Afternoons were spent practicing and honing the skills required for any CSI job such as photography,
crime scene management and fingerprint lifting in the LFSA crime scene houses. With so many
techniques to cover at University, and the modules I chose, I personally did not have time to revise these
skills, so being able to spend time revising them through this opportunity was clearly beneficial.
The ability to develop my skills from University continued in my month placements in the Forensic
Investigation Unit, providing assistance with validating the methods used for tool mark analysis in
conjunction with the upcoming ISO 171025 accreditation schedule. This was broken down into the
evaluation of: casting materials, tool mark substrates and microscopy techniques. Working in actual
forensic laboratories was a surreal experience and the processes were a lot simpler than I was
anticipating and, in some cases, there is no need for complex methods and machinery – an idea that I am
keeping in mind during my own work. As the project has implications for Lancashire Constabulary,
deadlines were strict, and the standard of work was extremely high. However, this reinforced that my
methods of planning and preparation were suitable for this style of work which was a massive boost to
my confidence. My confidence was further increase when we had the spare time to set up do some mock
examinations. Everything we had done so far used a penny, that sits on my desk as a reminder of what I
have achieved. Being able to sit down and successfully go through the analysis and interpretation of
forensic evidence is something I have done numerous times at University, but the sense of
accomplishment was different. As much as I hate to say it, tasks at University have the end result of
getting a grade, this time my conclusions felt like they had implications. If this was a real case, I would
have been able to present my findings the required professional standard.
It was also incredibly interesting to share an office space with Forensic Science Practitioners, and when it
was allowed being able to listen to their case discussions. It showed the level of dedication and critical
thinking that I need to strive for as well as balancing this with your own wellbeing. To the day I left it
surprised me how quickly everybody could turn from being as professional as possible to down to earth
when we were on break, something that I noticed I need to improve on. I think it was beneficial for
Lancashire Constabulary staff too, having the opportunity to see what the next generation of Forensic
Practitioners is capable of and passing down their words of wisdom, whilst getting in new ideas and ways
of thinking. The world of Forensic Science is constantly changing to adapt to the unpredictable changes of
the public and environment
During my validation placement I stayed on site and
witnessed how each team within the Constabulary is
intertwined and that clear communication is key
since information goes through a lot of people.
Every moment of both placements was put to good
use and it made me want to reciprocate all the time
they have invested into me. Plus, it is simply
motivating to know that the areas you could be
working in are filled with people you know will be a
pleasure to work with.
It cannot be stressed enough how important
having the experience to work in industry settings
and being treated like an equal at the same time is.
I’m never going to dispute the fantastic job my
lecturers have done. They continuously create mock
scenes and tasks to test our practical skills. But you
start to recognise how your lecturers think and you
have rough expectations of what is going to happen
during an assessment as there needs to be evidence
to some extent for you to be assessed with.