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Women In Science Day - meet Crime Scene Manager Laura

February 11, 2019
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In honour of Women In Science Day, we spoke to Crime Scene Manager Laura about her role, how she got started and why CSI: Miami might not be a completely realistic view of her world (spoiler: there are a lot less beaches for a start)!

“I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a 2:1 degree in Forensic Science and was lucky enough to be offered a Volume Crime Scene Investigator role nine months after leaving university. I’ve now been working in this field for almost 12 years, starting with Volume CSI work (which is the basic entry level role) and working my way up to my current role of Crime Scene Manager.

“A typical day starts with reviewing any incidents that happened overnight which might have forensic potential – officers will look at the evidence and the opportunities to get forensics and I’ll allocate the jobs to the team. After checking my van is loaded with all of the evidence-gathering equipment I might need, I’ll head off to my first job of the day. I can attend anything from a burglary through to firearms incidents, sexual offences or murders – you really never know what you’ll be doing from day to day!

“When I’m not attending incidents, I’ll be writing forensic strategies, attending submission meetings, giving evidence in court and assisting on specific forensic projects to help improve our capabilities across the region.

“I think my personal career highlight was helping a team of detectives to convict three men for a murder in 2013. I spent 10 days at the scene and compiled more than 400 individual exhibits (pieces of evidence) before the trial. The analysis of footprints recovered from the scene was particularly important to the case and when the men were all handed a life sentence, it felt like a great result after all the hard work and effort that everyone had put in.

“Crime scene investigation is a very competitive field to get into, partly because of the popularity of shows like the CSI franchise and Silent Witness, which make the role look very glamorous! Before deciding if it’s the job for you, I’d tell anyone to get as much practical experience as possible through voluntary work and placements. Not only will it give you an insight into what the job entails, but that hands-on experience will provide you with examples that will make you stand out once you start applying for jobs.

“A job as a CSI won’t land in your lap – you’ll have to work for it – but it’s well worth the effort and you won’t regret it!”

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