Is your lead homicide investigator fully trained (part 2)

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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In my earlier post I may have misled some readers as it may have implied that anyone, once they have completed the SIO (Senior Investigating Officer) Development Programme can become the lead investigator in a homicide. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the UK we do not allow a single detective or even a pair to investigate a homicide. There will always be a Senior Investigating Officer involved even if only from a supervisory and guidance point of view but at the end of the day it is still the SIO’s case. There will usually be a team of officers, which is useful for writers wanting to introduce and play with conflicting characters.

To get to the stage where one can even be considered to getting a place on an SIO Development Programme, that person must have been a police officer for many years. They must have passed through the ranks from Constable, Sergeant to at least Inspector but in many cases beyond that through Chief Inspector to Superintendent. This can take at least 10 years and all of their service need not be in crime investigation but probably would be.

In my old force, candidates for the programme had to pass an SIO selection process and be approved as suitable by the Head of Crime Investigation for the Force to even get onto the course let alone practice as an SIO.

During their service prior to becoming an SIO, they will have passed two promotion examinations (Constable to Sergeant then Sergeant to Inspector). After that, progression through the ranks is via interview and in some cases a series of carousels designed to test the candidates skills and knowledge.

There are various courses that the prospective SIO could or should have attended e.g. an Initial Crime Investigation Development Programme (consisting of at least 6 weeks classroom tuition), then a one/two-week Detective Inspectors’ course, followed by a three-week Management of Serious Crime course before getting onto the SIO’s Development Programme. They are then expected to maintain their accreditation by specialising in at least two subjects e.g. Forced Marriages, Financial Crime Investigation, Telecommunications Investigations etc.

Hope this clears any ambiguity up.

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