CSI For a Day

CSI For a Day

Sixth Form Psychology students welcomed Senior Officer Jasmine White from the CSI Division of West Yorkshire Police to talk about her fascinating role as a Crime Scene Investigator.

After giving a brief overview of her qualifications and experience,  Jasmine offered valuable careers’ advice to the students currently studying Criminology and Forensic Science as part of their A level course.  She discussed the possible career options available and, with many police forces moving towards graduate entry level, recommended a number of specific university courses that have been tailored to meet the growing interest in Forensic Science.

Jasmine explained that, as a CSI, she is generally required to attend a crime scene shortly after a crime has been committed and can therefore be called out at any time of the day or night. These can be to any one of a broad spectrum of scene types; from murders, suspicious deaths, assaults and burglaries to accidents and car crime. Basically any incident where there is a realistic chance of recovering any evidence that can lead to an arrest.

CSI3After first changing into what she described as the ‘extremely uncomfortable and very unflattering’ white suit, thus dispelling the myth popularised  by the successful TV series that a CSI is always dressed in a designer suit and heels,  Jasmine’s role is to then photograph, draw, document, collect and preserve crime scene evidence.

Jasmine then provided a very detailed and interesting overview about how she carried out the specifics of her job, and introduced students to ‘Locard’s Law’ – that every contact leaves a trace. She discussed how evidence is collected; DNA, fibres, fingerprints, footprints and even the methods used to determine if a sample is human blood. She discussed the factors affecting the quality of the samples and highlighted the many advances in Forensics, particularly in the area of DNA collection and analysis.

CSI2Students were then shown the specialised equipment used to collect the evidence, with Shakiba Mahmood happy to model the infamous suit to her peers.

The visit concluded with a question and answer session with students keen to find out more about her role and the science behind it.