On the Beat: my day as a police officer
Following last month’s crime scene simulation event, we caught up with Lauren, a policing student who was part of the team for the exercise to see what she thought about the day and if it helped her in her studies.
So Lauren, what was your involvement in the mock crime scene?
My role in the crime simulation was a police officer on duty, we were called to an incident of a suspected stabbing at a bar, once we arrived we were separated into groups and each had specific duties to follow. I began questioning witnesses, following this I found out some key information about a specific handbag which was hidden in the toilets which I then reported to the officer in charge. Along with questioning other victims I also questioned one of the paramedics who was present at the time of the victim’s death.
A busy morning! What happened next?
Once all witnesses had been interviewed, we had to report back to brief the chief inspector on our findings. From this, we had names and descriptions of the victims, suspect and other parties that were involved. At the end of the briefing, we were then assigned further tasks, such as collecting CCTV, looking for crucial evidence, and gathering intel on the people in question. Once all the information had been collected, we then returned for another briefing, following this we had all the key evidence to go and arrest the suspect.
All officers were sent to the address of the suspect, we then had to stand in positions around the house, covering any exits in case of an escape, and where to stand in place while the arresting team went in to search the property and arrest the suspect and his girlfriend for questioning. Following the arrest of the suspect and having him held in custody we returned to speak to the chief inspector for a debrief of the case.
Do you think the simulation helped you to visualise some of the potential situations you could be dealing with in the future as a police officer?
It felt so realistic working alongside the emergency services in a situation like that which gives a true sense of real-world situations which we could potentially be in in the future. The victim who was stabbed was on a stretcher and receiving medical help and was actually taken to the ambulance on a stretcher, real cordons where out in place to stop the public contaminating the crime scene and having a briefing room and going through the process of how to investigate the crime has definitely shown what to expect in those situations.
It must have been a really exciting thing to do, getting involved with real police and ambulance service people. Do you have a favourite memory about the day?
Yes, my favourite aspect was arriving at the scene - the adrenaline of not knowing what you’re dealing with or what is going to happen or what the outcome could be was very exciting! It was like collecting pieces of a jigsaw and putting them all together to seeing the real picture.
Looking back, do you think it helped you as a policing student?
I feel the whole day was a huge benefit and gave us an insight into what we will be dealing with if we progress into a career into the police. I learnt that you have to take initiative and put yourself out there and do something and not just wait for someone else to step in.
Personally, I think it was an amazing opportunity to be a part of something like that and not one you could get anywhere else and that’s why I think the policing degree is so special.