BCoT students take part in week-long mock crime scene investigations

Melanie Patterson, Georgie Holder and Thomas Ash gather evidence in the hotel

Melanie Patterson, Georgie Holder and Thomas Ash gather evidence in the hotel "crime scene"

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

CRIME scenes involving a fatal stabbing and a suspected abduction were set up for students to investigate.

Level 3 BCoT forensic science students were tasked with examining the scenes, set up by Level 2 students, at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club in New Road, Basingstoke.

Other departments from the college, in Worting Road, were also involved in the week-long event, including media make-up and construction students.

Six different crime scenes were set up, including a hotel room where a woman had been fatally stabbed, a gym locker where possible drug-dealing had taken place, and a garage where a woman was found hanged in suspicious circumstances.

Media students took official photographs to be used as post-mortem evidence and made videos of the scenes.

Forensic science students then had to piece together their findings to try to work out what had happened.

Student Simone Quinn said: “The whole crime scene week was an absolutely invaluable experience.

“I really enjoyed taking my turn as the scene-of-crime officer as it pushed me to lead from the front and give direction.

“I learned how to collect, process and analyse evidence, and even though it was a mock crime scene, it felt very real to me.”

Fellow learner Jackie Wills said: “This has given me a real insight into what it would be like if I decided to follow a career in forensics.

“We had to start from nowhere and find out why the victim was stabbed and what the motives were.

“It was a real challenge and I’ve definitely learned a lot about working with a team.”

Jo Hatton, a lecturer in science at BCoT, who was in charge of the major crime week, said: “The reason we hold crime week is to give students a taste of what it is like to work in a real-life forensic environment (even though it is a mock-up).

“Not only does it increase the students’ employability skills, it teaches them the importance of teamwork, team management and priority-setting.

“They learn a whole range of new skills during the week as the work they do is so hands-on. This would simply not be possible in the classroom.

“The feedback I have had from the students is that they find the whole experience invaluable – one described it as ‘opening up a whole new world’.

“This makes all the hard work from everyone at the college who helps put this week together so worthwhile.”

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