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Radical police detective scheme nominated for award

PUBLISHED: 12:10 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:50 14 November 2019

Fast-track detective entry scheme recruit Leia Dowsing Picture: GREGG BROWN

Fast-track detective entry scheme recruit Leia Dowsing Picture: GREGG BROWN

A radical Suffolk Constabulary scheme to recruit detectives from the general public has been nominated in the World Class Policing Awards.

Suffolk police Chief Constable Steve Jupp  Picture: LAUREN DE BOISESuffolk police Chief Constable Steve Jupp Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Following in the footsteps of the Metropolitan Police, Suffolk became one of the first forces in the country to launch the fast-track detective entry scheme in 2017.

People with no experience of working for the police were invited to train to become detectives without the requirement of having two years' experience of working as beat officers in uniform.

The scheme attracted much attention, with more than 2,300 enquiries resulting in 229 completed applications.

Robust police selection procedures included practical exercises, testing investigative decision making and observation testing, which resulted in 22 officers being selected.

Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre  Picture: ARCHANTBury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre Picture: ARCHANT

Following their initial 10-week training, an additional programme of investigative-based attachments was put together to support the officers with their understanding of various investigative departments.

Each officer was assigned an individual tutor and of the original 22 applicants, 17 have now passed their assessment. Each officer is embedded within the serious and complex crime investigation teams.

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The scheme has now been shortlisted for four categories at the awards, which are being held tonight in central London to celebrate the best in 21st-century policing.

The fast-track detective entry scheme at Suffolk police has been nominated for an award Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe fast-track detective entry scheme at Suffolk police has been nominated for an award Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

MORE: Want to be a detective? Suffolk Constabulary now recruiting members of the public with no police experience

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, from Suffolk police, said: "The detective entry scheme has benefited the constabulary by supplementing staff in critical investigative roles.

"This innovative approach to recruitment has allowed increased diversity within the workforce and brought hugely talented individuals into the teams.

The initiative has been shared with other constabularies who are actively considering implementation and I am delighted with how successful this approach has proven to be."

Detective Constable Tom Farrell, an intelligence development officer from the Cyber, Intelligence and Serious Crime Directorate, has also been nominated in the new system/technology category.

Since 2014, DC Farrell has been responsible for proactive targeting of individuals who are suspected of downloading and sharing indecent images and videos of children online.

His work has led to the arrest of 320 individuals across Suffolk and Norfolk and more than 100 children have been safeguarded as well as 15 children protected as a consequence.

Chief Constable Steve Jupp said: "The ground-breaking work of DC Tom Farrell, who is part of the joint Suffolk and Norfolk Cyber, Intelligence, and Serious Crime Directorate, is an outstanding piece of policing for the modern age, and his shortlisting for these prestigious awards is a testament to that, as well as a great source of pride to both forces.

"I am also extremely pleased that Suffolk's innovative Fast Track Detective Entry Scheme has been recognised as one of the leaders in this field at a national level."

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