In my opinion, there’s no other job like it

Detective Constable Dave Brecknock has been a police officer for almost thirty years, working on high profile cases and in a number of specialist roles. Here he tells us how his passion for investigation means that being a detective is the best job in the world.

I’d been working as a silk screen printer, but knew factory life was not for me, and I wanted to do something that made a difference to people’s lives.

One day, a police officer knocked on my door during house to house enquiries about a murder in the local area, and we got talking. It was him who suggested I should apply, and he even brought the information pack and application form round for me to fill in.

After I’d completed my basic training, I joined Bedfordshire Police full time in July 1992, and my career began as a beat constable in Luton town centre, and later in Marsh Farm. 

Dealing with the public in the town and surrounding communities, I did my best to make it a better place to live and work for all the people I met.

Along the way, there were further training opportunities which saw me qualify as a firearms officer, a self-defence instructor, an advanced driver and motorcycle officer, a surveillance officer and a financial investigator.

I also qualified as a scene of crime officer (SOCO), a specialist search and exhibits officer, a bomb scene manager. I trained in public order, and in methods of entry – yes, I got to put doors in with a big red key!

Over the years, I have been seconded to New Scotland Yard as part of an investigation into a terror plot, and I worked on the London tube bombings investigation in a counter-terror unit representing Bedfordshire.

I also got to work in a regional crime investigation team working on cross border crime in surveillance and investigation.

Is it as exciting as it sounds? You bet it is, and the support and training you receive in policing can’t be bought or experienced in the civilian world. Of course, there are difficult times, and unpleasant tasks, but the training and support are there to equip you to handle it.

I always thought that working in Special Branch was the pinnacle of my career, but moving to CID opened my scope for investigations and I embraced life as a detective.

One of my later cases featured in the award-winning television series “24 Hours in Police Custody”. The Detective and The Surgeon told the story of a four-year investigation and an eighteen-week court case, which all started with the report of a burglary and some stolen antiques.  The surgeon is now serving eight years for fraud and perverting the course of justice.

There is still no other job like policing. Once you are in, and if you want it, you will always have the opportunity for promotion, or if you find a department or a specialism that interests you, aim towards getting a job within it.

We are recruiting for our Accelerated Detective Constable Programme now, and if you are looking for a career like no other, then visit our ADCP information page to find out how you can apply.

Closing date for applications is Sunday 26 July.

Retiring in a global pandemic

Det Chief Supt Mead looks back at a thirty year career at Bedfordshire Police, which started patrolling her home town of Luton before embarking on a Detective career.

Liz is retiring from Head of Crime and Public Protection having worked on several murder, rape, kidnap and serious crime investigations including as a Senior Investigating Officer on the Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (BCH MCU).

Liz launched Bedfordshire Police’s ‘One Punch Kills’ campaign to raise awareness across Bedfordshire’s schools and communities of the devastating impact one punch can have. Liz has received Judge’s Commendations for her investigative ability and has led the force in cultural change, leadership and ethics.

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How do you retire in a pandemic? Where the over whelming feeling is that you should not be leaving, but staying in support of your colleagues?

Not one I can answer, I have offered to stay but it is time for the next chapter. Coronavirus came along and made everything different but the foundations have been set and the contingency plans developed and instigated.

I have worked with the most incredibly dedicated teams to keep the high service of investigating crime and being there for victims, whilst adapting practices, interpreting ever-changing guidelines and making sure all our teams are protected and working as safely as possible. They accept this and go out every day, knowing they are an emergency service, there always has been and always will be an inherent risk in that, especially now.

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