1. Pip23
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    Pip23 New Member

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    UK Police uniforms and ranks - How accurate do I need to be?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Pip23, Jul 17, 2015.

    Hey, I am currently writing a murder mystery where the main protagonist is a Chief Inspector. I was planning to set it in the present/modern day but also imagined this Chief Inspector to wear a shirt and tie with a long coat rather than the typical police uniform. Would this be allowed now? Or would he be forced to wear the correct uniform?

    Also, I have been trying to get some information about how police stations work, how forensics labs work and how the police go about talking to suspects etc. But there is NOTHING. Seriously I cannot find any information about any of this at all. Does anyone know anything about this? Or does anyone have experience or working for or with the uk police?

    It's not that I know nothing, I do know the basic workings of the police, I just want to be accurate. So if anyone could point me in the right direction with this one I would be very grateful. Thanks x
     
  2. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I looked into stuff like this for a story I was working on a while back, and I came to the conclusion that the uniforms would be worn in formal situations, but when on the job, a shirt and trench coat is fine.

    Just look up regular forensic techniques. I'm sure there will be something on it somewhere. Then you can just add the bells and whistles to it like they did in CSI. :p
     
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  3. Pip23
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    Pip23 New Member

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    Brilliant! thank you very much. :) I shall try and look further into the forensic thing. Guess I just wasn't typing the right thing into the search engine on that one haha.
     
  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Well don't look at it from a police perspective, look at forensics from the science perspective, because that's what it is essentially, a science. :)
     
  5. Pip23
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    Pip23 New Member

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    Ah okay, I hadn't thought of that :)
     
  6. Shbooblie
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    Shbooblie Contributing Member

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    I'm going into my third year studying Criminology and Forensics. I'll do a bit of sifting through my files and see if I can pull up anything of use for you. Got some info on funding and stuff which may come into some use for you. Is there anything specific you want to find out?
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he's investigating a crime, he won't be a Chief Inspector, he'll be a Detective Chief Inspector, won't he? And I've never seen one of those portrayed as other than plain clothes.
     
  8. Song
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    Song Active Member

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    I used to work as a probation officer so spoke to the police alot. Not sure how useful this is too you but I can tell you what they used to do when they wanted to speak to a suspect that was on our books.
    First they would find out which probation officer was managing the case.
    Then they would try to get them to talk about when the offender was going to show up (which we would only give if we needed them arrested).
    They would try to find out where the person is and their current address if they can't find him.
    They would then want any information the probation officer had about work, drug/alcohol etc anything that might be a sign of where they are and if they are committing offences again.

    I know more about the court process and sentencing as well as serving sentences if that becomes any use to you just ask.
     
  9. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    There was an interview with an ex copper come author on the CWA site (or probably the CRA site). I recall she said the two things that books and TV progs get wrong most is - the formality between officers, apparently they don't refer to seniors as Sir all the time, and less surprisingly, the length of time anything involving forensics takes. I suppose on TV in particular, the time is reduced to keep the prog moving.
     
  10. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Your Chief Inspector is a DCI - Detective Chief Inspector. His day-to-day clothes will be civvies, and choice for the day will be dependent on what he's doing, and to some extent, his age group. They are a plain-clothes department and the choice is totally theirs. As a DCI is more desk-bound, chances are he'll be in collar and tie, but it's not a given.

    As for uniform, that will be reserved for more formal occasions.
     

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