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What is a Crime Scene Investigator?

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CSIs examine crime scenes to gather forensic evidence that will ultimately lead to the detection and prosecution of criminals.

CSIs are not police officers, they are support staff: civilians who are employed by police forces.

Nottinghamshire Police CSI unit provides cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

CSIs are trained to identify, record and recover forensic evidence from all types of crime, ranging from criminal damage, burglary and vehicle crime (known as volume crime) to more serious crime types including arson and murder. 

However, a CSI could be asked to attend almost any incident where the potential for forensic evidence has been identified. Unlike CSI Miami CSIs in Nottinghamshire do not analyse evidence themselves or arrest criminals!

CSIs use a wide variety of techniques and equipment to recover forensic evidence. This may include recording the crime scene by taking photographs, powdering for offender’s fingerprints, searching for footprints or marks left by tools, taking swabs of blood or collecting fibres, hair, paint or glass.

How do you become a CSI?

Entry requirements vary between police forces so you should check with the force in the area where you want to work first. Nottinghamshire Police CSIs are required to have a science based qualification to A level standard (in Biology or Chemistry) with previous experience in a practical scientific role. Many of our newer CSIs have gained degrees in Forensic Science at University.

Qualifications or experience in photography can also be useful and may be essential for some forces as it is a vital part of our role. It may also come as a surprise that CSIs spend most of their shift working on their own, so you will need to be self-motivated, able to solve problems and have a great eye for detail.

All police forces will carry out a check of your background and employment history. A criminal record will not always prevent you from gaining employment in the police service but you will be required to declare any convictions you may have.

Driving to and from crime scenes in a fully kitted out CSI van is a big part of our job so you will need a full driving licence.