Police Federation

PFNDF’s detectives’ webinar covers all you need to know

Senior officers and investigators come together to discuss various challenges faced by detectives in England and Wales while offering expert insights on overcoming them.

14 June 2024


The Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum (PFNDF) hosted a webinar on 13 June 2024, led by Mel Warnes, the PFEW National Board member and Detectives Lead, and Ben Hudson, PFNDF Chair and Secretary of Suffolk Police Federation. The event featured six keynote speakers who addressed a range of critical issues facing detectives across all forces in the country.

Keynote Addresses

The first speaker, Chief Constable Tim De Meyer of Surrey Police, provided updates on disclosure and redaction of case material. He highlighted the commendable efforts of Ben Hudson addressing GDPR compliance and discussed the Pre-charge Redaction Pathfinder Programme (PRPP). Mr Hudson is spearheading PFEW’s #SimplifyDG6 campaign to amend the Data Protection Act aimed at addressing the bureaucratic burden of redacting casefiles at the pre-charge stage.

The PRPP, developed within the current legal framework and approved by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), will be tested in the East Midlands CPS area, specifically in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire, to enhance the pre-charge process and improve collaboration between the police service and the CPS. Chief Constable De Meyer emphasised the importance of adhering to existing redaction protocols during ongoing work.

Safeguarding and Risk Assessments

Leona Roberts of DAC Beachcroft Solicitors, and Mel Warnes, focused on the Post Incident Procedure (PIP) processes, emphasising the critical need for detectives to understand these procedures and their legal implications.

Their presentation covered key topics to ensure procedural accuracy during a PIP, including:
- First account and detailed statement
- Conferring
- Coroner’s Inquest and Case Study
- Five practical tips

They stressed the importance of seeking legal or the Federation’s advice at the outset and provided the following top tips:

  1. Seek the Federation’s advice if unsure, especially when contacted by the IOPC regarding “slow time PIP.”
    2. Record decision-making throughout the investigation, including options considered and disregarded.
    3. Avoid copying and pasting risk assessments to prevent errors and complacency.
    4. Ensure personal satisfaction with safeguarding measures and be prepared to justify actions at an inquest.
    5. Thoroughly prepare for Coroner’s Court, including re-reading statements and risk assessments.

    Recruitment, Retention, and Wellbeing

    Sarah-Jayne Bray, NPCC Programme Manager, addressed issues related to the recruitment, retention, and wellbeing of investigators.

Ms Bray acknowledged that these factors contribute to a 7 per cent shortfall in detective positions. Recommendations included streamlining recruitment, developing direct entry programs, supporting crime academies, and improving accessibility.

To retain detectives, improvements in reward and recognition, pay parity, continuous professional development (CPD), and better PIP2 data collection were advocated.

Recognition of the high-risk nature of the role and the need for support from Senior Investigating Officers (SIO) and Senior Investigating Advisors (SIA) was also emphasised.

#SimplifyDG6 Campaign and Detective of the Year

Ben Hudson and Mel Warnes provided an update on the #SimplifyDG6 campaign, noting the lack of positive progress and government engagement. However, there is hope for change following the upcoming election, as indicated by a recent meeting with former Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

Chief Inspector Laura Corscadden of Thames Valley Police, who was adjudged National Investigator of the Year at PFEW Annual Conference 2023, spoke of her pride in the award and its positive impact. She expressed her commitment to professional development and peer learning, highlighting her role in developing the aspiring detectives program in TVP. She also shared her enthusiasm for her upcoming work with the FBI at Quantico.

The seminar concluded with a confidential major investigation presentation.

To watch a recording of the presentation click here.

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