Student Experience

Aim

One of the key aims of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership is to enhance student employability and the student experience

 

Objectives

To help meet this key aim the following objectives have been identified in relation to the student experience:

  • Give students opportunity to gain relevant work experience or work in partnership
  • Give students opportunity to be involved in the development of strategic and/or tactical policies and training
  • Give students the opportunity to research topics currently of concern/interest to Staffordshire Police
  • Give students the opportunity to make real change within the community in which they live and study

 

2018 Six Week Projects

The 2018 six week summer placements have recently finished and the students presented their results to a variety of members of Staffordshire Police Forensic Services Department.  This year the titles were as follows:

  • Anti-Contamination NCALT Training Video Package.     
  • The Validation of a Presumptive Blood Testing Kit.
  • Effectiveness of NABIS Recovery Process and its Effect on Evidence.
  • Extracting Data from Fitness Tracking Devices.
  • Gap Analysis of ISO 17025 of 2005 Compared to ISO 17025 of 2017.
  • Feasibility of ILAC G19 in Relation to Quality Standards at Crime Scenes.
  • Evaluation of Electronic Devices for Capturing Footwear Impressions
  • Effectiveness Comparison of Indandione and DFO
  • Best Practice for Examination & Data Retrieval from Games Consoles.
  • Researching Non- Mainstream Messaging Apps and Data Retrieval.

Forensic Students Impress on Staffs Police Placements – 2018

 

2017 Six Week Projects

Titles of projects undertaken by students on 6 week placement:

  • Easylift tapes
  • Recovery of DNA from Aluminium Fingerprint Tape Lifts Using DNA17
  • Verification of Fingerprint Powders and Brushes at Crime Scenes for ISO17020
  • Planning DNA Validation at Crime Scenes for ISO17020
  • Validation of Presumptive Blood Tests
  • Preventing DNA Contamination – An NCALT Resource
  • Password Cracking Systems (joint project)
  • An Investigation into the Impact of Rooting Android Devices on User Data Integrity

 

2016 Six Week Projects

Titles of projects undertaken by students on 6 week placement:

  • Gel lifting of footwear marks
  • Presumptive drug analysis research (Psychoactive Substances)
  • Evaluating the storage of accelerants and development of a packaging guide/App
  • Whether DFO has any effect on ninhydrin treatments compared with ninhydrin only
  • DNA Success rates- the efficiency of cellular DNA recovery from a crime scene
  • The digital presentation of fingerprint evidence in a court setting
  • Fooling fingerprint scanners
  • Health data from smart watches and fitness watches

 

Previous Projects

Some examples of projects undertaken in previous years as part of the student placements within Staffordshire Police Forensic Services Department include:

  • 360o photography
  • Validation of Drying Cabinet
  • Comparison of Laser Measures
  • Barcoding / Exhibit labelling review
  • Success rates for superglue
  • Software development to extract & process data from iPhones (before there was anything on the market)
  • Process mapping the submissions process

 

Student Comments

Below are comments from students who undertook some of these placements and an indication of where they are now.

I was successful in application to complete a 6 week research project for Staffordshire Police within the Forensic Recovery Unit (FRU).  The experience I gained during this time was phenomenal, and I would strongly advice to take this opportunity.  The experience for me has enabled me to be where I am today, currently working as a Digital Forensic Examiner for Staffordshire Police.” Tina Varley, Digital Forensic Examiner

After proposing a research project of my choice, I felt excited and privileged that I was accepted to undertake a research placement with Staffordshire Police. The nature of the project I undertook gave me the opportunity to gain real world experience at crime scenes, working with Scene of Crimes Officers, enabling me to put my knowledge from my Forensic Science degree into practice. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Staffordshire Police, who were really helpful and friendly, and the six weeks finished far too quickly. It was an invaluable experience, one that I would undoubtedly take again, and without it, I would not be where I am today, continuing to research crime scene documentation technologies as part of a PhD.” Kayleigh Sheppard, PhD student

Working with Staffordshire Police provided a unique opportunity to bridge theoretic and practical knowledge working by with real life Digital Forensic experts. This experience also helped me realise and better understand the day-to-day challenges for law enforcement, and my potential in this specialist field. This fantastic experience has led to the formation of my own company called Semantics 21, who are now in partnership with Staffordshire Police, where we provide specialist algorithms and software to law enforcement“ Dr Liam Owens