Forensics is exactly like CSI?

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. One of the most watched programmes on TV, which was not only adored by American viewers but also viewers worldwide. Unfortunately, I have only recently been introduced to CSI and I have to agree the few I have watched have been pretty good and I can understand why so many are so easily hooked.

However, my reason for watching CSI was because I am currently studying a forensics module. Therefore, we have been shown lots of different techniques for collecting fingerprints, shoe prints, tyre marks, DNA, hair, other fibres, ballistics and a few others, which we have then related to relevance in a criminal case. For instance, if fibres are found at a crime scene and they are from white cotton or denim, this type of evidence is usually deemed irrelevant because so many people own denim and white cotton; hence the fibres could belong to anyone. In order to look into these techniques a little more, we were told to watch a few CSI episodes or something similar, like Bones, and evaluate how the forensic evidence was collected, how the forensic team worked with the police and what they actually contributed to the investigation. I have to admit, I think CSI would have been much better if I hadn’t been asked to pick it apart, but it was very interesting to see what kind of methods were used and how. It seemed the forensic evidence available to them was plentiful, the analyses took less than 24 hours, the forensic teams solved the entire case alone and apparently they can see in the dark to collect tiny pieces of forensic evidence. None of this happens in real forensic science of a crime scene. I am sorry for anyone I have just ruined CSI for, but I never realised how little it relates to true forensics before I was assigned this task. The seminars in this module have included taking our fingerprints and DNA, foot treads and making plastic casts of tool indents: it’s been great to see how it’s really done! I would really recommend this module to anyone who thinks this sounds interesting…but it’s not as cool as CSI regrettably!

Also, to any Criminology students who are coming to Leicester University and making Leicester their firm choice, I have been made aware of a Facebook page for all ‘firmers’, where I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the course. I hope you’re all excited about coming to Leicester! Here is the link for anyone who wants to join the page

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About Hannah

Hannah graduated from the University in Summer 2013 and is no longer blogging for this site.

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