Gaining Practical Experience: A Placement with Staffs Police

Final year MSci Forensic Investigation student, Elli Sarvari, discusses her placement with Staffordshire Police in the Justice Services Department. 

Starting in January 2018, as part of my MSci Forensic Investigation degree, I undertook a placement. I was luckily enough to be given the opportunity to work alongside Staffordshire Police in the Justice Services Department. In Justice Services I was based within the Vulnerable Victim Unit (VVU). The Unit is newly formed and aims to “enable Staffordshire Police to be better and more consistent in its delivery of services to victims and witnesses, particularly the most vulnerable.” The VVU achieve their aim through conducting research and developing current strategies. They are also a reference point for both external (Criminal Justice Partners) and internal (Office of Police and Crime Commissioner) work surrounding victims.

Whilst working alongside the VVU I conducted some research. The research centered around Special Measures, which is an entitlement for any victim or witness identified as vulnerable or intimidated as per the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Special Measures are a form of support that an identified vulnerable or intimidated victim or witness can use in court. These include support such as screening from the defendant when presenting in court and removal of wigs and gowns. My research centered around the process of applying for Special Measures and, if it was effective, to help improve the service to victims and witnesses. I was able to access live systems used between the Police and the Criminal Justice System to conduct the research. I was ultimately able to provide recommendations to Staffordshire Police in how they could improve their service to victims in relation to Special Measures.

Alongside conducting the research, I was able to attend meetings surrounding the topic of victims and witnesses, such as the Victim and Witness Service Improvement Group chaired by ACC Barnett – who is also the National Police Lead for Victims and Witnesses; I conducted environmental scanning the shared to the meeting attendees. I was also given the opportunity to undertake some scoping on behalf of ACC Barnett surrounding research into a National Victim Strategy.

I had a fantastic experience at my placement, and it gave me irreplaceable knowledge. I am very thankful for the opportunity and I would advise anyone given the opportunity to take a placement to do so. I was able to network and learn about the wider area of jobs available to me. I just want to thank the VVU and Staffordshire Police for giving me the opportunity.

Elli Sarvari

CLA+ Sessions and Learning Gain

As part of a national project funded by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) there is an opportunity to take part in sessions completing an online test which will help you to discover your skill level and could assist you in identifying areas for development. The feedback can then be used to create a personalised development plan you can follow to help you work on any areas that you feel would be beneficial to you in the future.

In return for completing the test you will receive £40*

The Collegiate Learning Assessment is a standardised online test that is used to assess certain skills that you may possess. No subject specific knowledge is required or tested and it will not impact upon your degree marks (apart from giving you the opportunity to improve following reflection of the feedback you receive). The test will provide an objective assessment about the critical skills you have at the current time. The test is open to any undergraduate student studying any subject at any level.

The test takes 90 minutes to complete and results are returned in four to six weeks. Once you have your results you can meet with your personal tutor or an Academic Skills Tutor to identify your strengths and areas for development, and draw up your own personalised plan for development.

Once you have completed the test there is an opportunity to complete a 30 minute survey on learning engagement.
(*The £40 has to be claimed through Unitemps – Unitemps will complete an ID check and accepted forms of ID will be required . This check will have to be completed before payment. More details on how to do this will be provided in the sessions)

The sessions available are as follows

There is no need to book, just turn up to the session that is best for you.
Please arrive promptly as sessions are timed and allow 2 HOURS for the session

If you would like anymore information contact Stacey.Stanyer@staffs.ac.uk

Partial Scholarships PhD Scheme

The School of Law Policing and Forensics at Staffordshire University are inviting expressions of interest to apply for Partial Scholarship PhD projects within our school. This scheme gives you the opportunity to enrol on to a PhD project without having to pay any tuition fees. In exchange for this, you would be expected to provide a maximum of 250 hours of teaching support to the Academic Staff. Please note, that no bursary or any other funding will be provided. These projects are only available full-time and you will need to be based on the Stoke Campus.

If you have any further questions regarding the scheme, please contact Dr Graham Williams at graham.williams@staffs.ac.uk

To apply, in the first instance contact the relevant supervisor for your interested project with your CV. The deadline for your expression of interest is the 25th May 2018 at 5pm. If shortlisted, you will then be invited to interview.

1. Law
Supervisor: Dr Sean Curley (sean.curley@staffs.ac.uk)

An examination of the exercise of judicial discretion in the 20th century and the rise of the purposive approach to interpretation.

