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Twenty ex-specials go straight into CID roles this week

New recruits did not have to serve as regulars in uniform first
Published - 31/05/2017 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle

A group of 20 former special constables are starting as detectives in Met boroughs this week.

The investigators have never served as regulars in uniform but have been drafted-in through what was a test of the Met’s new direct entry detective pathway.

The force has now launched a scheme to bring in graduates directly into the same roles.

Just 20 have been recruited, despite a spokesman telling in January they hoped 50 new detectives would be taken on via the process.

A former receptionist, student and Marks & Spencer manager are among those who have started.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman told “We've got a class of 20.

“In recruitment terms that's pretty good because they've gone through external recruitment, and they've done a couple of extra bits - a situation test and an extra question or two on their interview and they've done the NIE [national investigators’ exam] of course.”

But he acknowledged there was a higher than expected drop-out rate.

“The NIE was the biggest one, we lost quite a few at the NIE, that was about 45 per cent. More if you count those who didn’t even turn up.”

As a result of this, in the new direct entry recruitment process the exam will be taken after six months rather than at the start of the job. The DCs will do foundation training, coach patrol and PIP 1 investigation learning before taking the test.

“This is what the NCA does and it has an over 85 per cent pass rate," he added.

Det Chief Supt Clayman also pointed out: “They have two goes to pass this. If PCs fail, they're still PCs. Anyone going on this pathway knows they have to pass this exam to remain in the programme - so it's a pretty big deal."

The ex-specials, who the senior officer describes as a “good bunch”, will now train until November to prepare them for life as fully-fledged borough detectives.

Asked if those who had been unsuccessful were continuing to serve in a voluntary capacity or if they might have become discouraged by being rejected in the process, the officer said: “I don't know the answer. They're still specials as far as I know, they have the opportunity to apply to this [new] programme if they wish, some of them took the decision to go on the PC pathway anyway.”

He said the programme is still being evaluated and such concerns may be heard later on.

The special constable to detective constable-specific recruitment programme will not be run again, he added, but said police staff and volunteer officers are eligible for the new public-facing direct entry DC programme.

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