Living the Dream: My weekend as a Crime Scene Investigator
Since I can remember I’ve been fascinated by all things criminal. No it wasn’t my dream to become a notorious bank robber or serial killer - it’s all the things that go on behind the scenes in solving those crimes that really interest me.
I grew up watching TV programmes like The Bill and Midsomer Murders then progressed to the more gruesome yet somehow glamourous CSI franchise. Now if I have a spare moment, you’ll catch me watching dark scandi-noir thrillers with brooding detectives solving unthinkable crimes. It does all sound very morbid but the real-life science behind it is truly amazing.
Why I didn’t end up in a career like that I’m not quite sure – I did work for the Police Force for a while, but in the end my life took a different turn and the life of (solving) crime has always seemed like a distant memory.
That is until I got the chance to be a Crime Scene Investigator for the weekend!
Imagine my excitement when Wrexham Glyndwr started running a short course in Crime Scene Investigation. Finally I’d get to see if I could actually cut it in the world of Forensics!
The course is actually a credit-bearing module so it’s actually a great introduction to the subject if you are planning on undertaking the full BSc Forensics degree – as well as a way of getting a head start over your coursemates!
If you are unsure whether going to university is for you, then it’s also a good way of honing your academic skills too as you’ll be expected to undertake research, write reports and reference your sources. As someone who hasn’t written anything remotely academic in a long time, I really enjoyed the challenge.
The course is mostly taught online with two-days practical tuition and assessment on-site at the university. As much as I enjoyed the online study, it was the weekend spent in the labs that really made it for me. Getting kitted up in full Personal Protective Equipment and crawling round on your hands and knees may not be everyone’s idea of a fun weekend, and my hair and make up wasn’t quite as well presented afterwards like the TV investigators but that’s the life of a CSI for you!
Over the weekend we were able to participate in a variety of ‘hands-on’ activities including fingerprinting, fibre analysis and print casting as well as learning to accurately search a crime scene, and record it using photography and drawing techniques. Wrexham Glyndwr actually has its very own crime scene house to simulate different scenarios such as burglary or murder so at the end of the weekend we got to put everything we learnt on the course to the test!
The Forensics Department are running more short courses in 2018 so if you are interested in pursuing a career in this field – or you are like me and just have a morbid curiosity and fancy doing something completely different to your day job, then why not give it a go!