It is generally accepted that judges are entitled to exercise discretion where existing law does not provide a precise answer to the issue that arises for determination in any particular case. The question for examination is the exploration of what Oliver Wendell Holmes described as the interstitial spaces between the law. Southern Pacific co. v Jenson (1917) 244.U.S. 205. These gaps are smaller than obvious lacunae (cf The non liquat jurisdiction in international law) and indeed may not at first glance be obvious. The examination is twofold. In the first instance, how do judges identify these interstitial spaces and then having identified them how do they then exploit them. This will then lead on to an examination of the legitimacy of the exercise. Again this is twofold is the identification of the gap in which to exercise discretion legitimate and then having answered that question, is the exercise of discretion thus enabled, legitimate. The concept of legitimacy is vital as it is only those decisions which are legitimate which can constitute valid law which will then be followed by subsequent judges. The concept of legitimacy is inextricably bound in with the exercise of discretion. It matters not if a judge creates the space in an entirely legitimate fashion if he does not then exercise his discretion in such a way as to arrive at a valid decision. Discretion is inevitably based on a judges own moral compass and his own views. When the law has no answer a judge must fall back on his or her own resources. The area of study would look at how the exercise of discretion has changed over the time in question and then look to the influences and experiences that are acting on the judiciary during this time frame.

2. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Claire Gwinnett (c.gwinnett@staffs.ac.uk)

Particulate Evidence Persistence in Water Environments
The persistence of evidence in different environments is important in ascertaining when two people or items have come in contact; this provides intelligence information and aids in the reconstruction of crime scenes. Persistence information of certain evidence types, such as fibres, is commonly used in serious crimes as DNA is generally unable to provide answers to ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ a crime took place. The persistence of particulate evidence in water environments has been little studied. Due to this, many scenes of crime officers do not search for this type of evidence if believed to have been exposed for more than 7 days, although initial pilot studies conducted at Staffordshire University indicate that fibres evidence can persist on fabric for over 12 weeks. This PhD will investigate the factors that affect the persistence of fibres, pollen and glass when submerged in different water environments, including but not limited to; donor material, recipient items, exposure time and flow rate. In addition to this, the degradation of certain evidence types in these environments can provide valuable information regarding exposure time which benefits both criminal investigations and environmental science. Currently, the rate at which synthetic fibres degrade in water is not known. This PhD will also investigate the degradation of fibres when exposed to both fresh and salt water environments to aid the interpretation of microplastics in water environments and forensic fibres analysis. The duality of this PhD means that will have impact in both forensic science and the science of plastic pollution.

3. Policing

Supervisor: Dr Lauren Metcalfe (lauren.metcalfe@staffs.ac.uk)

Examining Child Sexual Exploitation in Staffordshire

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse: “An individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator” (College of Policing, 2017). Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) has been brought to the forefront of the public’s mind in recent years with many high profile cases being publicised in the media. Coupled with the impact of this type of activity, not only on the victim, but families and communities, it is a priority area for police forces and local authorities around the country. Whilst the crime has remained, on the whole, a hidden activity, much has been learnt about the factors considered to put children more at risk. That said, gaps in knowledge still exist with less known about boys and young men becoming victims; offending pathways of perpetrators of these types of offences; and local nuances surrounding characteristics, risk factors and modus operandi. Given the emphasis placed on local authorities and police forces to prevent such crimes from occurring and the recent austerity measures meaning that agencies have to work more efficiently, this research project aims to deliver better understanding surrounding CSE in Staffordshire by utilising police and multi-agency data.

4. Policing

Supervisor: Dr Lauren Metcalfe (lauren.metcalfe@staffs.ac.uk)

Modern Slavery in Staffordshire: Assessing the Risks and Aiding Prevention

The MoRiLE process which assists police forces to understand the range of threats and risks facing the public identified that crimes against the vulnerable presented some of the greatest risk to the safety of people across Staffordshire. These crimes include modern-day slavery. A recent HMIC (changed to HMICFRS) inspection report focusing on Crime Data Integrity has also shown that whilst Staffordshire Constabulary have a good basic knowledge of modern slavery offences, their understanding is limited and they accepted that more work is needed both nationally and regionally to better understand the issues of modern slavery in order to improve the policing response to the issue. Nonetheless, the force is reported as being increasingly aware of the potential for this type of crime and had the highest rate in England and Wales for referral to the NCA for modern slavery. Given this, the proposed project seeks to aid improved understanding and development of risk factors associated with modern slavery through utilisation of police and partner agency data. The hope is that this project will act as an evidence base for the police and their partners to aid in the early identification of such crimes and implement more specific early interventions to better police the issue.

5. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Dr Emma Temple-Malt (emma.temple-malt@staffs.ac.uk)

Building resilient and Healthy Family Practices, Protecting Children and Reducing Crime: Identifying Support Needs and Early Interventions – A Multi-Agency Approach

The proposed PhD project will focus on the support needs of families where domestic abuse is connected with parental-substances misuse (Featherstone et al. 2014, Axford et al. 2017). The aim being to develop a multi-agency model that intervenes in such families early, to support members to build resilience, reduce domestic abuse offending and substance misuse issues, which thus far, is an under researched area. Approaches have tended to focus on individual needs of parent(s) or the child and usually social care agencies intervene too late, reducing the efficacy of such interventions (O’Connor et al. 2014). The candidate would undertake a qualitative research project that develops a more holistic needs assessment of the family that includes all family members and agencies which is suggested to produce better outcomes for all involved (O’Connor et al. 2014). Digital technology in the form of an ongoing research blog will be used to disseminate regular updates about the project key findings to partners and participants in this research. The PhD candidate would be joining a supervision team who have been working on improving local responses to domestic abuse offending for a number of years in collaboration with the Safer City Partnership Team and Public Health Commissioners within the local authority of Stoke on Trent. Thus the PhD project would be a continuation of this research, continuing to influence local partnerships and domestic abuse provision and has the potential to contribute new insights into policy debates and national Government strategies for tackling domestic abuse.

6. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Dr Em Temple-Malt (emma.temple-malt@staffs.ac.uk)

Caring Communities: Caring for Sexual minorities in Later Life

Our ageing population is one of the key pressing social problems of our time. Of particular note, are the critical issues that surround caring for the UKs elderly population and who is responsible for delivering this care (Philipson 2013). Successive Government policies and legislation have assumed that care will be provided by relatives. This doctoral study proposes to critically examine what happens in instances where there are no biological relatives that can be relied upon to do the caring. Relatively little is known about a generation of sexual minorities who are approaching later life and are likely to have considerable caring needs. This generation lived their lives in an era where homosexuality was a highly stigmatised identity and pre-1970 a criminal offence. Sexual minorities who did not suppress their attraction to persons of same-sex and follow the normative heterosexual trajectory, risked estrangement and rejection from family-of-origin and in many cases, these disrupted kin relationships were never repaired. The seminal study by Finch and Mason (1993) illustrated that informal care is negotiated within the family and the carer comes to accrue responsibility for caring over time. What happens to older sexual minorities who are estranged from, or unable to rely upon kin relationships for care in their later life? During the 1980s and 1990s, it was well established that in the absence of biological kin, many sexual minorities turned to friends and ex-lovers to provide a supportive ‘family-like’ role (Weston 1997, Weeks et al. 2001). The doctoral thesis would seek to examine whether such informal family-like networks still exist, can informal networks of friends and ex-lovers be relied upon to deliver the practical care for elderly pseudo-relatives, and if so how do such arrangements arise? The thesis will also explore the material, social, cultural and gendered differences present in such caring communities. The findings generated from this study will make significant contributions to policy and legislation and also to ensure that the third sector charities like Age UK and others are providing services that meet the needs of a diverse ageing population.

7. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Professor James Treadwell (james.treadwell@staffs.ac.uk)

The Gendered experiences of Violence and Resistance in activist and anti-Neoliberal capitalist protest movements.

In February 2016, the Guardian newspaper ran a story with the headline ‘Police ‘used sexualised violence against fracking protesters’, reporting that campaigners at Barton Moss in Salford against fracking had claimed to researchers they were groped and threatened by Greater Manchester officers. This story is shocking, in so far as it is one of the few examples of how gender is considered in literature on political protest and public order. While there is an extensive academic literature on policing protest and public order, but in that literature, the voices and experiences of women are quite frequently neglected or absent. This PhD will seek to re-frame the experiences and involvement of women in contemporary political protest globally, understanding their experiences, particularly in relation to violence. From on the English riots of 2011, the Occupy movement in London and the English Defence League in northern England, to anti-capitalist protesters empirical research on protesters has tended to be focused on the experiences of Western men as researched by men, leaving the stories and motivations of activist women under theorised and considered. This omission seems all the more shocking considering recent revelations about how such protest groups have been infiltrated and monitored by the security state in England and wales. This not only means has scant attention been given to the experiences of women activists at the hands of outside state actors, but also internally. There has been relatively little critical engagement with women activists and their experiences particularly around violence, and this project will seek to fill that gap. It will involve not only documentary analysis, but also interviews with activist women involved globally in protest movements.

8. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Professor James Treadwell (james.treadwell@staffs.ac.uk)

Beaten up, banged up beaten down; Trauma, violence, domestic abuse and coping in the lives of incarcerated women

The proposers have been involved in extensive research into the genesis and factors underpinning prison and community violence. In 2018, the government is expected to launch a new domestic abuse bill and a strategy for tackling domestic abuse. However, the way that women’s experiences of violence, abuse, and trauma manifest in prison and post based experiences is subject to less contemporary discussion. Although women are less than 5% of those in prison, they account for over 25% of self-harm incidents. Women’s offending is commonly linked to underlying mental health needs, drug and alcohol problems, coercive relationships, financial difficulties and debt. Over half the women in prison report having suffered domestic violence and one in three has experienced sexual abuse. Many of them have dependent children – an estimated 17,240 children are separated from their mothers by imprisonment every year. This research will seek to consider the relationship between pre-prison experiences and prison based behaviour, particularly through extensive qualitative research with female offenders in prison custody. Professor Treadwell has extensive links with HMPPS and is able to facilitate this type of work with contacts at governor grade working in women’s prisons.

9. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Dr Jo Turner (jo.turner@staffs.ac.uk)

Helping women ‘through the gate’ in England: the continuities and change in third sector provision for women released from prison

As part of the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda, the 2014 Offender Rehabilitation Act provides enhanced support for people leaving prison, helping them ‘through the gate’. Around a third of prisoners have nowhere to go on release and it is acknowledged that residential provision for ex-prisoners can bring significant benefits. For women, it is widely acknowledged that residential provision is especially important given the specific vulnerabilities with which women in the penal system present. During the 19th century, provision for women leaving prison was relatively abundant. However, there has been little academic consideration of the origins, continuities and changes of residential provision for women leaving prison including the ideologies and practices of the forerunners and their relationship with contemporary versions. This research will investigate the third sector provision for women leaving prison during the second half of the nineteenth century with the aim of informing policy and practice regarding third sector provision for such women today. Specifically, the research will provide the first historical analysis of the previously unknown and unexamined third sector residential provision for women released from convict prisons on conditional licence between 1860 and 1890. Using archived and digitised documents, it will examine why, how and with what effect the late nineteenth century system was created, operated, and eventually dismantled, and situate that system within the wider philanthropic provision of the period for women involved in criminal justice by providing the first comprehensive historical analysis of that wider system. By drawing attention to the role of the third sector in provision for women leaving prison in the past, this research will contribute to current policy debates around meeting the needs of women when leaving prison today.

10. Sociology/Criminology

Supervisor: Dr Jo Turner (jo.turner@staffs.ac.uk)

Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Supporting Dual Diagnosis Service Users

Service users with dual diagnosis are perceived as having less recovery capital than other service users within substance misuse and mental health services (Roberts & Bell, 2013). Dual diagnosis service users are stigmatised and a cohesive care package between substance misuse and mental health services is rarely achieved. This means that dual diagnosis service users tend to be seen by one service, rather than both, which reduces the likelihood of success. In Stoke-on-Trent, mental health services are less likely to assess and support service users with addictions. With mental health needs not being addressed effectively, the risk of vulnerability to crime (both as a victim and a perpetrator) increases, as does the likelihood of unnecessary incarceration. The stigma associated with mental health and interaction between service user and professional is a subject explored within the Sociology of Health (Barry & Yuill, 2012). The links between mental health and crime and punishment are widely discussed within Criminology (Winstone, 2015). Dual diagnosis, however, is a neglected area of research in both disciplines. This issue has also been highlighted by Community Safety Commissioners from Public Health within the Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority. Roberts & Bell (2013) highlight that service commissioning will require innovation and creativity to better meet the needs of dual diagnosis service users. Stoke-on-Trent service commissioners are keen to start this process with underpinning research to better inform commissioning practice. Findings from this doctoral research will contribute to service enhancement and development at a local level and will also provide valuable data to support positive change in other localities at a national level.

11. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Laura Walton-Williams (l.m.walton@staffs.ac.uk)

Understanding Victim Reporting Trends in Sexual Offences

Whilst statistics estimating the percentage of sexual offence cases not reported to the police are widely used in literature, there is currently little understanding of the accurate picture in relation to these types of offences. The aim of this research is to understand reporting trends in cases of rape and serious sexual offences. This research will entail working in collaboration with Staffordshire Police and Third Sector Organisations (those related to supporting victims of sexual offences) to gather data relating to reporting trends. Analysis of these trends will enable recognition of opportunities to improve police investigations, to increase reporting, to better support victims and to improve prosecution rates for sexual offence cases.

12. Education

Supervisor: Dr John Wheeler (j.w.wheeler@staffs.ac.uk)

Evaluation and Development of Methodologies for the Measurement of Learning Gain in Undergraduate Science Degree Programmes

The measurement of ‘learning gain’ in U.K. Higher Education has gained momentum in recent years through the funding of 11 pilot projects to the value of £4m by HEFCE in 2015 (Staffs Uni is a partner in one of the pilot projects with Birmingham City, Liverpool John Moores and Coventry Universities) and the expectation that learning gain will be an explicit measure within the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the near future. A number of methodologies have been proposed, developed and tested in recent years across U.K. HEIs for their suitability of the measurement of learning gain but, to date, no single approach has been identified as being appropriate, robust and reliable. Many issues have arisen during the testing, many of them due to the large scale upon which they have been attempted to be undertaken. This project aims to take a more focussed approach to the design and development of a methodology by focusing upon the measurement of learning gain for undergraduate science students. The project will evaluate currently available methodologies, identifying aspects of best practice that may be applied in our own work, develop a bespoke learning gain assessment specifically aimed at science undergraduate students, and undertake a pilot evaluation of this across a number of science curriculum areas at a number of UK HEIs.

13. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Graham Williams (graham.williams@staffs.ac.uk)

Crime scene based screening and identification of intimate body fluids

The screening and identification of blood at crime scenes has been extensively and exhaustively researched with a range of strategies developed ranging from general LMG/KM testing through to ALS, Raman and Hyperspectral imaging. However, not as much work has been carried out on semen, despite the significant evidential of such body fluid. Limited work has been done, with the use of single use AP tests, combined with ALS techniques. However, not much more has been done. In addition, there is no strategy for the screening and identification of vaginal material at scenes or on items. Whilst tests have been established that can identify vaginal material, currently these are not suitable for crime scene use.
Thus the purpose of this project is to focus on enhancing BFID techniques targeting semen and vaginal material. This project may also look at strategies to screening and identifying epithelial cells or touch DNA (building on previous work done by Dr Williams)

14. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Graham Williams (graham.williams@staffs.ac.uk)

Developing a robust interpretational method for clothing damage analysis

Clothing Damage Analysis (CDA) is a forensic science specialism that examines damage to clothing in order to support and allegation or defence. CDA can be commonly utilised in two different broad offences – knife attacks and sexual assaults. Knife attacks can leave stab cuts or slash cuts to the garment worn at the time and such examination can be used to offer an opinion as to activities during the alleged incident. In sexual assaults, clothing can be forcefully removed resulting in rips and tears to the garments. However, clothes can also be subject to wear and tear. In some cases, it is not easy to differentiate between the two, thus requiring expert opinion. However, the field of CDA is rather subjective and is largely based upon individual’s experience with no consistency of interpretation. This project is to develop a Bayesian based interpretational model (already used widely in the forensic sciences) and then conduct a series of experiments that will establish the key Bayesian nodes required for decision making.

15. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Kirsty Squires (Kirsty.squires@staffs.ac.uk)

An investigation into the biological and chemical changes associated with decomposition of porcine remains encased in concrete

The disposal and concealment of human remains can take many forms, one of which is the use of concrete to encase or seal deceased individuals within structures (e.g. voids in walls). Despite the fact that this disposal method has been used globally for decades (e.g. Toms, Rogers, and Sathyavagiswaran, 2008), very little research has been carried out into the effects of concrete on the decomposition process (Gibelli et al., 2013; Martin et al., 2015). The exothermic reaction and calcium hydroxide produced by mixing cement is corrosive and known to damage human tissue that is encased in setting cement. However, the extent to which this damage occurs is currently unknown. The aim of this project is to investigate the biological and chemical changes to porcine remains that are interred in two distinct environments, namely the encasement of porcine remains in concrete and sealing porcine remains within concrete voids. Prior to carrying out these experiments, the porcine remains will also be subjected to various post mortem changes, including partial decomposition, burning, and the application of different types of acid, to establish how these processes affects the decomposition of remains in the aforementioned environments. Histology will be employed to explore microscopic changes to the soft and hard tissue whilst gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) will be used to explore the chemical changes to remains interred in cement. It is hoped that this research will fill a void in our current understanding of forensic taphonomy.

