The Metropolitan Police are hoping to plug an 800 officer gap in CID ranks
Scotland Yard has launched the UK’s first recruitment drive to fast track graduates into the ranks of the CID.
After passing initial tests, recruits will become trainee detectives without having to go through the hard slog of two years as uniform beat bobbies.
The Metropolitan Police needs 800 new detectives to plug a massive gap in CID ranks.
The shortfall is part of a wider national crisis as uniformed officers around the country shun what was once the most sought after role in policing.
New recruits must have a degree and have lived in the capital for three of the last six years.
They will go through a two-year programme, earning an initial salary of just under £30,000.
Graduates will be able to join the CID without being a uniformed bobby on the beat
The move was welcomed by Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, who said anything to increase numbers in the Met’s CID was “favourable”.
The fact that they won’t be wearing a uniform is not the be-all and end-all
Ken Marsh of the Metropolitan Police Federation
Mr Marsh said: “The fact that they won’t be wearing a uniform is not the be-all and end-all.
“As long as they are trained to the correct standard so they can deal with anything that’s put in front of them should that happen.
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“We have to recognise that it’s changing, crime out there, and we need specialists in specialist roles.
“If people are coming forward who want to specifically do that rather than just roll around with people in uniform then good on them.”
Mr Marsh suggested serving detectives would welcome the trainees as a welcome boost to their numbers.
He said: “We can’t complain when we’ve been banging on for the last two years that we’re 800 short in CID.
“We can’t then suddenly turn around and say, ‘We’re not happy with this.’ It’s a bit counter-productive.
Some have questioned the policy that applicants must have a university degree
“At least they’re trying something different to try and increase the numbers within the CID, so we’ve got to be in favour of that.”
But Karen Stephens, of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the direct entry scheme was no “magic bullet” to solve the current crisis.
She said: “Why is a role that people once queued up to do not a desirable one anymore?
“There are many contributing factors including workload, the changing types of crime, the fact that the role is not family-friendly and more.”
The funeral of PC Keith Palmer in pictures Mon, April 10, 2017
The funeral of the police officer who lost his life in the Westminster terror attack is scheduled for today at 2pm. His body was transferred to the Palace of Westminster yesterday, where a private memorial service was held for members of his close family
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Police officials and mounted police lead the hearse carrying the coffin of London Metropolitan Police Officer PC Keith Palmer during his funeral parade
Mrs Stephens urged forces to attract existing officers to the CID before searching for answers outside the world of policing.
She said: “One certainty is that there are very talented officers already in the service whose skills and experience could make them fantastic detectives.
“It is this talent that we must harness and encourage into the role first and foremost.”
Mrs Stephens also queried the Yard’s insistence on candidates having degrees.
Graduates of the scheme will start on a salary of £30,000
She added: “We do, and always have, supported accrediting qualifications to those officers already in policing to recognise their existing skills.
“However, it is essential that we do not create a police service where the only chance of becoming a police officer is if you can afford to educate yourself to degree level before joining.
“Other organisations are moving away from insisting on degree qualifications so why are we moving towards it?
“There is a danger of marginalising and excluding good quality candidates from all communities, effectively limiting the pool of candidates available.
“The biggest risk is we end up with a service that doesn’t represent the community it serves because of unnecessary restrictions like this.”
The initial recruitment campaign runs until July 3.