§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 18 December 2001]Specialist detectives would develop the skills to work on the most complex investigations. They would be drawn from existing officers and those choosing to specialise as they join the service. The operational needs of police forces would determine what proportion of their detective officers would specialise in investigation. These officers would still work in other areas of policing, but would develop their investigative skills to a high standard through a career anchored in investigation. This would provide an experienced pool of officers from which Senior Investigation Officers could be drawn.
In the most specialised fields we plan to introduce specialist civilian investigators. Specialist civilian investigators will provide the depth of knowledge only a career specialist could bring to investigations into high-tech crime, cybercrime, fraud, money laundering and other complex areas of crime. The numbers recruited will depend on the operational needs of the police service. Some specialists might be shared between a number of forces. By providing the civilian investigators with certain police powers they will be able to function as full members of investigating teams.