Students at DMU test their skills in cross-faculty crime scene investigation

By Perry Johnson

Drama students at De Montfort University pushed their improvisational skills to the limit this week as they acted in a simulated crime scene being investigated by Policing and Criminal Investigation students in a cross-faculty exercise.

The exchange, which took place on Monday(OCT14), saw several groups of Policing students investigate the crime scene, interrogate the actors as witnesses and deal with various issues that may arise in a real-life crime scene.


Policing and Criminal Investigation students inspect the scene:
From left – Imogen Alps (21), Shantel Obeng (20), Mubeshra Chaudhry (20), Gabrielle Forde (20), and Robyn Jennings (21)

Dr Alissa Clarke, senior lecturer for drama at DMU, said: “It’s really interesting watching our students throw themselves into the scenario so wholeheartedly; all whilst responding really thoughtfully and sensitively to the crime in question.

“It makes me realise how excellently our students can feedback and reflect on the skills they are using – it is a skill we really try to develop in students and one that is shared between these two courses that are really different.”

The cross-discipline activity, which has run annually for about four years, was held in the university’s on-campus ‘crime scene house’ and, whilst the exercise will not count towards the drama students’ grades, it provided both sides with the opportunity to put skills they have learned into practice.


Drama students acted as witnesses, journalists and people involved with the crime:
From left – Reece Reidy (19), Meredith Sawers (19), Kiana Smithdale (20), Meera Joshi (21)

Reece Reidy, a second-year Drama student involved, said: “I had to put myself into the situation and that mind frame so it felt very real; and I think it makes other people take drama more seriously.”

Gabrielle Forde, one of the third-year Policing and Criminal Investigation students in the exercise, said: “We get the theory part and we get the education part but with this we get the actual police practice which is good if you don’t get the opportunity to do real work experience for your desired job.”

DMU Sport holds ‘Cooking on a Budget’ nutrition workshop for students

By Jacob Moseley

The DMU sport societies came together to create a day of free food tasting, lifestyle tips and nutritional advice for all the DMU students still stuck to the fast food chains.

On Tuesday, the Watershed was opened up from 7pm until 8.30pm by volunteer students and sports players to showcase the best ways in which to stay healthy whilst living in university halls.

Sam Kibble, the strength and conditioning (S&C) coach at DMU Sport, stated the main aims of the event were to “Encourage our Sports scholars and sports teams to live a healthier lifestyle that may benefit their performance.

“For us as an S&C team it is all about the students being able to fuel their bodies well for match days, training days and general day-to-day activities. Being able to maintain high energy levels will give them the ability to perform at their optimum ability.”

With free food such as “smoothie pots, post workout shakes and a penne pasta dish”, the event was a brilliant introduction to students making meals for the first time. Sam explained: “The sessions give people a few ideas that they can take away and using recipe cards and free samples helps to show that cooking food is worth it.”

Even though the crowds did not flood to the Watershed, with the turnout being just under 20 people, DMU Sport are looking forward to the next event, with additions such as shopping list ideas and cost comparisons.

If you want to join DMU Sport to help integrate a healthier lifestyle, the next event is being held tomorrow(FRI,OCT18) and will focus on injury prevention whilst competing in sport.


Joker review: The joke’s on you

By James Cannell



The grimace that says a thousand words


Gotham city provides a grim reflection of the modern society we live in today, where the rich can prey upon the poor and get away with it. Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ is a modernised telling of one of DC’s most iconic villains, but where the only true villain is society. But it is not the eerie reality of this film, nor the incredible performance by Phoenix that make it a hands down film of the year. It’s the fact it strays away from the classic narrative and places the story right in the hands of its audiences.

There are other adaptations of the Joker, such as Heath Ledger’s chaotic evil version which won its Oscar for his troubling and exaggerated representation. However, Phoenix’s should win his for the complete opposite reasons. His version gives a name to the character and provides the audiences with everything they need to empathise with the character without giving them a single reason to want to. Phoenix’s devotion to the role allow for an accurate depiction of mental health and the effects society can have.

Mental health is an important aspect of Joker, Arthur Fleck suffers from a variety of illnesses, however none are as disturbing as the Pseudobulbar affect. The illness causes the character to burst into laughter in inappropriate moments which provides unsettling moments that provoke awkward laughs from audiences’ members in an attempt to break the tension. This interaction with the audience is a perfect example of how the film demands the attention of its audience.

The main criticism of the film is ironically the entire idea of the film. The Joker originally is a character without a past, an enigma, whose sole purpose is to cause chaos for his nemesis, Batman. The character himself explained in the comic The Killing Joke that: “If I am going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” However, this doesn’t mean that director Todd Phillips has simply binned the origins of the character. The film itself is a multiple choice, with audiences picking and choosing which aspects of it are reality or in Arthur’s head. The idea that the whole film could potentially be one big joke played on the audience by the Killer Clown is just one of hundreds of debates over the continuity of the film.

Credit is due to Cinematographer Lawrence Sher, whose ability to breathe life into the dead corpse that is Gotham city provides little need for dialogue as the bleak grimness of the world speaks a thousand words. However, scriptwriter Scott Silver seems to have taken a much more simplistic approach to the dialogue, and it surprisingly links arms with every other aspect of this film and walks into the not-so-bright, garbage-filled sunset.

Teen arrested in Blaby after stabbing during an attempted robbery

By Naomi Dann

A 16-year-old boy was arrested last night(WED,OCT16) in Aylestone Road and later released on bail following a stabbing outside a shop in Blaby earlier in the afternoon.

The police were called to a report of a robbery at a Co-op store in Grove Road at about 2.15pm.

However, during the incident outside the store a man was stabbed by a teenager who then fled the scene before police and ambulance services arrived.

Onlookers said that two workmen who were outside a property nearby and had witnessed the incident were seen running after the suspect with a crowbar to try to stop him, but were unable to.

Police had closed off Grove Road for the remainder of the afternoon.

Georgina Blythe, 24, who was walking towards a bus stop outside the shop as the incident unfolded, said: “ I saw the knife covered in blood in his hand as he ran across the road – I couldn’t believe my eyes. Blaby is just not like this, it’s making me wonder if you’re really safe anywhere now.”

Alberto Costa, the South Leicestershire MP, released a statement on his Twitter page in relation to the incident. The tweet reads “Deeply concerning to hear about this in Blaby earlier today – my office has spoken to the Police commander for the Blaby area & police are responding accordingly.” He finishes by saying his thoughts are with the victim.

According to witnesses, a blood transfusion vehicle and paramedics treated the wounded man. The victim was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and police said he was stable, having suffered no life-threatening wounds.

Leicestershire Police said inquiries are ongoing, if you or anyone you know has any further information regarding the incident please get in contact with Leicestershire Police.