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News (Media Awareness Project) - UK: Coventry University Students Join Police To Help Combat
Title:UK: Coventry University Students Join Police To Help Combat
Published On:2011-12-10
Source:Coventry Telegraph (UK)
Fetched On:2011-12-13 06:06:06

ASPIRING forensic investigators at Coventry University swapped their
classroom for a city shopping centre when they joined a team of canine
counterparts in a live police training exercise.

Students from the university were given the opportunity to practice
real-life scenarios when they teamed up with West Midlands Police to
help train their detection dogs.

The students - all on the forensic investigations BSc course - spent
Thursday morning at the West Midlands Police Dog Training Centre in
Balsall Common, before taking part in a live training exercise in West
Orchards Shopping Centre in Coventry.

Drug residues were placed on ten students, who then mingled with
shoppers while the police dogs tracked down and identified them in a
real time scenario.

The exercise was part of a drive by course leaders to help
undergraduates understand and put into practice real-life
investigative approaches to solving crime as well as laboratory-based
analysis methods.

Chris Hiley, senior lecturer in forensic and investigative studies at
Coventry University, said: "This was a fantastic and unique
opportunity for our first-year students. To be able to spend the
morning at the West Midlands Police Dog Training Centre and then take
part in an actual training exercise with the force and its detection
dogs offered a valuable insight into the investigative processes
behind front-line forensics work.

"These undergraduates represent the next generation of forensic
analysts and investigators, so it's important that they have the
chance to get involved with the real-life practical elements of the
work at as early a stage as possible. I'd like to thank West Midlands
Police for giving our students this opportunity."

Students on the three-year course have the opportunity to use the
university's state-of-the-art laboratory facilities - which include
blood testing and blood typing equipment, and finger print recovery
technology - as well as a dedicated 'crime scene room' where they can
apply the techniques they have developed and learn how to photograph a
crime scene.

PC Michael McGinty, from West Midlands Police Force, said: "We were
delighted to be able to offer the students a chance to get involved
with these training exercises and to help in the effort to get drugs
off our streets.

"Our police dogs are crucial when it comes to combating drug culture
and providing valuable support to the West Midlands Police Force, so
seeing how we work with them will be useful for the students and their
future studies."
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