An exploratory study of the early stages of Kent Police Investigator Now scheme (fast track detectives) from the perspective of applicants and staff

Research Institution / Organisation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Principal Researcher

Ross Evans

Level of Research


Project Start Date

October 2018

Research Context

Traditionally the route to becoming a detective involved spending at least two years undertaking uniformed response work followed by two years of investigator training. Allowing for vacancies and training, this could take four to five years. However, Kent Police have decided to re-work the current system with their new ‘Investigator Now’ scheme, a way of fast tracking potential candidates through the current training process. Investigator Now aims to reduce overall training time whilst balancing comprehensive training with invaluable experience of front-line police work.

The Investigator Now programme works as follows. Applicants of this process will start with the national 19 week probationer course (along with some additional training sessions focusing on investigator topics like mindset and cybercrime). After this, the trainees begin a 12 week PC tutored stage where they will complete their portfolio, followed by 5 weeks of independent PC work. This will be interspersed with investigator training and private study, after a year of PC work and CPT/VIT/CID attachment they will begin detective training.

The Investigator Now programme will be assessed throughout, however, this master's piece will have emphasis on the initial training and recruitment of the trainee detective. It will focus mainly on the skills or characteristics that the police service looks for in a potential detective and whether that is in the form of potential talent or already present ability. Moreover, how academia and the police differentiate the relevant skills of a detective resulting in a greater coherence between the two.

Research Methodology

  • ​Mixed methodology
  • Explorative study
  • 44 Trainees, aiming to interview 50% of them plus five staff members (Recruiters, Trainers, project lead)
  • Questionnaires to determine age, gender, ethnicity
  • Observation work in classrooms to study teaching methods
  • Semi-Structured interviews with recruits and recruiters to understand what is needed from each applicant and what skills are useful to the role.

Interim reports and publications

​not available

Date due for completion

September 2019
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