Met Police detectives to be recruited directly

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Media captionThe Met Police is planning to hire detectives from ordinary members of the public. What do you need to qualify?

For the first time, a British police force will recruit people directly to become detectives without them working as beat officers in uniform.

The Metropolitan Police hopes the scheme will fill some of the 600 detective vacancies in the force.

It also hopes to attract people with different skills and backgrounds who might otherwise not want to join.

Up to 80 detectives will be taken on initially, with further recruitment rounds likely to follow.

High workload

Earlier this year, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said there was a policing "crisis" across England and Wales because of a "severe shortage" of detectives.

Among the reasons given were the high workload in CID units, a lack of support for trainees and the intense scrutiny detectives face.

To help plug the gaps, some forces have begun recruiting specialists in cyber-crime and fraud to help with investigations.

Scotland Yard is now going a step further by allowing people to join as trainee detective constables, with full police powers.

Unlike other recruits, they will not have to spend any time in uniform doing street patrol and response work.

£30,000 salary

They will undergo an assessment involving tests, exercises, and interviews. If selected, they will undergo 18 weeks' training.

The training will be partly classroom-based, and partly based in boroughs. It will be similar to a constable's training, but with an investigative focus.

The initial salary will be just under £30,000.

The training will start in January. If successful, there will be another recruitment campaign during autumn.

David Tucker of the College of Policing, which sets standards of training and ethics for police in England and Wales, said: "We are aware of the difficulties in recruiting officers and staff into investigative roles, and we are working with colleagues, including the national policing lead, to support our members.

"The College and the NPCC are looking at the extent of this issue and we are currently working with a number of forces to develop a range of initiatives to address the problem."

The Met has 5,500 detectives out of 31,000 police officers.

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