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Team-building ‘star’ DCI takes national accolade for SIOs

Award-winning officer seen as ‘role model for other investigators’

A detective from the “very top bracket” of policing has collected a second award that recognises his innate desire for justice for all.

Officers from across the East Midlands and beyond have spoken of their admiration for the hard work and dedication shown by Detective Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson after being named national senior investigating officer of the year.

The DCI, feted by his Leicestershire Chief Constable Simon Cole as “an absolute star”, is seen as an “exemplary” example of someone within the police service capable of “building a team and galvanising support”.

An arch motivator, last year the award-winning officer also received recognition for his outstanding contribution to the investigation of deaths, when he was given a joint commendation from Senior HM Coroner Catherine Mason and his force chief.

DCI Swift-Rollinson had taken a lead role with the East Midlands Pathology Unit, having initially done so on behalf of Leicestershire Police, but latterly on behalf of the region.

“HM Coroner has recognised the work undertaken by David over a number of years, both in writing the policy but also bringing it alive to help the detective cadre and frontline PCs who attend non-suspicious deaths” said Detective Chief Superintendent David Sandall, head of crime for the Leicestershire force.

CC Cole, with 30 years’ service behind him, said: “Teams will follow him anywhere, families believe in him and he believes in justice. He’s one of the very best – and I’ve seen quite a few.

“He is from the very top bracket.”

Since 2002 DCI Swift-Rollinson has had a role in 84 homicide investigations, 17 of which he has fronted in the role of SIO for East Midlands Special Operations Unit Major Crime since 2016.

More recently, he led the investigation into what has become known as Operation Degree – the kidnap and murder of Leicester jeweller Ramniklal Jogiya.

With multiple crime scenes to examine and a community concerned and shocked by what had happened, David had to draw on all his experience. He oversaw the painstaking trawl of CCTV footage, keeping his team motivated and reminding them their purpose – working for the victim’s family.

“He is calm, systematic and methodical, working through complexity without being phased” says Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon.

“He is resourceful and innovative when needed, constantly seeking ways to resolve the crime or improve our approach.

“He is a role model for other investigators and goes out his way to seek other views and draw on their experience both internally and externally.

“His ability to build a team and galvanise support is exemplary and he is a credit to the force.”

Officer in Case for Operation Degree Detective Sergeant Paul Vincent has first-hand experience of the DCI’s skills as an SIO.

He added: “DCI Swift-Rollinson motivated and supported everyone that was involved in the investigation.

“He was appreciative of everyone’s efforts and, from my own perspective, was always available to discuss the investigation even though he was managing an extensive workload.

“His dedication to investigations is second to none. . .  and he has the ability to get the very best from his team without them feeling undue pressure.”

Leicestershire’s PCC Lord Willy Bach visited the major incident room when Operation Degree was running and described DCI Swift-Rollinson’s authority and drive as “immediately apparent”.

He added: “In my view the investigation and the ensuing conviction in this immensely serious case was down to the excellent lead given by the senior investigating officer.”

The DCI was presented with the award at the 2018 SIO conference – sponsored by Red Snapper Group – in Leeds.

He received his award from Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy and Red Snapper investigations project manager Darren Bradley.

Investigator of the year went to police civilian Adam Smith while Dorset major crime unit took investigative team of the year.

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