Fingerprints and forensic science were the theme of a Masterclass, giving 40 young students the chance to investigate a crime scene. Masterclasses are aimed at gifted and talented students from the local primary schools and are offered in a range of subjects each weekend.
PC Joe Addis-Phillips and PCSO Alex Franklin visited this Saturday’s science session to talk about their work, bringing along some equipment and letting the students take part in their own detective work.
Teacher Mr Coley said: ‘The students fingerprinted some balloons then blew them up so they could see their prints in more detail. We set up a crime scene complete with sharp objects and the “victim’s” shirt. We dressed up two students with masks and suits and they labelled the samples, took photographs and dusted the scene for fingerprints. We compared fingerprints on the objects with those of our Sixth Form helper, Jordan, and managed to identify him as the culprit in the end. The Masterclass also included a question and answer session.’
PCSO Alex Franklin said: ‘We showed the students how to work the crime-scene. We taped the area off, everything is then preserved, no-one is allowed in or out until our scenes of crime officers have turned up. We showed them how to take fingerprints and also looked at footprints and analysed them. No two people walk the same way. The students took to it really well and enjoyed it. With all the crime shows that are on at the moment, such as CSI and Police, Camera, Action the youngsters are more clued up and so when we come in and do these talks it dispels a few myths and reinforces positive aspects of our work.’