If you saw people at WITT in white lab coats
entering a police restricted area on the top floor of A Block - its
okay, Christine, Michael, and the NRG students were on the case!
Christine and Michael Fenton developed and ran a
series of 3-day CSI Forensic workshops at the Western Institute of Technology at
Taranaki. The workshops proved
extremely popular and won Christine an award for Innovation and
The TV show CSI revolves
around a team of Las Vegas forensic Crime Scene Investigators.
Our heroes fill dual roles as both
police detective and scientist, relentlessly analysing every detail at
the scene of the crime, no matter how seemingly irrelevant or grotesque
in nature. These super sleuths have science and experience on their
side to solve any case!
Our award winning 3-day
Forensics courses highlighted that crime scene investigation relies on
two different specialist roles; the the laboratory based
forensic scientists and the crime scene based police officers and
| Local investigators
from the New Plymouth CIB tell us how it really is...
- Detective Senior Sargeant Grant Coward,
- Constable Katrina Bunning,
- Senior Constable David Armstrong.
The New Plymouth CIB team set up a crime scene
and used this to introduce the concepts of identifying and collecting
Students worked in teams to try and determine who
the offender was and what happened at the scene.
Senior Constable Armstrong acted in his real-life
role as Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) guiding each team and dusting for
Constable Bunning gave advice and noted how the
teams performed which provided valuable feedback later on.
Detective Snr Sgt Coward teaches one of the
teams how to record fingerprints.
He also talked to the class about career
opportunities in the police force and some of his experiences working
in the CIB.
Spot the two members of the New Zealand Fire
Service who took part in the workshop...(see the class photos below!)
Scientists Michael and Christine Fenton taught
the lab classes and discussed career options in Forensic Science and
the work of the ESR.
The teams also carried out a barrage of lab tests
as part of their attempt to determine the identity of the offender.
Students learnt about blood typing, extracting
DNA, hair and fiber analysis, stains, developing latent fingerprints,
plaster casts, and chemical tests.
A demonstration of LUMINOL used to detect minute
traces of blood at a crime scene or on clothing was awesome.
The message from both the scientists and the
police was simple: The offender will get caught!
Forensic Science is the application of science to
matters of law.
As our knowledge and technical expertise in
science increases so does the complexity and importance of the science
presented to the courts in the legal system.
These students now have some knowledge and
- Crime Scene definition
- Types of crime scene
- Identifying relevant physical evidence
- Collecting and preserving evidence
- Processing relevant physical evidence
Thanks to NRG members Ryan Hill and Jargil Santos
for being good sports when "arrested" on day 3 as the offenders.
The students used the internet to learn about
ballistics, wound entry points, forensic entomology, forensics
toxicology and anything else they found interesting.
Careers: The New
Zealand Police and Forensic Science
The New Zealand Police website with loads of
information including careers advice
Science and Research Ltd
ESR is contracted to provide Police
with a one-stop forensic service. This includes managing a databank of
DNA samples, and analysing illicit drugs, body fluids, physical
evidence from crime scenes, and blood taken from drunk drivers. ESR
also services and calibrates Police breath testing equipment.
From Crime to Court - the work of a Forensic
Frequently Asked Questions
Kiwi Careers - Profile of a Forensic Scientist
Auckland University and ESR
OTHER WORLDWIDE WEBSITES:
General Training and Simulations
The FBI's handbook on Forensic Science.
Forensic Timeline Site A list of how
forensics developed throughout the ages.
Newsweek's Article: "Down on the Body Farm"
where donated or unclaimed bodies end up simulating victims so forensic
experts can study decomposition, etc.
Extract Human DNA - your own! A
simple explanation about cells and DNA with an original technique to
see your own DNA.
Gel electrophoresis demonstration at home or at
school The use of electricity to seperate molecules in
solution. The basis for DNA fingerprinting.
Murder in the Science Lab
Basics of forensic anthropology
A tour of human bones
Reconstructing a face
Fire cause and origin
Point of Origin
The Fire & Arson Investigations
The Luminol test
Blood types tutorial
More on Luminol
Blood spatter analysis
Crime scene response guidelines
Articles on protecting a crime scene
Examining a major crime scene
Photography for the Crime Scene Technician
Time of death
The Art and Science of Criminal Investigation
Crime Scene Cleaners carve out a gory niche
Bite marks as evidence
Saliva: your spitting image
Extract Human DNA - your own!
electrophoresis demonstration at home or at school
DNA detectives lab
Dept. of Defense DNA Registry
Basics of DNA fingerprinting
An intro to DNA testing for non-scientists
Forensic-Entomology.com - Insects in Legal
Introduction to forensic entomology
Basics of forensic entomology
The use of insects in death investigations
Forensic Entomology Pages, International.
Introduction to fingerprints
Overview of fingerprints
Techniques for gathering fingerprints
Hair and fibres introduction
Basics on hair and fibres
Hair and fibre at the crime scene
Handwriting and documents
Examining questioned documents
Science document analysis
Shoe and tyre examination resources
Basics on toxicology
Poisons and antidotes