16. Forensic Science

Supervisor: Dr Sarah Fieldhouse (S.J.Fieldhouse@staffs.ac.uk)

The effects of DNA recovery on latent fingermarks and their use as forensic evidence

The recovery of DNA and fingermark evidence from the same location can be problematic due to contamination from fingermark visualisation techniques, and/or the destructive capability of the DNA recovery method.  Forensic investigators are often required to choose which evidence type to recover, or to recover both types from different locations.  Research typically documents the effects of fingermark visualisation techniques on the subsequent recovery of DNA, despite the contamination issues which limit their use in casework.  There would be inevitable benefits in duel recovery to law enforcement agencies, given the ability of DNA and fingermarks to aid in the identification of individuals.  Previous research carried out at the University and published in a leading forensic journal has demonstrated a simple yet effective means of facilitating duel recovery from the same location.  The team hope to continue the research, and to develop the approach into one suitable for casework.  Alternative research plans to refine the DNA recovery method. This PhD project would focus on the physical effects of DNA recovery on latent fingermark ridge structure using microscopic techniques including scanning electron microscopy.  It will also study changes to the chemical composition of the marks using appropriate techniques such as GC-MS.  The project would assess the impact of how changes to fingermark structure might impact upon their use as forensic evidence, using the opinions of fingerprint experts and AFIS metrics.

Kathleen’s Prize Award Ceremony

Academics were asked to nominate the best work, from their level 4 students, for the annual Kathleen’s Awards Ceremony in March. Many paid tribute at the ceremony to Staffordshire University Librarian, Kathleen Morgan, who sadly passed away in September 2014. 

Winner, Matthew Harvey – from the School of Health and Social Care – was awarded his certificate and £50 Amazon voucher from Dr Sean Curley – Dean of the School of Law, Policing and Forensics – who said:

“The standard of entries this year has been fantastic and it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here. The competition has been fierce and you are all winners… You should all congratulate yourselves.”

Kathleen’s mother attends every year and remembers the impact Kathleen had on the students. Alison Pope, Learning and Information Services Manager, said:

“In the course of several roles Kathleen filled, her passion to help students realise their potential shone out.She instigated the InfoZone programme which helps orientate first year students and assists them in making the transition from school or college to University level research.”Among the runners up was BA (Hons) Sociology, Criminology and Deviance student, Adam William Colclough and BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation, student Georgina Buckley.
  • Jake Rodgers (CAE) nominated by Tony CRAIG
  • Rachel Day (CAE) nominated by Simon SMITH
  • Dylan Foster (BLE) nominated by Aisha ABUELMAATTI
  • Grace Thomson (BLE) nominated by Aisha Abulemaatti
  • Mollie Barker (BLE) nominated by Aisha Abulemaatti
  • Ciaran Pearson-More (LSE) nominated by Philip WALKER
  • Georgina Buckley (LPF) nominated by Rachel BOLTON-KING
  • Constantinos Pavlakos (LPF) nominated by Rhiannon FROST
  • Lindsay Franklin (HSC) nominated by Maqsoodah ASHRAF
  • Richenda Treharne (HSC) nominated by Lisa Beeston
  • Katie Roughan (HSC) nominated by Lisa Beeston
  • Adam Colclough (LPF) nominated by Emma TEMPLE-MALT
  • Rahee Ali (LSE) nominated by Paul ORSMOND
  • Kalina Kolchevska (CDT) nominated by Alke GROPPEL-WEGENER

Congratulations to all of our students for all your hard work!

 

 

 

What You Can Expect on Our Offer Holder Days

We had our third Offer Holder Day, on Saturday 17th February, for our 2018 entry applicants. The School of Law, Policing and Forensics applicants met our staff, a few of our students, and experienced taster sessions of what they can expect if they choose to study at Staffordshire University.

Chemistry is a part of the School of Law, Policing and Forensics, and is new for 2018. Our Chemistry applicants had hands on experience in our labs, where they conducted some paracetamol analysis and calculations .

Law applicants on a mixture of our Law courses, including the new BA Criminal Justice with Offender Management, got involved in two interactive sessions.

