A SCHEME to turn graduates into detectives in just 12 weeks has been branded ‘absolutely crazy’ by officers in the Thames Valley.

The Home Office will work with Police Now, a graduate recruitment programme, to develop the scheme - with hopes it will boost detective numbers by up to 1,000 in five years.

Whether Thames Valley Police will ever take on detectives from the scheme is unclear, and the force’s federation has said there are ‘horrendous issues and risks’.

TVP Federation chairman Craig O’Leary has warned that 12 weeks is not enough time to properly train a detective.

He said: “It’s absolutely astounding they think they can train detectives with no prior police training in just 12 weeks and then unleash them into investigating some of the most serious and complex crimes that police forces have to deal with.

“I am honestly staggered by it, it’s absolutely crazy.

“When are existing detectives going to find the time to manage and tutor these new recruits?”

He added: “I really hope we don’t go down this road in Thames Valley.”

Currently, police officers have to complete a two-year probationary period as a constable.

After the probationary period, officers can apply to be detectives and will then be sent on a training course to become a trainee detective constable.

Under the new scheme, graduates will become trainee detective constables in three months.

The Home Office is providing £2.8 million to support Police Now in 2018/19 and will provide an additional £350,000 seed funding for the detective entry programme.

The programme will include digital training to ensure that recruits are equipped to deal with the changing nature of modern crime. It will also focus on problem solving, crime prevention and safeguarding so that detectives on the scheme meet the needs of their forces.

Policing minister Nick Hurd said: “Detectives are the fact-finders of our police service. They play an important role in bringing criminals to justice and getting to the bottom of complex crimes.

“I’m keen to get more new detectives trained up, so I’m delighted to support this innovative Police Now programme, which will bring in new talent, train detectives in a matter of months and complement other measures that the government and police are taking to keep the public safe.”

Thames Valley Police’s recruitment officer was not available to comment.