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  • Writer's pictureKevin Blair

Delivering better investigations to solve more crimes

This article by Andy Marsh illustrates the intent to further utilise smart doorbell footage. Exactly what Epicentre AI is being developed for.

Chief Executive Officer of the College of Policing. Former Chief Constable at Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

It’s so important that, when a crime has happened, the public can be assured the police will do their best to solve it and consider all reasonable lines of enquiry. They should know that investigations will happen as quickly as possible and lead to an arrest of the person responsible where appropriate. I know that officers and staff do their best to protect the public and investigate crimes, but time pressures and increasingly complex crimes are making this ever more difficult. Falling numbers of arrests, charges and ultimately convictions have had, and continue to have, an impact on the public’s confidence in us.

To support our officers and staff to provide the most effective and efficient service, the College of Policing has updated the guidance on investigations to make clear that all reasonable lines of enquiry must be followed. I’ve seen innovative work across the country on ways to improve investigations and solve more crimes – the new College guidance will mean every force in England and Wales is working to the same standard, as we come down hard on criminals and deliver what the public rightly expects of their police service. The guidance sets the standards of investigation that policing must meet, outlining key processes, and what’s expected of the frontline, leaders and supervisors, and chiefs.

The changes will lead to more thorough investigations, but investigating officers and staff should still consider proportionality as they seek to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Time and focus should go where there is information about who an offender might be – so we can consider how we identify that person and bring them to justice. The public expect us to allocate our limited resources in the smartest way whilst solving more crimes.


What the changes mean for police officers and staff


In practical terms, following all reasonable lines of enquiry will mean checking CCTV or doorbell footage if there are clear descriptions, timeframes or vehicle registrations. However, we can’t look through hours and hours of footage without a clear idea of what we’re looking for. We should be looking at tracking apps to see if that helps us locate stolen devices, while accepting the boundaries of this tech.

The updated investigations Authorised Professional Practice (APP) is another step in our work to restore the public’s trust and confidence in policing. We’re also working to update the Code of Ethics which defines the standards of behaviour for everyone in policing. I’ll write more on this soon.

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