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Dorset’s Detective Inspector Simon Huxter describes investigative policing as “tough and difficult”.
The senior investigator is concerned about forces’ ability to recruit and retain detectives and says it is becoming “near on impossible” to fit the workloads into 40 hours a week. Consequently he says: “It’s pretty tough at the moment. Generally, within our priority areas, victims of crime are getting the service they deserve – I think it is far better now than it has been, but of course we have to prioritise. Some of the other areas where we used to engage with victims of crime tragically no longer take place.”
If he could sum up the situation for detectives in one word, DI Huxter would say “stressed”. He adds: “I still love the job but it’s difficult and is becoming harder to fit everything into the time available. I think what it comes down to is that we need more staff. We are all being asked to do a lot more with a lot less and the cuts are starting to really bite. This impacts on our ability to serve the public as we all want to do.”
He believes the detective role is hugely valuable, but “so are other roles in policing” and the priority has been dealing with emergencies with everything else is secondary, including CID. “We’re going through a tough time at the moment with the significant challenges we face,” he says.
DI Huxter, who has 12 years still to serve, says he would still choose the same career again: “Despite everything I wouldn’t do anything different. I still look forward to every day and each one is a new challenge.”
DI Simon Huxter
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You can find out more about the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum here.