Journal Article

Criminal Investigation: Filling the Skills Gap in Leadership, Management, and Supervision

Peter Stelfox

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 5, issue 1, pages 15-22
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Criminal Investigation: Filling the Skills Gap in Leadership, Management, and Supervision

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Criminal investigation is a key capacity of the police and so it could be supposed that a high value would be placed on the investigative competence of those in leadership, management, and supervisory roles. But such competence is not tested during the promotion process and the limited evidence that is available shows that failures in criminal investigation are often attributed to those performing such roles. There are two reasons why investigative competence is important for police managers. First, the police service is still a formally bureaucratic organization where senior ranks can directly influence operational outcomes. Second, unlike other occupations where technical competence is defined (and often regulated) independently of employers, police leaders define both the technical competence of investigators and service delivery standards. They are, therefore, in a uniquely powerful position to shape both investigative practice and the service's capacity to investigate crime. This article explores the relationship between police managers’ competence in criminal investigation and outcomes. It then reports on a National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) initiative aimed at improving the support that is available to them in this area.

Journal Article.  3954 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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