Case Study: Dorset - DC Jacqui Gravenor

Dorset’s DC Jacquie Gravenor has one word to describe detective policing today: “exhausting”.

It is a perfect storm of fewer officers, ever more complex investigations and an avalanche of paperwork. She explains: “I think the way we investigate has changed. We have expectations obviously from victims and members of the public, but we also have additional guidelines, rules and regulations that seem to be updated so frequently.

“So there’s extra things we have to consider apart from the main investigation, such as safeguarding, time limits for getting cases to court, we’ve got new rules around bail that’s changed the way we deal with prisoners, again how much time we then have to conduct an investigation rather than just focusing on what the crime is, how to investigate and how to bring offenders to justice.”

DC Gravenor believes the most positive change that forces could make is to recruit more staff. She considers herself fortunate to work in a team where everyone mucks in to get through the workload, but admits others struggle.

She adds: “The admin side is huge these days and so are the demands and expectations of the Crown Prosecution Service – the way they want the documents, the size of them, how they want them presented in court. These are all time consuming things. In previous years we’ve had members of staff, civilians that can help us,but not any more.”

DC Gravenor still feels the detective role is valuable even if “at times the job feels overwhelming”.

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