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Advertorial: The new need for accredited CCTV retrieval officers

A new course helps to professionalise the retrieval of CCTV evidence

In July, the NPCC published a framework for the collection of video based evidence. The framework sets out the minimum training requirements for officers and staff to handle evidence of this type at varying levels.

It is set to shape Authorised Policing Practice and the College have begun work to update and develop the currently available training .The overall implications to policing have been described by the NPCC Lead for CCTV ACC Jenny Gilmer as “minimal” given that training levels set out should be in place already within policing.

However, what the framework will do is “professionalise” this area of evidence collection – decreasing the number of missed opportunities as well as increasing detections.

It’s an area that ACC Gilmer has said to date has been “overlooked”.

The Forensic Science Regulator (FSR) considers CCTV to come under a forensic science activity discipline – meaning it should therefore be subject to quality standards as well as accreditation.

Historically, this has not been the case and the NPCC framework indicates that inadequate resourcing, training and procedure within police video labs (as well as in policing outside of labs) has resulted in missed opportunities as well as poor-quality evidence being submitted to court.

The framework therefore outlines benefits of accreditation as gaining public confidence in the quality of work as well as providing validated processes that can both be repeated and checked.

There are four levels of training with different provisions in place, Level 0 (first responders) is covered by initial entry routes including IPLDP and PIP while initial training for Level 1 is covered by the College of Policing CCTV Retrieval Course in addition to training in how to use force-approved solutions for evident storage.

When you get to the highest level - level 3, however, accreditation is now required.

Level 3 training covers you for the following activities;

Level three training can be externally provided or delivered through relevant in-house training. Competency must be demonstrated via an assessment/CPD.

SFJ, in partnership with Red Snapper Learning, awards the level 3 award in CCTV Investigation and Evidence Retrieval.

While there are no set pre-entry requirements for the course, it needs to be ensured that learners have the skill set to work at the appropriate level and complete the qualification.

The qualification comprises three mandatory units encompassing roles, responsibilities and legislation, health and safety considerations and navigating, seizing, installing and testing CCTV machines.

Participants will spend 38 hours on the qualification in total, 24 of which will be spent in guided learning. It will be split into three days with the first day focussing on legislation followed by an assessment (done in own time) and the latter two days focussed on practical input.

Assessment is made up of coursework and a practical demonstration.

A spokesperson for Red Snapper Learning said: “RSL's new qualification is aimed at those working within and/or on behalf of police forces across the UK. The qualification has been developed with several subject matter experts and uses the latest guidance to ensure our qualification stands up to scrutiny within a courtroom following on from the NPCC guidance on professionalising the retrieval of CCTV, ensuring investigators have the requisite skills, knowledge and understanding and do not work outside of their training levels as the guidance lays out. 

“We are delighted to be the first training organisation to invest in providing an accredited training qualification for forces and are already working with several forces to deliver these qualifications.”

To learn more about the course please go to https://www.rsl.ltd/sfj-level-3-award-in-cctv-investigation-and-retrieval/  earning@rsg.ltd

The NPCC guidance is available at the link below:

https://library.college.police.uk/docs/NPCC/Framework-Video-Evidence-v3.0-2022.pdf

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