Peter Stelfox is Head of Investigative Practice at the National Policing Improvement Agency. In this article, he examines the relationship between investigative practice and performance management. Criminal investigation is one of the key strategic functions of the police service. The service's capacity to investigate crime entirely comprises the skills, knowledge and experience of investigators. Other resources, such as intelligence databases and forensic science are important, but without skilled investigators who know how to use them, they are of little value on their own. Performance management should enable the service to focus this capacity on delivering a quality service to society. However, emerging evidence suggests that the way in which some managers have implemented performance management measures is having a detrimental effect on the service's ability to investigate crime effectively. This paper examines how this has happened and the steps that could be taken to improve the situation. These include better dialogue between managers and investigators and improved management practice.
Journal Article. 3804 words.
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