Que pasa people,
I thought for the next few Fridays I would write a bit more module-specific blogs to give you all more of a know how about the forensic courses here at Glam.
One of the really cool aspects of the Forensic Science courses (and Police Science in the first year) here at Glamorgan is the use of the crime scene village in the first and second years. This is basically a studio situated in the Treforest Industrial Estate, about 10 minutes from Glyntaff Campus, which is used for teaching ‘Road Health and Safety.’
But for one week each year, it is kitted out by the university with numerous dead dummies, bloodstains and various weapons and items of evidence. There is a pub, local ‘corner shop,’ police station, alley way, road works, a couple of houses, and so on.
The task is simple. ‘Deidre’ is dead (excuse the pun) and you are each split in to a number of teams, and assigned a scene (at the various locations). In the first year, as part of the ‘Criminalistics’ module, you are each assigned a task of Note-taking, constructing a crime scene sketch and packaging. In the second year, as part of the ‘Forensic Imaging’ module, you carry out the same as the first year with the addition of a crime scene photographer.
Each visit acts as an assessed piece of work, in which you all work together, doing the different tasks, to ensure the best marks are achieved overall. This all sounds fun, and it is, but the stress levels are unprecedented as you only have around an hour and a half to pretty much to process the whole scene. I say this as the person who is packaging evidence has to wait until each piece is documented (and photographed) before securing them.
Although the lecturers are present, they take the role of observer and don’t offer much help, merely overseeing the process, you are on your own, and have to put everything you’ve learnt in previous practicals in to practice to gather everything you need.
This week was Forensic Biology students’ turn at the “crime street” for our ‘Forensic Imaging’ and our room depicted an aggravated burglary which led to the individual being murdered. There was a safe that had been broken in to and some important information missing and the individual had been covered with a mattress and what appeared to be bludgeoned to death with a crowbar. There were numerous items of evidence that we could recover and we had to choose the three most important ones to take away and package alongside a number of apparent bloodstains which had to be recorded.
Not only do we get to go to the “crime street” but we also have a crime scene house which gets used throughout the course to apply the methods we have learnt in packaging evidence, sketching the scene, capturing a video of a scene, taking photographs, and generally working on teamwork.
Well that gives you just a little more insight in to Forensics/Police Science study here at Glamorgan, next Friday I will cover another aspect of the course; haven’t decided what yet though, so if there is a certain something you want to know please get in touch.
Until next time.