Louis Martin and Anna Garland used real life case studies and encouraged interactive discussions. Louis focused on serial killers and Criminal Law and Anna discussed the core areas of Legal study that students can expect to learn about (Contract Law, Tort Law, Constitutional Law, Property Law, Equitable Remedies, EU Law and Criminal Law), using a few of the following examples:

Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)
The Conjoined Twins: Surgical Separation (2001)
Jolly v Sutton LBC (2000).

Former Senior Investigating Officer for Staffordshire Police and Course Leader of our Policing and Criminal Investigation courses, Phil Lee, briefed our applicants and then took them to the crime scene house; they took the role of Senior Investigating Officers, where they used body cameras and recorded evidence.

 

Professor James Treadwell encouraged our Sociology and Criminology applicants to think like a Sociologist and Criminologist when discussing topical images. Applicants were then given the opportunity to speak to one of our current Sociology students and ask questions.

Forensic Science and Forensic Investigation applicants were suited in protective clothing and had practical experience of crime scene processing and evidence analysis – at our crime scene house and labs.

Our next Offer Holder Day will take place on Wednesday 14th March. Find out more on our website.

What a Welcom(ing) Week it was to Start the Academic Year

Follow us on Twitter: #proudtobestaffs

The academic year has gotten off to a fantastic, albeit busy, start. Welcome Week saw the arrival of new and returning students and LPF staff were delighted to begin teaching.

LPF first year students were introduced to our staff

 

For our first year students, the week commenced with enrolment and welcome talks from the Vice Chancellor, Liz Barnes, individual subject talks, safety talks from Staffordshire Univeristy Police, the societies and clubs fair and exciting activities – allowing students and staff to get to know one another.

 

 

Students had the opportunity to chat to staff over a warm drink and biscuits and receive one of the departmental hoodies.

Students enjoyed a few activities to ease them into the academic year…

Students linking pipe cleaners together to represent increasing their social capital and networking

Criminal Justice and Forensic Science quiz winners: 1st Rebecca Wheeler & Hannah Blackburn. 3rd place Kathryn Davis.

… and the week ended with a mock court trial at Hanley Court.

The jury taking notes

Teaching is now well underway and our students are working hard and are eager to learn. Returning students are already getting involved with various assements, projects, and mentoring.

Course mentors for Level Four Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Students

Preparing the Crime Scene House for a practical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Law Society

The Forensic Dive Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is to a wonderful academic year: 2017-2018! #proudtobestaffs

 

 

Graduates of 2017

Proud friends and family members cheered as our – School of Law, Policing and Forensic – graduates received their much-deserved certificates, yesterday afternoon in Trentham gardens.


Guests were not alone in celebrating the success of our graduates. Staff, dressed in their gowns which demonstrate their academic achievement, applauded the achievement of their former students. Speeches were given by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Liz Barnes, our Dean of Law Policing and Forensics, Sean Curley, and the Student Union Vice-President, Swetha Reddy.

Nigel Meadows, Senior Coroner of Manchester City and former LLB Law graduate of Staffordshire University was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws. He is also a member of the group for the National Enquiry into suicide and homicide by people with mental illness, a Director of Training for Coroners for the National Judicial College and a representative of the Coroners Society on the Forensic End Users Group.

Kayleigh Sheppard and Alison Davidson, one of Staffordshire University’s own Specialist Skills Technicians, were award their PhDs.

Kayleigh Sheppard, PhD, with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Liz Barnes

Kayleigh’s thesis was titled ‘An evaluation of the use of 360 degree photographic technology in a forensic context’.

“My thesis explored the use of 360 degree photographic technology for recording and presenting crime scenes in the courtroom and sought to validate such technology for use within criminal investigations. In addition, the research sought to adapt the existing camera technology to incorporate lighting systems to allow the detection and visualisation of biological fluids at crime scenes [and] to make such camera technology systems more versatile within criminal investigations.”

Alison Davidson, PhD

Alison’s thesis was titled ‘A study of the Potential Evidential Value of Perfumes, Antiperspirants and Deodorants in Forensic Science’.

“I was interested in whether the aroma chemicals we apply to our skin and clothes every day can tell investigators who we are and what we do, and whether, if a suspect leaves a garment at a crime scene it could be matched to the suspect later by the smelly chemicals on the clothes and skin. As I’m still working in the Analytical Methods Laboratory I’ll be continuing to research the human chemical profile and what it can reveal about our lifestyle.”

