3. A week in the life of a DC
DC Richard Cordery – Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
I'm a Detective in CID and manage a number of investigations supported by my supervisor. They're a great support and we often work closely together especially on the bigger cases where the first few hours are so critical.
On Friday evening I took over an investigation following the arrest of a suspect by my uniformed colleagues (PCs). They had responded to a report of a firearm at a road rage incident and arrested a suspect at the scene. A significant amount of drugs were also concealed in his car. I set to task on finding out more about the suspect and after speaking to colleagues in other forces I identified links to organised crime.
This opened up some interesting lines of enquiry for me and gave me an opportunity to disrupt an organised crime group - one of the most satisfying parts of the job for a DC. At the end of a very long day (finishing up in the early hours) I had secured charges on the suspect and remanded them to custody. Not bad for a day's work.
I have a number of cases progressing to court and my work doesn’t end when I charge a suspect. After charge, I continue to work on my cases to achieve successful outcomes at court in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service. I often attend Crown Court as the officer in charge of the case, representing the investigation and giving evidence in front of a Judge, barristers, press and public gallery.
Having spent Friday dealing with a new case, I was able to turn my attention to an attempted murder from my existing case load on Saturday. The suspect stabbed the victim multiple times in a vicious attack. If convicted he'll go to prison for a long time and we'll have made sure other members of the public are protected from serious violence. As you can see, it’s important I get this one right! On this occasion I prepared important reports for court, requested telecommunications evidence to strengthen the case against the suspect and liaised with a forensic scientist about important DNA analysis that I’ve requested.
On Sunday I started to progress 2 crimes that had happened overnight, where burglars had broken into the victim’s homes, causing damage and stealing their valuables. I reviewed the incident logs and identified the forensic opportunities, before contacting the victim to gather further information. A colleague and I then visited the scenes to search for CCTV and identify witnesses in the area. It's so important we examine these crimes closely, working with the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) to identify links and patterns which may lead to a larger proactive investigation. Attention to detail is always key and we have to respond effectively because these crimes have a significant impact on victims. Later in the shift I had the opportunity to sit down with the boss to discuss my work and agree the priorities going forward
Who knows what tomorrow holds………
DC Sarah Phillips – County Lines and Gangs team
Our force has many specialists teams but the one I’m part of is responsible for investigating serious crimes carried out by criminal networks who are operating by ‘County Lines‘ - big city crime networks moving out into surrounding areas.
Every week is different for me. Last week we carried out warrants looking for people thought to be involved in the supply of Class A drugs as well as exploiting children. We’ve had good results so far and have already arrested a number of suspects.
We worked with colleagues from another specialist team, the Missing and Child Exploitation Team (MCET for short). They led the safeguarding work to make sure the victims involved were safe from further harm and our team led the suspect interviews.
The next day I picked up another case that I was working on as I now had enough evidence to submit my report to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). CPS decide whether we can charge suspects so I’m hoping this one’s successful. I also submitted the drugs we seized from our warrants yesterday for forensic analysis. If there are fingerprints on them we’ll soon find out whose!
On Tuesday, I met with a local council housing officer as I’ve also been dealing with complaints of anti-social behaviour (ASB) committed by one of their tenants. Together we’ve been gathering evidence needed for a Closure Order from the Magistrates’ Court. Our priority here is to get this dealt quickly so life can improve for the local residents.
I put the closure order to our legal team the following day for feedback before I presented it at court. Later on my focus moved to the safety of a vulnerable missing child. We had information they were travelling between our county and another force area so I contacted my colleagues there to draw up our tactical options for making sure they’re found as soon as possible. The longer a child is missing the higher the risk is that they’ll be targeted by gangs so we’re always quick on the case.
Thursday I was given a new case by the boss. We reviewed the case together and went through the priorities and the parameters for my investigation. We agreed the first task was to get a search warrant for an address involved in the report so I got on to that straight away. I also submitted a report for a financial profile to be pulled together on the main suspect as that will really help me build a better picture of the case and identify new evidence. This afternoon myself and an intelligence officer will be going out to visit a number of locations so we have the most up-to-date intel to put in our search warrant request. That needs to be sworn at court, but that’s tomorrows task.
Quite a varied week I’m sure you’ll agree. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read.
DC Neil Moore – Vulnerability Investigation Unit (VIT)
I work in a team responsible for safeguarding vulnerable people from harm and investigating serious offences. The VIT department has three strands and I predominantly work in the team that focusses on domestic abuse. My job is to investigate high risk domestic abuse incidents and those involving intimate partners, working with partner agencies to protect victims and keep them safe. While we will always seek to bring offenders to justice, it's equally important we protect vulnerable victims.
During my first shift this week I was investigating a serious assault involving intimate partners. I investigated all aspects of this case including researching the background and history, interviewing the suspect we had in custody and capturing evidence from the victim and witnesses. I had to work with interpreters on this case to overcome a language barrier. Later in the day I requested medical evidence from a doctor which is key to the charging decision, in a case I have been investigating for some time. The medical evidence will assist to prove or disprove the suspect’s involvement in the crime. Once I have the medical evidence I'll need to analyse it before submitting the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The next day I dealt with a really sensitive case where an adult female with disabilities reported that she had been physically assaulted in her home. I visited the victim and spoke to her personally with the support of a family member. I interviewed the suspect who denied the offence and provided an alternative version of events. I shared information with colleagues from social services. We agreed to work together to protect the victim from harm and support the wider family. This was a challenging case but it's great when we can work together with other professionals to provide the best outcomes for victims.
Today I attended a health and wellbeing meeting hosted by our DCI (Detective Chief Inspector). It was a really good opportunity to hear from colleagues based at other stations. We're often supporting members of the public in dealing with very difficult events in their lives, so it's really important we look after our own health and wellbeing too. In the afternoon, I helped a colleague in the vulnerable adult team by carrying out CCTV enquiries regarding a sexual assault. The offence may have been captured on CCTV and either way it will certainly help us identify the suspect and trace potential witnesses. The victim has provided a description of the suspect, so we've been are making enquiries within the community to identify and arrest them as soon as possible.
Coming towards the end of my shift now and I've just completed a statement about a mobile phone I examined for a colleague some months ago. The suspects have been charged with drug supply offences and my statement is required for court where I may be called to give evidence.
It sure has been a busy week but I am off now. Until the weekend that is.