24 Hours in Police Custody: Partners in Crime

The series of robberies featured in the latest ’24 Hours in Police Custody’ are not uncommon.

Criminals often target other criminals for many reasons including turf wars, removing competition or the perception that they will not be investigated properly.

That’s where they’re wrong. Any violent crime has a rippling effect and can undermine wider public confidence so it’s important that we investigate it as effectively and efficiently as we can.

I’ve been with Bedfordshire Police for 24 years and spent most of that time as a detective. I’m currently a detective sergeant based in Luton.

My core responsibility is to ensure a timely and competent investigation takes place and to make sure that victims and witnesses are safeguarded throughout.

The best way of doing this is to arrest offenders at the earliest opportunity, and if warranted lock them up pending any trial.

At the start of any enquiry I conduct an analysis to identify what evidence I have and what is missing.  I then orchestrate a response to this in order to gather sufficient information on which important and appropriate decisions can be made.

It’s also important for me to make sure that this process follows mandatory legislation such as the Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act 1986 and Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Not breaching any rules ensures that any evidence gathered is likely to be admissible in any court process.

In any investigation we look to address identification. Have we got the right person?

CCTV, phones and social media all provide useful clues to explore and exploit.

Time is always a factor but with serious criminality there are many avenues to explore and gain some extra investigation time as long as we can justify it and it is necessary.

My favourite part of the job is exposing liars and locking up people who cause unnecessary suffering and chaos to the law abiding public.

It’s always good to feel that you have brought justice to someone who deserves it. Sentencing is an important part of the process and lengthy custodial sentences send out powerful messages to other people who may be tempted to commit such atrocities.

– DS Simon Hancock

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