 

After the ceremony, celebratory drinks were had and there was no shortage of places to have a celebratory bite to eat. The sun had finally made an appearance and many took the opportunity of taking momentous photos in the scenic grounds of Trentham. The Staffordshire University merchandise also proved a great success.

 

 

 

Overall it was wonderful day and university staff and current student ambassadors enjoyed sharing the day. Congratulations graduates of Law, Policing and Forensics!

What are we doing this summer? The first of an ongoing set of posts…

It can seem that academics have a lot of free time in the summer, but it’s often when we do research work, prepare classes, and organise conferences. I’ll be posting news here from different parts of the School.

 

Juliet Prince and Laura Wlaton-Williams are spending part of  the summer organising a conference. Farah, myself and Laura are arranging the below and are happy for this to appear on a blog

The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Department will be holding the inaugural, cross-disciplinary ‘Investigating Sexual Violence’ Conference in January 2018.  The aim of this conference is to explore current challenges and future developments in the entirety of the investigatory process into sexual offences.  The conference will include presentations and workshops from academics and practitioners from within Law, Criminology, Health, Nursing, Psychology, Forensic Science and Policing fields.  This  one day conference is relevant to Police Forces, Criminal Justice Agencies, academics, students and those working for organisations involved in supporting victims of sexual offences.

In addition all the PCI lecturers are spending considerable time over the summer considering the College of Policing proposals regarding apprenticeships and pre-join degrees.

 

GradEx 2017

This is the third year of the GradEx show and the Forensics, Policing and Criminal Investigation team submitted over sixty entrants. It took three rooms to hold them. They take up 8 pages in the catalogue.

The day began with a visit from the Mayor 

 

and a welcome from the Grad Ex team, 

 

 

then it was on to meet the judges…

It’s not possible to mention all the papers, but highlights include Mia Jane’s Abbott’s work examining the Amnesty Box at music festivals for “legal highs”, Natalie Atkinson’s project on the persistence of bodily fluids after immersion, which will provide evidence in rape trials. Jake Bayliss was also working on persistence of fibres, this time comparing the effects of still water to moving water (in the river Trent) over a six week period. Jessica Crossland looked at the evidential value of tatoos both permanent and temporary and the effect of fire and chemical burning on discolouration.  Josh Hill explored the scatter pattern of microparticles from gunshots, and Tim Mussellwhite explored the small drones by the police and crime investigation authorities.Jessica Wakefield-Baugh revisted Oswiecim (Auschwitz) to remap the charted graves and uncover new ones.

The winners were Elli Savari, MSci Investigation supervised by Laura Walton-Williams and Lance Malcolm, supervised by David Flatman-Fairs.

 

 

 

 

 

Overall a fantastic day. Thank you in particular to Laura Walton-Williams and Juliet Prince for all their work.

 

 

Student Ambassador Awards 2017

One of the ways we seek to make our Open Days welcoming is through the help of our Student Ambassadors. There are around 200 of these, and they take turns to guide students and family through Open Days and Applicant Days; they go into Schools and Colleges; deliver workshops at Staffs Uni and answer your questions from their direct experience.

This is only the second year we’ve run the awards.

The event was a collaboration between Paul Donnelly and Laura Knight and Jamie Leese

We had canapes and prosecco before going into one of our most up to date lecture theatres for the presentation. 

 

There were twelve section awards given out for different aspects of the ambassador contribution. Bertha Eke more than demonstrated why she won the prize for Enthusiasm, and as someone who has more than once arrived at events to find a ‘crisis’ in progress, I was tickled by Klaudia Szatkowska’s Make the Best of a Bad Job Award.

Award                                                 Winner

Residential Ambassador Award                Sam Pillow

Post 16 Ambassador Award                     Lucy Beaman & Satty Kaur

Best Newcomer                                     Carly Twigg

Ambassador Enthusiasm Award               Bertha Eke

Open Day Ambassador Award                  Jess Prince

Best Communicator Award                     Marlone Judith

 

 

Making the best of a bad job award           Klaudia Szatkowska

UCAS Exhibitions Ambassador               Lauren Welsh

Great Minds Bus Tour Ambassador           Arpan Bedi

Services to Admissions & Enrolment       Gitana Duka & Julie-Anne Slevin

Social Media Award                               Sam Pillow   

Above and Beyond Award                       Elli Sarvari

 

 

The final award of the evening, to the Ambassador of the year, went to Jess Prince.