On a day to day basis I attend any crime scenes which have happened, mostly in the area I work in. These crime scenes can be anything from burglaries (which are the most common crime scenes I attend daily) to murders and other serious incidents. I attend these scenes and gather information on what may or may not have taken place, record the scene by means of photography and then look for and collect any evidence which may identify or eliminate the potential suspect. These types of evidence include, DNA which can be from swabbing or taping blood samples, saliva samples, cellular areas of contact, fingermarks from scenes and then taking elimination fingerprints from victims and or witnesses, hairs and fibres, glass samples and other types of evidence.
My role can help, along with other departments in the police, identify suspects and sometimes victims in cases. It can also help identify how something may have happened. My role positively impacts the victims of the case by helping catch the perpetrator and give them closure. It also helps the wider public as by identifying who was involved it can help prevent this occurring again.
I left Abertay and moved back to Edinburgh where I got a job running the housekeeping department for the corporate suites of a stadium. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) got a job down in England and I decided to take a leap and move down with him to be with him of course but also knowing that there was more opportunity for me to pursue my career in forensic science. When I first moved down within a week I got a job working in the coffee bar for an advertisement company. Less than a month later I interviewed and was employed by LGC working in a pharmaceutical lab. I started as a lab assistant and 3 months later was promoted to lab analyst. After a year I successfully applied for a role as a DNA analyst in a scene of crime DNA lab within the company. I worked in this lab for a further 20 months before successfully applying for a job in the drugs lab as a reporting officer analysing illicit drugs. During my time working in the drugs lab I successfully applied to become a special constable which I still do now. I worked in the drugs lab for 3 years before going through the rigorous application process and securing a job with the police as a crime scene examiner.
Over 300 people applied for the role I am currently doing and then 66 interviewed for only 23 positions. I was one of the successful 23. This has been my biggest success. My biggest challenge was moving down to a different city and starting over again in order to build the career and life I have.
Currently I am only just over a year in to my post and I see myself working here for the long term. But I am a very ambitious person and I see myself working as a crime scene manager in the future. I have managed to get to where I am through sheer determination, hard work and the loving support of my family; I know I can go far in the organisation.
I have managed to get to where I am through sheer determination, hard work and the loving support of my family; know I can go far in the organisation.Laura Green | UK | Assistant Forensic Practitioner, also known as a Scene of Crime Officer
Abertay was one of the only 2 universities accredited by the Forensic Science Society in Scotland and had amazing reviews. It was also a little closer to home than the other which definitely swayed my choice a little too.
My degree and the lecturers who taught me prepared m by showing me that there is a lot more to Forensic Science than you see on CSI and NCIS. It taught me fundamental skills which I have been able to build on over the years in order to secure myself the job I have now.
Abertay is a fantastic university with some of the best lecturers I have come across through the many open days I attended and even events I have attended since leaving Abertay.
I found it very difficult. The application process is tough and in Forensic Science the jobs are limited and it can be easy to give up. I almost did but I always knew what I was meant to do and that got me through.
Believe in yourself. I didn’t leave university with a first class honours degree and thought that was it for me and my dreams of working in forensics was over, yet here I am 7 and a half years down the line, working for the police doing what I dreamed of doing since I was 13 years old. It is tough and you need to be open to relocating if you want to achieve your dreams but it is possible if you want it enough.