Thinking about a change of career? Two Blackpool police detectives talk about their jobs ahead of 75 new detective roles across Lancashire

Lancashire Police have announced they are looking to recruit 75 new detectives across the county as part of a new entry pathway into the police force.

By James Graves
Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 11:45 am

The new scheme will see successful applicants undergo a structured development programme which will enable progression to the role of detective constable.

Ahead of applications opening for the 75 posts, two of Blackpool Police’s detectives talked about their day-to-day routines and what it takes to be a good detective.

Temporary Det Sgt Chris Hammond and Det Con Kat Knock both started as uniform police officers in the resort and have progressed into CID (Criminal Investigation Department)

Temp Det Sgt Chris Hammond and Det Con Kat Knock of Blackpool Police

Det Sgt Hammond is 29-years-old and has been with the police force for more than six years.

The Thornton resident started back in 2009 as a control room operator and after five years successfully applied to join the police.

He said: “I spent three years as a uniform police constable before I quickly decided that becoming a detective was the route I wanted to go down

“I applied internally and I was successful in becoming a trainee investigator and joined the team in 2017. I spent two years in reactive CID and I decided that I was looking to get promoted and I’m currently in a temporary detective sergeant vacancy in the CID team at Blackpool.” Describing his daily routine at work, Chris said it can be different each day and depends on the night before his shift starts.

75 new detective roles are being created with Lancashire Police

He said: “In the morning when we arrive at work one of the first things we do is look at the overnight summary and look at what activity has gone on overnight and from there we would decide which jobs are serious and complex and that would fall in the remit of CID. As and when that happens those jobs get allocated out and then you would go and pick up one of those investigations and you would look to go out, go and speak to your victims, go and speak to your witnesses and identify and CCTV opportunities. There would also be chance to identify any forensic opportunities and identify suspects from that.

“You tend to find a lot of jobs that you pick up are complex and take a lot of time to investigate and they obviously don’t get solved in a day.”

Det Con Knock joined the constabulary 14 years ago and previously worked in retail management.

The 38-year-old from Thornton wanted a change of career when she applied for the police.

Both started as uniform police officers in the resort and have progressed into CID

She said: “I wasn’t enjoying it and didn’t get any fulfilment out of it. As cliche as it sounds I wanted to do something where I was actually making a difference so I applied for the police. I did uniform for almost three years, but like Chris I knew I wanted to come into the detective team.

“As much as I loved being a response officer and enjoyed that I wanted to keep hold of my investigations and I wanted to investigate the more serious crimes rather than just handing them over to CID. I wanted to be a part of that.

“So I applied for the trainee investigator programme which I was successful in and then I was a detective following the exam and portfolio. There is quite a lot of work that goes into it. I did some time on the robbery team and custody reception and then joined the public protection unit.

“I initially worked on domestic violence and then I moved over to child protection where I have been for seven years which I have really enjoyed.”

Det Con Knock has recently joined the child exploitation team in South King Street, Blackpool

Kat has just moved into a new detective team and is looking forward to the challenge

She said: “As of last week I joined the child exploitation team over in South King Street in Blackpool where we can locate with social services.

“It’s a new challenge. I have done a lot of multi agency work previously within child protection but this is like a different angle now. We are dealing with a lot of children who are really vulnerable and being sexually exploited and there is also the criminal exploitation side to it, so I am looking forward to getting involved with the role.”

Both Chris and Kat said they love their jobs but believe being a detective won’t be for everyone.

Chris said: “I absolutely love being a detective and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else however it does take a certain type of person. You need an analytical mind, you need to be able to think critically and you need to be dedicated as well because there is a lot of work involved with it.

"It’s not something you are going to be able to pick up one morning and solve by the evening, there is months and months of work involved from picking up the investigation, doing your initial enquiries, from speaking to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and seeing the jobs all the way through to court.”

Temp Det Sgt Hammond has been with the force for more than six years

Kat added: “I think being committed and, again, as cliche as it sounds just generally caring because it’s not the sort of job where you can halfheartedly do something because ultimately you may have a victim coming and talking to you and telling you something that has happened to them and you are the first person they have ever told and they are putting all their trust in you so you have to be committed for that victim and really see it through.

“It’s the longevity as well. Like Chris said, it’s not turned around in a day. You can have cases that gone on for months and months because it’s so time consuming.”

However with such time consuming cases, Kat says when detectives finally get a conviction it’s a boost and a success for the victims.

She said: “For me the thing I enjoy the most is talking to the most vulnerable members of our society really and helping them get through what they are going through and get justice for them.

“I’ve had some really good sentences at court, for instance just before Christmas I had a trial which involved a historical sexual abuse case where two family members have been abused and the person has been sent to jail for 22 years so that it is a massively satisfying part of the job.”

“You don’t come home from that thinking you have had a bad day, you come home from that thinking what a success that is and how good it’s for the victims. Things like that are really positive.”

Chris explained what will happen to the lucky 75 people who are accepted onto the new programme.

He said: “The programme is called the degree holder entry programme and essentially in order to join the police as a detective you need to hold a degree but that could be in anything. It does not have to be police based.

“You would join the police as a uniform police constable and do your initial training.

“You would then come out to division and you would respond for the first ten to 15 weeks as a response police constable and after around week 35 you would then embark as a detective and start your trainee investigator programme.”