It is with sadness that I write this post today but the time has come for me to close the consulting service I have run for the past couple of years. The service I have provided to crime writers so they can authenticate their work has provided me a great pleasure, but over the past couple of months the question on whether I can keep running it has been playing on my mind and I have finally answered it.
The reasons are simple. I have been out of the police service for over five years now. Things move on and though I still have connections within the service, I am finding that if I don’t use the knowledge I once had then I am slowly losing that knowledge. The basics are very much there, but there is a vast array of police procedure and as well as losing my ability to retain the information I once held, processes, policies and laws are changing and I am not up to date with them all. I found out this last week that the timescales for getting someone to court has changed and I have not yet found out what the new times are. If I hadn’t met my friend who is still a serving officer, I wouldn’t have known this. Why couldn’t she tell me what the new timescales were? Because she works in a very specialist unit that doesn’t send people to court. She has no need of this knowledge. She was just aware that it had changed. And at this point in time I have this very question in my email inbox so I’m going to have to find the answer out. I have other friends I can reach out to. This shouldn’t be difficult, but this service is supposed to be provided by me and not held up by a raft of other people and I just don’t feel I can offer a full service any more.
Another reason is that I regularly get questions that are beyond my scope. The questions are wrapped up in a fictional story and that fictional story is so far past anything that I would ever have dealt with in my service or anyone I know would have dealt with. Writers are dealing with serial killers and surreal circumstances and I am finding it difficult to fit real-world policing into these scenarios. When I set up the service I expected questions like, what do you say in interview before you question a suspect? What is the rank structure like? What do you do in a custody suite? But instead I have scenarios I can’t get my head around. And that’s not a slight against writers, you have your stories to tell. But they are stories and they very rarely fit with what happens in real life policing. Your imaginations are vivid. But real policing is usually dull and monotonous.
I want to thank you for using the service. For making my time with it enjoyable. Now I have to commit more time to writing my own stories and reading for fun and research.
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.