Case Study: Nottinghamshire - T/DS Mark Petrović

The detective role is becoming less and less desirable, according to T/DS Mark Petrović, an officer of 25 years’ service.

When he joined CID in 2000 after several years in frontline policing, vacancies were rare and highly sought after. He says: “You had to prove your worth and earn the right to be put forward by a Detective Inspector (DI) who actively identified talent early on by monitoring the hard work, arrests and prosecutions of aspiring detectives. You gained a variety of experience dealing with anything that came into the CID office and crucially worked alongside other detectives who you could observe and learn from.

“Over the years the role has become less desirable. Officers see detectives ‘living’ in custody suites dealing with complex cases, working long hours and dealing with dangerous and devious individuals. Senior managers have created purpose-built ‘squads’ dealing with one type of crime, however, the detectives working in these departments become de-skilled in other investigative areas and quickly lose motivation.”

Staff shortages mean that most applicants are now accepted and some join for the wrong reasons,says T/DS Petrović. Fewer detectives mean the public receives minimum guidance and advice and “immense opportunities are missed for intelligence and community relations”.

He describes the service as in decline but still much needed, and adds: “Detectives require recognition and protection. We feel undervalued and not appreciated at chief officer level.”

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