Mock crime scene tests students’ investigative skills

Wed 06 December, 2023
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Budding crime scene investigators and reporters tested out their new-found skills during a mock crime scene evening at the University of Bedfordshire, designed to prepare students for the real-life conditions they could face in their careers.

Held at the University’s scenic Putteridge Bury campus, this annual night-time event was a cross-faculty collaboration between courses including Forensic Science and Professional Policing. It aims to provide students with an opportunity to learn what it is like to work with other agencies, to find and analyse evidence, to help to solve a crime – all while working within unpredictable weather environments and in darkness.

This year, Media Make-Up students were also involved in the action, using their talents to create realistic ‘injuries’ to help bring the crime scene to life.

Dr Slava Klibanecz, Lecturer in Forensic Science, explained the benefits of this hands-on activity: “This year's event was attended by Forensic Science, Forensic Science & Criminology, Policing, Photography and Make-Up students. The outdoor, night-time circumstances and multi-agency approach was extremely useful in providing participants from all departments with a realistic experience, reflecting genuine crime scenes.

“Despite the cold and mud, the evening was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. Special thanks are due to Putteridge Bury for the use of their facilities and support staff from the School of Life Sciences for their assistance with the event.”

Throughout the evening – as the fictional scenario developed – students from different courses became involved in the scene, combing through the meadow where ‘evidence’ had been placed for them to uncover and record.

Forensic Science student, Debbie Collins, added: “This was my second time attending, and it was even better than last year. These events are very valuable as they give students a more life-like experience and highlight the different challenges faced when working outside in cold and wet weather conditions. This allows you to think critically about the evidence and its recovery.”

This activity is designed to give students a taste of life working in their chosen fields, including as Crime Scene Investigators or first-responders such as paramedics, as well as developing their teamwork skills by working alongside students from other courses around the University.

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