Detective recruitment campaign in Suffolk has over 1,000 initial applications from public in just seven days

PUBLISHED: 13:18 17 July 2017

Picture: Archant library.

Picture: Archant library.


More than 1,000 members of the public have started applying to become a detective in Suffolk just a week after police launched a fast-track recruitment scheme.

Could you be the next DCI John Luther, from the BBC detective show? Over 1,100 people have expressed an interest in the fast-track roll at Suffolk Constabulary. Picture: PA PHOTO/BBC Could you be the next DCI John Luther, from the BBC detective show? Over 1,100 people have expressed an interest in the fast-track roll at Suffolk Constabulary. Picture: PA PHOTO/BBC

Suffolk Constabulary said the response was “very encouraging” but a former Met Police detective warned television crime dramas may have given distorted impressions and said successful applicants could be “less-rounded” than others already serving as police officers.

The force is inviting members of the public who have no police experience to become detectives to help address a national shortfall.

A total of 1,173 people completed an online eligibility form to express an interest in the first seven days earlier this month. Not all will be eligible to apply.

People with backgrounds such as accountancy and IT are urged to apply for the six-month scheme.

Former Met Police murder squad Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, who lives in Suffolk, said: “It doesn’t surprise me that when you provide this fast-track into a specialism, that it is attractive to people who don’t fancy the slog of basic policing.

“That by itself perhaps tells a story. It might be that you end up with less-rounded and less-capable officers at the end of it.

“I understand why (Suffolk Constabulary) are doing it, but I don’t think it’s ideal. I don’t think in their heart of hearts that Suffolk Police think it is ideal. It is a creative and reasonable solution to meet a pressing problem, but I hope it is a one-off scheme.”

He said the role has become less desirable due to workload and shift work, partly driven by a lack of funding, but still provides “immense” job satisfaction.

However, he said detective shows such as BBC’s Luther and The Sweeney may have given the wrong impression to some.

He said: “It is very easy to present a sanitised version of what being a detective is about in 30 or 60 minutes. But the reality is a lot less glamorous and slower.”

Suffolk Constabulary added: “We would re-iterate we do need people to meet the high standards we set of all our detectives.”

The closing date to apply is August 4. An open evening is being held at police HQ in Martlesham at 6pm on Thursday, July 20.

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