Well, I have just watched the final episode of the BBC2 documentary The Detectives and I have had a little cry. I know the cases from the work the team have done to provide information to the media at the time. But it has brought home the impact on families and the human cost.
Supporting and remembering the families and the victims has to be at the heart of everything we do around communication. It was something the documentary managed to do; to cover the process and keep the people at the centre.
After 18 years in policing I can remember most of the murder investigations I supported as a press officer. I remember the families I spoke to, the appeals we did and the court cases. The reason they are still so clear in my mind is because I cared and still care deeply for the people affected. Getting the best outcome for them is critical after they have faced such an horrendous situation. It was clear the officers felt deeply about the cases and were determined to do all they could for the families.
I hope that I may have helped in some small way the families of the victims whose cases I worked to support. If I have then I would be satisfied.
Someone said to me recently that we seem to get involved in a lot of documentaries. I don’t think we do but I would always defend showing the painstaking work that goes on behind the scenes of major investigations. It isn’t like drama where everything gets sorted in an hour, it takes days, weeks, months and sometimes years to reach a conclusion.
I am very proud and honoured that I work for an organisation that helps people in their darkest days. The Detectives has hopefully given people a real understanding of what takes place everyday.