BUDDING investigators are being trained at a new Detective Academy − and some of its first graduates have proven to be among the most promising crime-fighting minds in UK policing.
The Academy − the first of its kind in the country − was launched by West Midlands Police last November in a move designed to ensure the highest standards of investigative training and skills across its Criminal Investigation Departments (CID).
Its first cohort of 66 students sat the National Investigators exam, the gold standard for detectives in the UK, last month with almost seven in ten achieving the pass rate where the national national average is 60 per cent.
And three Academy graduates were among the top performing trainees in the country with scores securing them a top 20 spot from almost 1,000 initial applicants.
West Midlands Police Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, who helped launch the Academy, said: “I’m delighted for the successful candidates they are set for challenging but hugely rewarding careers as detectives.
“They are likely to get to work on complex cases involving prolific or dangerous criminals.
“They will own the investigations from start to finish and work in areas where they have access to covert tactics and techniques; the buzz when you are in the middle of a big investigation is inspiring and infectious.
“It is so satisfying when you solve a case, and get justice for the victim or their families, and often the sentences that the offenders get mean that communities are much safer for a long time.”
A total of 66 officers from 120 applicants sat the exam having made it through the application and competency stages.
Around half are women, some are student officers and others have more than 20 years’ experience in areas of policing like neighbourhood patrols, traffic and response.
Det Chief Supt Payne, added: “I have been a detective at every rank and have worked on murders, kidnaps, sexual abuse and gang violence; solving each case is uniquely fulfilling.
“It is difficult work and can be long hours but to look the family of a murder victim in the face and tell them you’ve convicted the killer of their loved one is a privilege.”
The successful candidates are posted with CID or Public Protection Units − investigating sexual offences and domestic abuse − and will gain experience in a range of disciplines before becoming fully fledged detectives.