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.

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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.

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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.”

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