Being a detective is “the most rewarding role in policing”, the Chair of the Police Federation National Detective Forum has said.

Glyn Pattinson, who is also Secretary of Staffordshire Police Federation, said more needed to be done to recruit investigators after a national shortfall of around 5,000 detectives was reported.

He said: “We have a lot of colleagues in response and neighbourhood roles who, for a whole host of reasons that include shift patterns, reduction in pay, loss of unsociable hours payments, recognise that detective work can be incredibly difficult and complicated and that there’s a lot of threat and risk that comes with it.

“It is just putting people off. We have to be honest about that and at the same time try to encourage them to take on the role of detective because for me it’s probably the most rewarding role that there is in policing.”

There are programmes available across the country for officers that have ambitions to become detectives, including exam support, mentorship schemes and tutoring. Staffordshire Police increased its detective numbers by around 70 last year, but there are not many more officers that now want to become detectives. Glyn predicted “big problems” for the future, but added that the recruitment of an extra 20,000 officers nationally was helpful

He was speaking from the Police Federation of England and Wales National Detectives' Forum (PFNDF) in Birmingham this week.

Glyn said: “New officers will be going into all kinds of roles, from counter-terrorism to public protection, in serious crime teams. Sadly crime is not decreasing. Serious crime certainly is not. It gets more complicated, it gets more diverse, so there’s a greater need for detectives than there ever has been.”

Ten new recruits will be joining Staffordshire Police under the Police Now graduate scheme, but Glyn said he has reservations about direct entry.

He said: “I am not a fan of direct entry at all - I am very sceptical about how successful it will be. I don’t think there’s a need for direct entry detectives. The solution for me is about supporting our current officers in other roles to encourage them and give them incentives to try and become detectives.”