19 January 2022
Derbyshire Police Federation secretary Kirsty Bunn is urging detectives to take part in an important survey which aims to discover the true impact of changes to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ guidance on charging suspects.
The online survey is being conducted by the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum (PFNDF) and will remain open until 9am on 7 February.
Kirsty said: “The PFNDF wants to bring about change and mitigation for its members in 2022 by tackling this issue collectively and all feedback from the survey will be used as evidence in any representations to the Office of the Attorney General.
“The changes to the charging guidance from the DPP have created a wide range of issues and unnecessary problems for our members and in too many cases have simply extending the length of their investigations.
“So it is really important that our members make their views and experiences known and ensure the negative effects these changes have had are properly recorded so they can be acted upon.”
The PFNDF said the changes had massively impacted all members who submit files to the Crown Prosecution Service.
It described the move as a “stealth tax on policing across the country” with chief constables being forced to move resources or create additional posts from existing budgets to deal with all the additional and potentially unnecessary work that now falls on members to complete, simply to get the CPS to consider a charge.
Ben Hudson from the PFNDF said: “Being a detective can be one of the most rewarding roles in policing but it has long been known that there is a tremendous strain being placed on detectives.
“The long hours, stress and complex nature of the job compounded by ever-growing workloads and time pressure demands all have a knock-on effect on officer wellbeing.
“The changes to the DPP guidance on charging in December 2020 and the associated knock-on effects these have had on workload and case file preparation time have not gone unnoticed by the Police Federation.
“We understand the frustration that these changes have brought in respect of increased time being spent on disclosure and file building for cases that may never get charged.
“We want to understand these additional pressures better so that we can establish an evidence base to raise these matters with Chief Officers, the PCC, local MPs and nationally.
“I would therefore encourage our members to complete this short survey, which will allow me to understand this issue better from the detectives’ perspective.”
Derbyshire detectives can contact the Police Federation office by emailing email@example.com to obtain a link to the survey.