still the same – we catch bad people, hopefully lock them away and help people who can’t help themselves.

“Yes, I know you can do this in most policing roles, however, if you’re fed up going to a job and not seeing it through to the end, or not being able to deal with those ‘decent’ prisoners you bring in, then maybe you should consider becoming a detective.”

She added: “In my opinion, it’ll be the best thing you can do. Yes, you must study and sit an exam but if you have an enquiring mind this is the job for you, and you will thrive at it.

“The courses you go on from witness and suspect interviewing to disclosure will give you skills for life, transferrable to any role. And you do them so often it will be impossible to forget.”

In her blog, Karen also outlined work she’s doing with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing to develop a preventative toolkit to help treat officers who become unwell through work.

“Tools like this will be vital in keeping the officers we have fit and hopefully attract new recruits to what is ultimately one of the most rewarding careers out there,” she said.

Read more on the Federation’s Detectives in Crisis campaign.