The Task Is Greater Than the Title: Professionalising the Role of the Senior Investigating Officer in Homicide Investigations

  • Declan Donnelly
  • Adrian West


The authors argue that the Police should acknowledge that the basic premise of a professional organisation lies in having an appropriate corpus of professional knowledge. The attainment of knowledge as a necessary foundation for the discipline and practice of investigation requires a radical change to the current training and development of investigators. The development of Senior Investigating Officers (SIO) expertise should be recognised as requiring the summation of relevant theoretical and conceptual domain knowledge, enhanced decision-making skills and the accumulation of investigative experience that allows ready access to conceptual and practical models for action. An understanding of how other disciplines can assist the investigative process requires more than a superficial familiarity with their methods. The emphasis should be on the acquisition of critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills.


The influence of the practices of the past The acquisition of knowledge ‘Good coppering’ versus human factors Sense making Investigative expertise Investigative theory 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Declan Donnelly
    • 1
  • Adrian West
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesAnglia Ruskin UniversityCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing StudiesLiverpool John Moore’s UniversityLiverpoolUK

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