Students Become Detectives as they Investigate Crime Scene at Solent University

Uniformed Services, Law & Criminology

On Monday 15 January, Law and Criminology students were given an insight into the life of a police detective as they investigated a crime scene at Southampton Solent University.

More than 130 students took part in the trip held at Solent’s impressive new facility, the Spark.

Before their arrival, students were given a complex scenario based on real life cases which required them to investigate a realistic crime scene complete with crime scene tape, a body and forensic scientists collecting evidence to work out who was guilty in the killing of human resources boss Doris Jones.

After observing the crime scene for clues, students then headed into a lecture theatre where head of Criminology, Dr Simon Fox, discussed the various course options that Solent offer.

Criminology and law students then went their separate ways as they aimed to solve the case and found out more about what it would be like to study their chosen subject at university.

Criminology students heard from former Detective Superintendent-turned-lecturer Des Thomas and former Detective Sergeant Nigel Lee as they explained what a crime scene was, alongside some of their interesting and sometimes gruesome stories from their many years in the force.

They then went on to discuss the five building blocks of success for when approaching a crime scene, including preserving life and evidence.

Students also learned how interview techniques used by the police in England are different from those used in America and the regulations put in place to only obtain reliable confessions from suspects.

The lecturers then helped students apply their new understanding to the scenario to understand who was really guilty.

Law students were spoken to by lecturer Phil Jones who took students through some of the complicated legal matters arising from the scenario.

After a short break in which students had the chance to tour the building or speak to Magistrates, the day was then wrapped up by discussing how policing and criminology is advancing and how it will change in the future. Mr Thomas described how criminology was not static and that it had to continue to move forward to keep up with new crime threats, especially those involving technology and identity fraud.

Overall, students got a fantastic insight into the potential courses they may study in the future and the type of the facilities in which they could develop their skills.