I'm often asked how I research police procedures and police matters for my crime novels and while the DI Horton crime series certainly doesn't conform to policing in the real world there is an underlying reality about some of the situations and procedures.
So where do I get my research from?
From talking to real live police officers, those working on the coal face and those who have also retired and my thanks here to the officers in the CID, the Major Crime Unit and the Marine Unit of Hampshire Police.
From the Internet blogs and twitter feeds of serving police officers - a great source of a snapshot on the unofficial and real world of policing, warts and all, the gripes, heroics and the banter all make for great background
From the official websites of the police agencies, establishments and organisations, the intelligence services and the European police agencies
From my fellow members of the Crime Writers' Association, by reading articles in the CWA magazine and attending lectures
From online sources, magazines like The Investigator, websites run by specialists and organisations such as CEPOL (the European Police College)
And from newspaper articles and media feeds.
All this is combined to give me a flavour of how things work but of course they are constantly changing and I could never portray exactly how an investigation is handled or the real world of policing because then it would read like a police manual and it is after all fiction.