Crime Investigation

Dated: 20 Oct 2017

POLICY TITLE: Crime Investigation

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Major Crime & Intelligence

AUTHOR: Detective Inspector, Homicide and Major Enquiry Team





AIM OF POLICY: To inform staff of their responsibilities when investigating/ managing crime. 

BENEFIT OF POLICY:  To ensure a consistent customer focussed approach and a proportionate response to all investigations.

REASON FOR POLICY: Crime can have a major impact on victims, witnesses, suspects and the community. The way it is investigated and managed can have a major impact on public confidence in the police. Staff need to be aware of their responsibilities when investigating/managing crime.


Northumbria Police will ensure a consistent and effective response to crime, whilst putting victims at the heart of the investigation process. Crimes which occur within the Northumbria police area will be assigned to an officer who will take immediate action to safeguard the victim(s), establish their needs and identify how to support them beyond the initial response. The officer will ensure all lines of enquiry are proportionately pursued, in accordance with the victim's needs, whilst ensuring wider public safety is considered (assaults on police officers and police staff will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public).

Frontline constables will be responsible for the effective investigation of their crimes and will determine a proportionate investigative approach to each offence based on its circumstances. Constables will be empowered to close crime investigations without the need for a supervisors authority. There will be no review requirement for supervisors for such offences.

Sergeants will however provide investigative direction and oversee ALL crimes involving domestic violence, sexual offences, hate or any other crime where there is vulnerability based on the new Force vulnerability definition. Vulnerability can include personal or situational vulnerability. For offences of this nature, a Sergeant will conduct reviews at suitable points within the investigation to ensure its effective and timely progression.

In addition, in relation to more serious offences managed by a specialist department resource, Sergeants will continue to provide investigative direction, conduct regular reviews and finalise crimes where investigations are complete. Inspectors will carry out additional 21 day reviews to ensure timeliness and quality of investigations and that appropriate support is given to victims.

Area Command Chief Inspectors (Crime) will undertake a quality control role, systematically dip sampling investigations of crime.

All staff involved in an investigation will document all policy decisions, directions as to lines of enquiry, ongoing progress, case reviews and victim contact as part of the record of the investigation, if deemed necessary.

All crime files will be retained in accordance with Force directives.

SOURCE DOCUMENT: Not applicable

GROUPS AFFECTED: All officers and staff


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