Detective Sergeant Andrew Burtenshaw's career story

Published on 30 July 2021
Taking on a new challenge after 18 years in uniformed policing
Case study
4 mins read
City of London police officers

Before the police

I worked as a powerboat, windsurfing and sailing instructor on the south coast of England and the west coast of France. I enjoyed teaching people new skills and wanted to use my communication skills in a more challenging and rewarding environment.

First impressions

I joined in 1998 and completed my probationary period at Crawley. I later moved to Horsham and continued in the role of uniformed response officer. I soon realised how naïve I had been prior to joining the police as I hadn’t been exposed to the violence and criminality that I was now dealing with on a daily basis.

Next steps

While remaining as a response officer I became a tutor and specialised as a police support unit (PSU) officer. In 2003 I transferred to Lincolnshire Police and remained as a uniformed response officer at Skegness before being promoted to sergeant in 2008 and being posted to Boston and later Louth.

Investigation

After being a uniformed officer for 18 years I felt that I needed a new challenge. As much as I loved the fast pace and thrill of being a response officer I had always begrudged handing over the interesting jobs to CID and I wanted more time into investigate more serious crimes, get my teeth into complex investigations and learn more investigative processes.

My path into professionalising investigation programme level 2 (PIP2) investigations and becoming a detective sergeant was unorthodox and was a lateral move from being a uniformed sergeant to a detective sergeant.

In 2016, I approached the divisional detective inspector and asked if there were any opportunities for a CID attachment in order for me to develop my investigative skills and to see if I wanted to consider applying for the initial crime investigators development programme (ICIDP).

I initially joined CID on a three month attachment in August 2016 and shadowed an experienced detective sergeant, when he was promoted at the end of my attachment and moved away from the department my attachment was extended and I remained within CID working as a detective sergeant.

In 2017 I passed my national investigators exam and then attended the six-week PIP2 investigators course at Lincolnshire Police HQ in 2018. I subsequently completed my PIP2 portfolio which involved having another detective sergeant as my mentor in order for me to be assessed.

In 2019 I attended the two-week detective sergeants’ course and subsequently completed my portfolio of work gaining my accreditation as a PIP2 investigative supervisor.

Future plans

I have been in CID for more than three years and have learned an incredible amount but every day is still a school day.

I’m not sure where my future within the police will take me but whatever direction I take I know that the skills and experience that I have gained by becoming a PIP 2 investigative supervisor has made me a far more rounded and knowledgeable police officer.