Sussex Police's recruitment of civilian investigators is 'policing on the cheap’, claims fed rep (From The Argus)
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Sussex Police's recruitment of civilian investigators is 'policing on the cheap’, claims fed rep
Civilians are being recruited on short-term contracts to investigate crimes instead of police officers.
Sussex Police Federation’s chairman Paul Sellings said the force’s recruitment of 32 “response investigators” on 18-month fixe-dterm contracts was “policing on the cheap”.
The investigators, who will be based at Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Chichester, Crawley and Worthing, will replace police in interviewing some victims and suspects of crimes including assaults and criminal damage.
He said: “Sussex Police has got cash for 18 months but when you employ police officers you employ them for 30-odd years. The force cannot afford to do this. The Government will not allow it.
“It is policing on the cheap but it has got to be – because they only have the budget for 18 months. If you can get the same thing for less you have to do it.
“It will free up 32 officers who were doing this job to go out onto the street.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said they were not replacing detectives who investigate more serious crimes such as rape and grievous bodily harm, but were being hired in addition to them.
The new investigators will look at cases which have been referred to them by Sussex’s Neighbourhood Response Teams.
A starting rate of £20,020 a year is being offered, rising to £21,747 per annum.
In May, when Sussex Police began recruiting 80 PCs, it advertised a starting salary of £20,000, increased to £22,000 after six months and £23,000 after 12 months’ service.
Detective Constables’ salaries start at around £24,000 and then pay increments depend on length of service, experience and skill.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne yesterday denied the move was “policing on the cheap” – despite the force needing to save tens of millions by 2015.
Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett said: “This will enable us to free up police officers for front line duties, including responding to calls from the public and to target those who commit crimes. We are able to recruit and train these staff quicker than would be the case with officers and they will provide resilience within the teams – but they are not a replacement for officers.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said: “This is not policing on the cheap. These people will be fully trained.”
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