Alison H.

CSI Supervisor
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Alison H.
United Kingdom

My employment

CSI Supervisor
United Kingdom
Politics and public affairs
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a CSI Supervisor in the United Kingdom

Crime Scene Investigations Supervisor

What I do

I supervise a team of busy CSI's in a large UK city. I perform the role of Crime Scene Manager at major crime scenes, which involves planning strategies for the examination of the scene and managing the team who conduct those examinations. I decide how evidence is processed and liaise with senior investigating officers to decide what forensic evidence is useful in a case. The role is varied and everyday I come into something new - it could range from anything from a burglary to a murder.

What I like most

I enjoy solving problems and working out the sequence of events from physical evidence. I get real motivation from identifying offenders.

What I like least

Shift work can be hard work sometimes and have a real impact on your personal life.

How I looked for work

Websites and policing publications.

How I found out about the job

Employer's website

The recruitment process

An application form followed by assessment day and then interview.

My career history

I have worked for the Police since I graduated from my MSc.
I started as a SOCO in 2002 and got promoted to CSI Supervisor in 2007.

What has helped my career to progress

Adaptability - I have had to move around the country to get promotion and take on additional responsibility and work to earn the courses which in turn allow me to progress in my career.

Courses taken since graduation

MSC Forensic Archaeology.
Diploma in Crime Scene Examination.
Various courses available to police staff through the College of Policing.

How my studies have helped my career

Archaeology is surprisingly transferable into police work. Both require you to have an inquisitive nature and be a problem solver in a hands on way. A grounding in the environmental sciences from my degree was useful, as was report writing and plan drawing.
I occasionally still get to use a lot of my archaeological skills when it comes to identification of human remains and deciding if they are of archaeological or forensic interest.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Forensic Coordinator - overseeing the forensic work at Category A murder scenes.

My advice to students considering work

Make sure you do what you enjoy. Your career lasts a long time.
If you're looking for work in the Police then be aware that recent spending cuts have had a huge effect on the availability of jobs. Being a graduate will not necessarily stand you above applicants from other backgrounds, so make sure you have other experience to call upon as well.

My advice about working in my industry

Work experience probably won't be an option, so look to get yourself as many transferable skills as possible from elsewhere.
CSI's need to be good all rounders - you need to be happy working in a lab environment, out and about, in a group or alone. You will work with all sections of the community on a daily basis, so I would recommend you gain experience working with different types of people from different backgrounds - by doing charity work for example.
Be aware you will see unpleasant things. You will have to be resilient enough to deal with bodies and post mortem examinations.
This job is incredibly rewarding and varied, but it will ask a lot of you physically, mentally and emotionally and it will only suit a small proportion of people. You have to be adaptable and flexible and incredibly resilient.
As employers we are more concerned with the sort of person you are, rather than the knowledge you have - we can easily teach you to be a CSI, but not everyone is cut out for this sort of role.

Contacting me

I'm happy to be contacted by anyone considering a career in Crime Scene Investigation.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Alison’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Alison a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Alison to be your mentor.

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