Scotland Yard detectives `lack proper training'

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The Independent Online
Scotland Yard's ability to investigate crimes is in serious decline due to shortfalls in training, according to an internal police review.

The report, which was ordered by a commander at the Metropolitan Police, follows complaints that uniformed officers were joining the plain-clothed CID ranks without proper training.

In some cases high workloads have resulted in junior officers with little experience having to investigate serious crimes. For example, allegations of rape are frequently investigated by uniformed police constables attached to CID divisions or by detective constables - the lowest-ranking plain- clothed officer, says the leaked report.

It concludes: "The current ability of the Metropolitan Police Service to investigate crime is in serious decline, with future investigating officers likely to be lacking in both knowledge and investigative skills ... The CID is losing its credibility with uniformed duty officers, who also state that they have little confidence in newly appointed detective constables."

The report was commissioned for the Metropolitan Police's crime, operations and policy group after the Scotland Yard branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file members, raised concerns about the lack of training for detectives. They were particularly critical that a 10- week course at Hendon police college for new CID officers had been axed.

The Metropolitan Police Federation argued that the lack of training has resulted in officers becoming investigating detectives without proper knowledge of the law and practical experience.

Scotland Yard yesterday said the "Training Needs" analysis report only looked at a small section of the police's detective work. It added that newly appointed CID detectives were "far from inexperienced" and had an average of 11 years' policing experience.