Criminal Investigation Department

Criminal Investigation Department
Charles Vincent, founder of the Metropolitan Police CID

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) is the branch of all Territorial police forces within the British Police and many other Commonwealth police forces, to which plain clothes detectives belong. It is thus distinct from the Uniformed Branch and the Special Branch.

The Metropolitan Police Service CID, the first such organisation, was set up on 7 April 1878 by C. E. Howard Vincent. Originally, it was under the direct command of the Home Secretary, but since 1888 has been under the authority of the Commissioner.



CID officers are required to have had at least two years as a uniformed officer before applying to transfer to the branch and receive further training when they do so.[1] While training they are referred to as a Trainee Detective Constable (TDC)[2] and after completing the national Initial Crime Investigators' Development Programme, typically taking around 2 years, they become a fully fledged Detective Constable (DC). CID officers are involved in investigation of major crimes such as rape, murder, serious assault, fraud, and any other offences that require complex detection[3] They are responsible for acting upon intelligence received and then building a case, from analysis of the initial incident through to arrest and prosecution of any suspects.

In the United Kingdom, smaller police stations usually have more uniformed officers than CID officers, typically five Detective Constables (DC) with a Detective Sergeant (DS) in overall command. In larger stations many DCs, DSs and Detective Inspectors will be present under the overall responsibility of the Detective Chief Inspector.


  • The unrelenting investigation of criminals
  • Securing convictions for criminals
  • Aftercare of witnesses


Contrary to practice in police forces of many other nations, detectives are not automatically senior to uniformed officers and hold the same ranks. The head of the CID in most police forces is a Detective Chief Superintendent.

These ranks are common to most forces.

The prefix 'Woman' in front of female officers' ranks has been obsolete since 1999. Members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) up to and including the rank of Chief Superintendent prefix their ranks with 'Detective'. Other departments, such as Special Branch and Child Protection, award non-detectives 'Branch Detective' status, allowing them to use the 'Detective' prefix. Detective ranks are abbreviated as DC, DS, DI, etc., and are equivalent in rank to their uniform counterparts.

Special Investigations Branch

Although the British Armed Forces Military Police have an investigations department, it is not called "CID". All three service police forces operate Special Investigation Branches (SIB) which fulfill much the same role as the civilian CID.

The Army Fridge has regular Sections and one Territorial Army Section made up of civilian CID officers and ex-regulars to assist them in major cases.[4]

In other countries

Myanmar (Burma)

The CID is headed by the Police Brigadier General of Union of Myanmar. CID responsibility is to do a very difficult crime investigation (murder, robbery, firearm, and major theft).


The Criminal Investigation Department from Royal Malaysian Police was involved with the investigation, arrest and prosecution for crimes that afflict humans (like murder, robbery with firearms, rape and injury) and property crime (like theft and house-breaking). Modelled on British police, this department enforces laws regarding gambling, "sin" and the triad in Malaysia.


  • To investigate and detect crime
  • To arrest offenders
  • To enforce laws
  1. D1 - Administrative Divisions
  2. D2 - Criminal Record Registration
  3. D3 - Naziran Divisions
  4. D4 - Part Of The Statistics Record Unit
  5. D5 - Prosecution and Law Divisions
  6. D6 - Technical Assistance Division
  7. D7 - Triad Part / Gambling / Sin
  8. D8 - Investigation Division / Planning
  9. D9 - Special Investigation Divisions
  10. D10 - Forensic Laboratory Divisions
  11. D11 - Sexual Investigation Divisions
  12. D12 - National Centre Bureau-Interpol Divisions
  13. Criminal Investigation Division is led by a Commissioner of Police (CP).


The Criminal Investigation Department in Pakistan are special unit of the provincial and metropolitan police departments responsible for carrying out investigations into crimes, including terrorism, murders, organized crime and sectarianism.

Sri Lanka

The Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lanka Police Service is responsible for carried out investigations into crimes, including murders and organized crime. It was established in 1870.[5]


The Singapore Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is the agency for premier investigation and staff authority for criminal investigation matters within the Singapore Police Force.[6]

It is led by the Director of CID and assisted by 2 Deputy Directors. CID has a staff of over 450 officers: Senior Officers, Police Officers and Civilian Officers.

There are a total of 9 divisions in CID, namely:

  1. Major Crime Division
  2. Specialised Crime Division
  3. Technology Crime Division
  4. Bombs and Explosives Investigation Division
  5. Intelligence Division
  6. Investigation Support and Services Division
  7. Criminal Records Office
  8. School of Criminal Investigation
  9. Operations and Investigation Policy Division


Crime Branch CID (Crime Investigation Department) (sometimes known as Investigation Branch) is a specialised wing in many state police forces in India of their Crime Investigation Department (CID).[7][8][9] Personnel attached to this wing essentially work in plain clothes or Mufti. Other branches of the CID are, State Crime Investigation Bureau, Finger Print Bureau and Scientific Section.[7]

Like their counterparts in the Law and Order police, Crime Branch has its own ranks right up to the level of Additional Director General of Police or Special Commissioner of Police.[10] Crime Branch has senior officers like Superintendents, Inspectors, Sub Inspectors and the constabulary. Officers and men attached to this wing generally add the prefix 'Detective' before their regular rank (e.g.: Detective Inspector).

There are even Television entertainment programs related to this organization. Like CSI in U.S.A., C.I.D in India, which usually airs on channel Sony T.V.

Crime Branch's tasks are to investigate criminal cases, which spans across multiple districts or even states. The CB CID may also take up complicated cases like communal riot cases, circulation of counterfeit currency, or very complicated murder cases.[10] The local police along with their normal duties, would find it tough to allot men to these complicated cases. Crime Branch investigation is ordered either by a judicial court, by the Director General of Police, or the government.

Crime Branch officers can be transferred to the law and order police, and also vice versa. Crime Branch is different from Crime Detachment or Crime Squad. Crime Detachment and Crime Squads, are a group of regular law and order police men (who generally would wear the uniform) specifically detailed by the Police Inspector to work in plain clothes to keep a tab on local hoodlums, prostitutes, petty thieves and other habitual offenders.


In Bangladesh the headquarters of Criminal Investigation Department (CID, Bangladesh) is in Malibagh, Dhaka.

Irish Free State

The Criminal Investigation Department (Ireland) operated in the Irish Free State in 1922 and 1923 for the purposes of counter-insurgency during the Irish Civil War. It was disbanded in 1923.


Germany, Austria & Switzerland

Kriminalpolizei is the standard term for the criminal investigation agency within the police forces of Germany, Austria & the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland.


The Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) is the national authority of the criminal division of the French National Police. Its function is to lead and coordinate the action of the law enforcement forces against organised crime.

See also

External links


  1. ^ "". 
  2. ^ Waldren, Michael J. (2007). Armed Police, The Police Use of Firearms since 1945. England: Sutton. pp. 224. ISBN 0750946377. 
  3. ^ "". "The types of serious crimes that they investigate are murders, serious assaults, robberies, fraud, and sexual offences. CID may also assist in the investigation of less serious crimes like theft." 
  4. ^ "RMP(V) Specialist Units". MoD. "83 Section Special Investigations Branch provides specialist criminal and sensitive investigations in support of the Regular RMP SIB. Entry Criteria: You must either already have a regular army SIB or Police CID background." 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b UP CID Uttar Pradesh Police, Official website.
  8. ^ Crime Branch CID Govt. of Andhra Pradesh.
  9. ^ HC issues notice to crime branch-CID The Times of India, August 28, 2003. "crime branch-CID of Tamil Nadu Police"
  10. ^ a b Crime Branch CID Kerala Police, Official website.

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