What difference does it make?

The CIT’s office at Bloxwich. Usually there are more doughnuts in it than when this picture was taken. Other than eat, what does the CIT do though and how are they different from CID?

Because we’re totally down wid da kidz and up to speed on all the latest trends such as Pokemon, Tamagotchis and pop band JLS, the Walsall Criminal Investigation Team (CIT) on which I am based now has its very own Twitter account.

Because I accept that our love of acronyms may lead to some confusion between the CIT and the CID (who also happen to be on Twitter), I thought a little overview of what we do may be useful by way of explanation.

As such I will explain.

Each of our ten ‘divisions’ or Local Police Units in the West Midlands has its own CIT, they range in size with ours in Walsall having around sixty or so officers working across three shifts under the direction of an inspector.

The CIT has three main responsibilities which can be neatly outlined as follows -

1) Prisoner handling

First things first there are response officers who cruise around in our fancy new Insignias hunting for criminals and attending the 999 calls that come through the control room.

If they arrest someone, it tends to be the case that they’ll do the initial bits and pieces – take statements, seize evidence and the like – and then hand over a ‘package’ with which the officers on the CIT will then interview the prisoner.

The benefit of this is that with the prisoner sitting in the cells feeling glum and the CIT taking over the case, the response officers are free to hit the streets again and stomp on more crime.

2) Secondary investigation

Coming back to the response officers again, sometimes they’ll go to calls where there are more enquiries to do that can’t be done then and there at the scene.

Take an assault in the town centre as an example, response will take a statement from the victim and then an officer on the CIT will take on the crime report and check CCTV etc to try and identify the offender.

Handing on reports to the CIT again means that response officers aren’t committed with non-urgent enquiries and are free to chase people across rooftops and drive their cars through oddly-placed piles of boxes.

3) Scheduled response AKA ‘diary car’

The final ‘calling’ of the CIT team is making sure that the diary appointments booked by our control room are attended.

Rather than dispatching officers immediately to every call, the control room arrange a time and date for them to come out as this often works better for both parties.

This is obviously where it’s appropriate (no ‘You’ve been kidnapped? We’ll come a see you at 16:00 next Tuesday?’) and where officers complete crime reports, they then hold onto them and investigate them as far as they can.

The difference between CIT and CID is mainly the type of work that we do with CID tending to investigate the more serious crimes and not having a diary car responsibility.

To give examples of the work CID would likely take on, they take on most house burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime whereas the CIT take on what we call ‘volume’ crime.

A further distinction is that CID is staffed by officers with a detective qualification (they all wear deerstalkers) whereas most officers on the CIT will have done further investigative training but not to the level at which they are accredited ‘dees’ or detective constables.

So there in a nutshell is a little overview of what the CIT do and how it’s different from the CID.

Any questions, please feel free to ask but I think all that remains is for you to go and investigate the Walsall investigation team yourself by following them on Twitter and seeing what they’re up to!

P.S. Apologies for the lack of blogs over the past few weeks, has been a busy period but will endeavour to get a few more written and on this here internet when I’m able.

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