Cuts in government funding have led to significant changes being made to the way the Police in the UK are doing business.

Several thousand officers have been lost, civilian support staff made redundant and equipment kept beyond its original life expectancy.

Even today, those losses haven’t been enough to meet the economic cuts the services still have to make.

For example, the Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh of Essex Police has recently announced that the force still has to make savings over the next three years of around £36 million.  To help him decide how to manage this, he has a project set up called “Evolve.”  Some of their recommendations have been to close down the Force’s Mounted Branch and Marine Unit.  They are reducing the number of Dog Units they have from 52 to 40 and have redeployed many detectives from CID into Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

“So what,” you may think, has this got to do with my fiction?

Could be nothing at all.

Alternatively, it could shape your story.  Maybe the Mounted Branch or Dog Units are needed to help search an area of woodland for a missing person or a suspect.  Most Senior Investigating Officers believe that if they want/need something, it will be made available to them.  In the example above, they can’t have a horseback search if there are no horses.

Similarly, public order situations suffer from a lack of dogs and horses.  No Marine unit could make coastal crime easier to commit or exploit.

Taking detectives out of CID may lead to vulnerabilities in investigating serious crime or it may mean that you have a very experienced (low ranking) detective working at a local level and getting into local criminals’ lives (who may just be the Mr Big that is now being missed by the reduced CID).

Also don’t forget that these self and same detectives don’t just staff CID.  They are the backbone of specialist investigative units to such as Child Protection, Drugs and Organised Crime Teams and undercover operations.

How do you think your stories may be effected?

See for more detail.

Don’t forget to get your copy of Writers, Researchers and the Police for an introductory price to the first 50 purchasers. For more information follow the image below

Writers, Researchers and the Police 2014 Cover

  1. Thank you for this. really useful. I will now need to check whether the West Yorkshire police use dogs. If not, I will need a slight change to my novel in progress. Lesley


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