Meet the detective who investigates serious collisions
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Serious collision investigators have a unique role at Derbyshire Constabulary. The only uniformed officers who are trained as detectives, they carry out in-depth investigations as well as responding at the scene of road traffic collisions.
It was the chance to get stuck into in depth investigations which appeared to Darren Muggleton, a sergeant with the team. “I’m interested in both sides of policing,” Darren said. “The prevention – stopping people getting injured – but also the levels we go to to establish the facts. It’s our job to look at how and why a crash happens, and if there’s evidence that a crime has taken place, to present our evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service so it can go to court.
“If what has happened is not criminal, we present a file of evidence to the coroner so there can be an inquest. We try to find out what has happened for the families and give people honest answers.”
Although there is a lot of sadness in working with bereaved loved ones, in Sergeant Muggleton’s eyes, seeing justice done for them makes the job worthwhile.
He said: “When you deal with something from the start, you see the devastation these incidents cause. Both at the roadside, and when speaking to the families – you see and feel how these things affect people. You start to establish the facts and build a case, you find the evidence to prove how and why it happened, and you put that into a quality case file for the CPS so that charges can be brought. To then end up in Crown Court, with those families and see that they think justice has been done – that’s a good feeling.”
Of course, most of the team’s cases involve someone’s death and this is a challenging part of the role. “You’ve got to be prepared to see difficult things and deal with it professionally,” Darren said. “There’s a good family feel in the teams here and we support each other, which helps – as well as the outside support we can get from the force.”
Darren feels that policing, although busy and challenging, is a career which opens up many doors. “Policing will equip you with many new skills to deal with life,” he said. “And there are so many different roles – someone coming in, once they’ve got the basics, can look at specialising in lots of different areas. So there are lots of opportunities.
“I’d look back and say I’ve seen and done many things that many people would never get to see and do. There have been some great experiences, but I have seen some sad things I hope people never have to see. Mostly it’s been about the positives – it’s a busy and challenging job, especially now, but I think people coming in can have as many positive experiences as I have had.”
Although his job might be high octane, dealing with high speed collisions and some of life’s most difficult moments, when not on shift Sergeant Muggleton enjoys a quieter pace. “I do a bit of gardening. I used to do paragliding, although I haven’t for a while, he said. “It’s not that different to gardening in a way – it’s calm once you’re in the air!”