Reality in detective policing hits home

23 May 2018

Martin Plummer

Martin Plummer, PFNDF Chair

Police leaders and government leaders have been urged to do more to tackle a seemingly unstoppable crisis in detective policing as morale hits rock bottom.

Martin Plummer, Chair of the Police Federation National Detectives Forum (PFNDF), was addressing the ‘Detectives in Crisis’ breakout session at our Annual Conference today, held at the ICC in Birmingham. 

Attendees were shown two videos, the first of which highlighted the immense pressure on officers to be superhuman, yet they can be victims too.  DC Gary Cliffe, of Staffordshire Police, is a former Manchester City Youth player and waived his anonymity after the Barry Bennell trial to tell his story. "I’d buried it all until then and, as a kid, I didn’t have the vocabulary or knowhow to say anything. I knew it was wrong but I wanted to be a professional footballer and I had the opportunity that many kids hadn’t."  Gary was particularly touched by the support he received from his colleagues once word had broke about his ordeal.

The second video focused on the role that the Family Liaison Officer (FLO) provides to victims.  Amanda Richards witnessed her step-father’s murder on Boxing Day in 2012.  T/DS Mark Petrović, of Nottinghamshire Police, who works on the Major Crime Team, was the officer who helped Amanda and her family through both the emotional process of dealing with her father’s murder, but with the process of the investigation during the months that followed.

Chief Constable Matt Jukes, of South Wales Police and national lead for Investigative Resilience, also gave an overview of what is being done at a national police level to tackle the issues of recruitment and retention within the detective policing arena, where it has been highlighted that there is a national shortage of 5,000 detectives.

Mr Plummer said: "We will be working in many ways to support detectives, develop those already within its midst and those entering the crime commands but as importantly those looking towards a career in the future within the investigative arena and asking how they will fair in the ever changing world of continued professional development (CPD).

"The British police service has the best detectives in the world, they investigate the most serious crimes committed by the worst criminals. It is an honour to be the Chair of the Police Federation National Detectives Forum as we continue to work tirelessly on behalf of every detective putting themselves out 24/7 for the public we serve."