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Crime Investigation

Dated: 22 October 2021

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. 

Crimes which occur within the Northumbria Police area will be recorded in line with National Crime Recording Standards, taking a victim focussed approach throughout. All crimes will be recorded at the earliest opportunity and at the first point of contact wherever possible. Crimes of rape will always be recorded on receipt of a report and all other crimes will be recorded within 24 hours.  

Crimes will be generated through a variety of routes and will be allocated to the Response Policing Team, Secondary Investigation Unit, Neighbourhood Policing Team or Safeguarding Department as appropriate following an initial assessment and quality assurance process. 

Some crimes will be dealt with by the Telephone Investigation Unit (TIU) following initial assessment. In cases where the crime has been dealt with by the TIU and assessed at source as being not suitable for further investigation, they will close the crime upon completion and inform the victim.  

All crimes will have an Investigative Assessment Framework documented in accordance with the principles of vulnerability, severity, complexity and solvability. Investigations which meet the criteria will be subject to further investigation in accordance with the crime allocation policy, supported with an appropriate investigation plan. 

The allocated officer will ensure all relevant lines of enquiry are proportionately pursued, in accordance with the victim’s needs, whilst ensuring wider public safety is considered. (Assaults on police officers, police staff and volunteers will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public.) 

Supervisors will provide investigative direction and oversee ALL crimes involving domestic violence, sexual offences, hate or any other crime where there is vulnerability based on the 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 relation to more serious offences managed by a specialist department resource, Supervisors will continue to provide investigative direction, conduct regular reviews and finalise crimes where investigations are complete.  

Sergeants and Inspectors will carry out regular crime reviews to ensure timeliness and quality of investigations and satisfy themselves that appropriate support is given to victims. In addition, Area Command Chief Inspectors (Crime) will undertake a quality control role and systematically dip sample crime investigations.  

All staff involved in an investigation will document all policy decisions, investigative plans and lines of enquiry, ongoing progress, case reviews, and victim contact as part of the record of investigation, as 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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