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Youngsters in Morton turn detective for the day with help from local officers

Posted on 4th June 2015

Youngsters at Morton Primary School have enjoyed investigating a crime scene at their school alongside local Safer Neighbourhood officers.

PCSO’s Kate Hodnett and Gary Green from the North Wingfield, Pilsley, Stonebroom and Shirland Safer Neighbourhood Team and PCSO Charlotte Platts from the Holmewood, Grassmoor, Calow and Arkwright beat attended the primary school on Main Road in Morton on Tuesday, May 19.

Before the Year 5 and 6 students arrived at school that morning, officers set the scene by making it look like a burglary has been committed overnight. To make it look realistic, evidence was placed around the area including fingerprints, clothing fibres and the tools used to gain entry.

The officers also arranged stories for the head teacher, caretaker and local residents so the pupils were able to conduct interviews and house-to-house enquiries.

At the start of the session, pupils were told that sometime overnight, an unknown offender had forced entry into the caretakers shed at the back of the school and items had been stolen.

The classes were then split into two groups.  The first group became police officers and it was their job to investigate the crime and conduct relevant enquiries. Each pupil was given a pocket notebook with Morton Primary Constabulary on the front so they could each record the evidence they had gathered.

The second group were the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) officers and it was their job to gather all the forensic evidence left behind by the offender.  They were shown how to seize evidence and taught about the importance of preserving evidence for the investigation including about fingerprints, DNA and fibres.

Finally, all of the evidence was put together including from the scene and interviews from residents and staff. Students then decided upon 12 suspects for the crime and they used their skills to narrow the suspects down to one.

PCSO Hodnett said: “The students did an amazing job and came up with some interesting theories. Their final conclusion was that the school had arranged for a local handyman to do some repairs but he had done a terrible job and the school had refused to pay unless he came back to correct it.

“The offender decided to take matters into his own hands and so between the hours stated he parked his vehicle on the driveway of the school and climbed over the bin, leaving a footprint. He did have gloves on but this was making the crime difficult to commit so he removed his gloves, dropping one in the process. He then used a screwdriver to force open the shed door cutting his hand leaving [fake] blood at the scene along with the tool and fingerprints. 

“He threw several items over the school fence before climbing over it and ripping his overalls leaving clothing fibres behind. He then made his way back to his van and was spotted by several residents in the process.

“Gary, Charlotte and I had an absolutely fantastic day hosting the event for the children. We would like to thank staff and the local residents for being so welcoming and playing the roles so well to give pupils the best experience possible. We really hope youngsters enjoyed their day and learned more about the role of policing in their community.  We are now hoping to host similar sessions with other local schools.”

Head teacher, Susan Russell said: “The children were gripped by the realism of the situation and the fact that the local community stepped forward to accept door-to-door enquiries was so good of them, it gave the children the chance to experience key roles within the police. Pupils have since said to me that they now want to consider careers in the police force following the event.”

To speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood team call 101. You can also follow @CfieldEastSNT and @SouthEasternSNT on Twitter to keep up to date with policing in your area.

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