POLICE chiefs are offering officers and staff a £2,000 bonus to become investigators, in what has been branded an example of ‘crisis’ in the county’s force.
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane signed off the £660,000 plan – enough for 330 bonus payments – to meet the demand for investigators.
It comes as the force is also advertising for direct-entry detectives, when usually the force would recruit from within.
John Apter, the man who represents rank-and-file police officers, said the bonus plan – paid at £1,000 a year for two years – was ‘contentious’ and a number of questions remain over direct-entry.
Mr Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: ‘It’s turned into a bit of a crisis for the force.
‘There was no crisis before the model of policing change and the reality is that our numbers of officers, including detectives, has reduced, but our number of crimes, despite all of the promises that were made by various bosses, have either stayed the same of in many cases have increased.
‘The type of work that detectives are dealing with is not what they have been dealing with before.’
The force says it needs to recruit to ‘service the current demand’, and that Surrey and the Metropolitan Police Service already offers an ‘attractive remuneration’ for detectives.
Detectives must complete a Professionalising Investigation Programme to become accredited investigators.
Under the plan, which was signed off in November, anyone who completes the scheme gets the
A decision document added: ‘This bonus payment for PIP2 accredited staff recognises the significant extra commitment and personal drive required to complete the qualifications required to become a detective.’
It adds there will be a ‘risk’ if not enough are recruited.
A force spokesman said: ‘Our staffing profile is constantly changing and this fluid picture makes it difficult to go into specific numbers.
‘The specialist entry detective route gives people a different pathway into the force with a focus on being a detective from day one.’