Young Detectives Week 2024

On 15th April our Blackpool FC School students began their week-long Young Detective Programme delivered by Blackpool Police. The students enjoyed a hands-on experience of what it’s like to be a detective solving a crime, they learned about the effects of knife crime in-depth and even interviewed people first-hand who have been affected by knife crime. This programme also allows students to get a taste of what a career in policing would entail.

On day one of the investigation the students attended a presentation from an A&E nurse from Salford General Hospital. This provided the students with an insight into what happens in A&E and the seriousness of key workers who respond to these tragedies every day. The students then interviewed the victim and his mother to gain an understanding of the crime that had taken place.

Students became crime scene investigators on day two. They used their problem-solving skills and critical thinking to decipher what had happened. The students followed real-life crime scene protocols by assessing the scene where the crime occurred, using cameras to take photos of the suspected weapon and bagging up the evidence to be inspected.

On day three of the investigation, students visited Blackpool Police Station for a tour of the interview rooms. They also had the opportunity to talk to officers about identity parades, the students then identified the perpetrator in their ongoing investigation. In the afternoon, students enjoyed a visit from ‘The JJ Effect’, who spoke to the students about a lived experience of knife crime. The powerful and informative presentation allowed the students to understand how serious knife crime can be and the effects it has on those who experience it.

On day four the students visited Preston Crown Court to watch their suspect be sentenced. The Judges spoke to the students about sentencing and educated them on county lines. After court, the students were then visited by Mandy, a mother who lost her child in a Liverpool stabbing. She told the students about her son being stabbed in a fight and about her battle to bring those who did it to justice.

To round up the Young Detective Programme, on day five students were tasked with delivering a presentation to showcase what they have learned over the week. Students were split into groups to present in front of Blackpool FC School staff and their families, they discussed in detail the skills they have gained and the knowledge they have obtained. At the end, students were then presented with awards including a signed Blackpool FC football for their hard work during the week.

Detective Sergeant Brittany Shaw said,

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with students from the Community Trust on this project. It was really rewarding to watch their confidence grow from day one up to the final presentation.

“The project allowed the students to gain a real insight into not only how we solve crimes and the different stages, but also hear from real-life victims of knife crime. Hearing from these speakers really puts things into perspective.

“The students showed great teamwork, investigative skills, and a real positive attitude. We hope they enjoyed their experience with us.”

Gemmam Trickett, Head of School said,

“We have been thrilled to take part in the young detective programme. Our pupils gained real-life, hands-on experience of how the police, key workers and detectives deal with difficult and traumatic situations daily. The impact of seeing real-life situations and speaking to families and friends of those affected by knife crime has impacted our pupils.

“Our pupils have reaped the benefits of the opportunities given to them. This programme brought new experiences allowing our pupils to step outside of their comfort zone, developing their teamwork skills and improving their communication skills through interviewing victims and perpetrators, alongside gaining the chance to speak with crown court judges about the effects of knife crime and how sentencing works.

“Not only has this programme educated about the dangers of knife crime but it has inspired our pupils to see the wide variety of careers associated with the police and criminal investigations.

“I would like to thank Blackpool Police for organising this fantastic programme and for giving my pupils a unique and informative practical experience.”