Murder detectives still working from home despite higher crime rates

20 May 2022, 11:00 | Updated: 20 May 2022, 11:05

Hampshire Constabulary has one of the highest crime rates in England and Wales
Hampshire Constabulary has one of the highest crime rates in England and Wales. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Murder squad detectives are working from home in areas suffering from among the highest crime rates in the country.

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Police forces are using hybrid working to let officers investigate crimes from the comfort of their own homes.

Supporters say it is good for the work life balance but a Government source said the notion police were not going in to work is "baffling".

Among the forces that is allowing its officers to work from home is Hampshire Constabulary, which covers an area with the seventh-highest crime rate, the Telegraph said.

"Whether it's shoplifting or a murder or anything in between, anything that can be done from wherever... I think what the pandemic showed is that we can think slightly more laterally," Simon Kempton, the national treasurer at the Police Federation, said.

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He added that while most duties have to be carried out in person, detectives were among the roles which are still working at home.

Norfolk and Suffolk police forces are running a combined workplace that says managers should treat employees the same regardless of where they are based and Durham Constabulary said working from home allows for a better work-life balance.

Hampshire Constabulary is among the forces allowing home working
Hampshire Constabulary is among the forces allowing home working. Picture: Alamy

But a source in Government said: "It sounds like they are taking the public for fools.

"Surely you would get far better challenges and inspiration – as well as the ability to scrutinise leads and ideas with your colleagues – in the office rather than sitting on your own at home."

Zoe Wakefield, the chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, said it is "definitely positive" for work-life balance.

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Boris Johnson and government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg are among those who have called for workers to get back to their offices.

Mr Johnson said last week: "My experience of working from home is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing."

He added: "We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office. There will be lots of people who disagree with me, but I believe people are more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas, when they are surrounded by other people."