Craig Ratcliffe graduated with an MSCi in Forensic Investigation in 2015 from the School of Law Policing and Forensics.
At the end of his degree year in 2014 he was selected to undertake a 6 week placement with Staffordshire Police through the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership. During his placement he worked on a joint project entitled The Use of Immersive Digital Technologies for Police and Forensic Services in 21st Century.
It is what we would now call Virtual Reality and was clearly ahead of its time, as it is really only in the last couple of years that police forces have started to seriously look at VR as a means of delivering realistic practical training for officers and staff.
Craig’s first role after graduation was with West Mercia Police working as Digital Forensic Investigator which saw him capturing CCTV from both residential and commercial crime scenes. A year later he joined Staffordshire Police as a Digital Forensic Investigator which involved recovering CCTV evidence and attending and taking photographs at post mortems to assist police, the coroner and where required the court.
In 2017 he was appointed a Forensic Investigator (CSI) within Staffordshire realising a long held ambition.
His role was and is to attend (mainly) volume crime scenes to recover forensic evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, and footwear impressions. Craig attributes his degree and experience from Staffordshire University as giving him the basic skills and confidence to start a career in the police.
Earlier this year after some four years experience as a Forensic Investigator, Craig was appointed a Crime Scene Manager within Staffordshire Police. He is the youngest person in the force to hold the position. Whilst he remains an FI on a day-to-day basis, when it comes to major or complex crime scenes the role sees Craig directing and tasking other Forensic Investigators to carry out scene actions relating to the incident they are dealing with. The CSM also creates a scene and crime specific forensic strategy to ensure that best evidence is preserved.
The role is also a liaison one, linking in with Senior Investigating Officers, attending briefings and working with the Forensic Coordinator to ensure that the correct resources are available.
Craig is also using his experience to help develop the next generation of forensic specialists studying at Staffordshire University as he has joined the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership as a work stream lead. He hopes to be able to attend lectures and mentor students undertaking a placement project very much as he did in 2014.
Here is Craig speaking in 2019 of his student experience with the SFP at the 3rd year celebrations of the partnership.