Case Study: Former Merseyside D/Ch/Supt Brian "Dixie" McNeill

Brian McNeill, nicknamed ‘Dixie’, enjoyed a 30 year career with Merseyside Police, before retiring as Detective Chief Superintendent.

He now works for Liverpool John Moore University but maintains close links to the world of policing. He is increasingly worried about the impact of budget cuts on detectives’ ability to investigate crimes.

Mr McNeill says: “Detectives deal with significant, major crimes that have impacted on individuals and their communities. The victims deserve the right result and it’s up to dete ctives to gather the evid ence,to put  that before the courts and convict the right offenders – it’s a critical element of the service.

“Whilst we’ve all got to accept that the cuts are happening and will be with us for some time, it iscrucial to understand that this will impact on the service that detectives deliver. It is absolutely critical that it doesn’t go beyond a certain point where we’re failing to investigate properly, failing to get theoffenders to court or creating problems that manifest in the later stages of an investigation or the trial.”

Mr McNeill says major investigations could previously draw on the manpower of other police teams as required, for example to trawl CCTV or look for significant witnesses, but these days it is commonplace for lead investigators to be told that there is nobody available.

In addition, detectives need to be more highly skilled than ever to combat the threat of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime, a major change since Mr McNeill started his career.

Main page: Detectives in Crisis