Well if you don't know what getting back out on the street means in policing terms I worry...
What difference would there be in a team of civillian investigators supervised by Police doing the interviews and case work rather than Police officers? The CPS are still going to require the same level evidence to charge.
I do not think for one minute you are going to have untrained people doing it. In somecases I would agree that some of them may be inexperienced however that can be said of probationers when they first start. How do they learn? By doing the job, asking people. The same as even experienced officers do when they come across something that they know little about, such as CID coming across Traffic stuff and vice versa for example.
No please, define 'on the street' for me. Because taken literally the only time I'm 'on the street' is when I have nothing to do. Attending incidents takes me off the street, arresting people takes me off the street, doing warrants takes me off the street, taking victim and witness statements takes me off the street, seizing evidence takes me off the street, going on training courses takes me off the street, attending Court takes me off the street, bedwatches and constant obs take me off the street, making missing person enquiries takes me off the street, babysitting PPO'd children takes me off the street, preserving crime scenes takes me off the street, following injured victims to A&E for continuity takes me off the street. But all have played their part in securing convictions.
You want your Police 'back on the street', so please, define it and tell me which of the above you don't want me to do, and which you'd like G4$ to be doing in my stead to the same level to enable me to get 'back on the street'.
As to the idea of a team of civvie investigators supervised by Police Officers; if your civilians are employed by G4$ and are bound by the terms of their contracts, who are the Police Supervisors to discipline them? They aren't even working for the same company, will a Police DS be able to sack a civilian investigator employed by G4$? Will the Police now be expected to learn all about the dos and don'ts of the civilian's contracts? What happens when overnight you fill Custody up only to find that at 6am your civilian staff are commencing a day of industrial action? Will you expect your PCs to get called in to do interviews and file builds? I'm sure they'll not be rusty after not having done an i/v in months. Who will be 'on the street' while these Officers are back-filling the civilian roles?
As to the difference between civilian investigators doing the work instead of Police Officers; we know the people we lock up. We know the crime trends, we know where they drink and who they're sleeping with and who they buy from and sell to. We know who they're likely to have hiding their goods, we know where their stash points are, what motors they're driving, who has beef with who and what it's likely to be over. We follow hunches and listen to what people have to say to us, something you won't find sat on your rear in a side office at Custody, with CPS on speed-dial. I have lost count of the number of times I have had a result based on gut feeling or word of mouth or simple copper's nose; be it recovered stolen property, hidden gear, locating wanted people, or abstracting complaints from anti-Police victims. Ask any PC or Special with any decent amount of service and they'll tell you the same.
And if you think you're going to get the same standard of work, you are wrong. I can guarantee you will get better quality statements and a more convincing MG5 from an Officer who has attended the job and led the investigation, than you will from a civilian who doesn't really care about the result either way. Not to mention the skills honed by attending thousands of incidents and meeting thousands of people, day in day out, in all states of emotional distress and turmoil.
Probationers may not know anything when they start, but they have joined the job wanting to be Police Officers, wanting to lock up scum and look after the vulnerable. They under-go a nationally recognised training plan, supervised by tutors and Sgts with years of experience and they are exposed to a variety of jobs. They go through a fairly strict selection process; do you really think it's going to be anywhere near as selective with G4$ when all they want is bodies on the ground, probably earning not more than minimum wage? What sort of person do you think that lower salary is going to attract? Non-achieving school-leavers and people desperate for work, who will leave once a better offer comes along. You will end up with a bunch of people who were just looking for a job, not seeking a vocation, and the Police Service will be all the worse for it; I pity the first person who tells me "it's not in my job description" when I ask them to do something. Come to think of it, will I have the ability to direct a civilian investigator, or will they direct me to go out and get what they need for their file?
These people can expect zero help from me if this is the way it ends up going, and I won't be alone in that view.