Drama students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) put their improvisational skills to the test as they acted in a true crime simulation being investigated by Criminal Investigation and Policing Studies students.
Students scour DMU's crime scene house for clues
The cross-faculty exercise, which took place last week, saw several groups of Policing students investigate a recreated crime scene, prevent contamination and interrogate and interact with actors as witnesses. Policing students even had to deal with drama students playing the part of prying journalists who were trying to get a story.
De Montfort’s crime scene house, in which the exchange took place, is a terraced property located on the edge of campus and provides policing students with realistic training.
Dr Alissa Clarke, Associate Professor in Drama at DMU, said: “It’s really interesting watching our students throw themselves into the scenario so wholeheartedly; all while responding really thoughtfully and sensitively to the crime in question.”
Drama student Meredith Sawers was questioned by Policing students
Challenging students more, the issue simulated this year was topical as it was based around a recent and real-life crime which saw a photographer in Bristol sentenced to 16 years for drugging, rape and voyeurism offenses in which he lured would-be male fitness models to a makeshift studio under the pretence of a photoshoot.
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Alissa continued: “It also makes me realise how excellently our students can feedback and reflect on the skills they were using – it is a skill we really try to develop in students and one that is shared between two courses that are really different.”
The cross-discipline event has run annually for the last four years and, while the exercise only counts towards the Policing students’ grades, it provides both sides with the opportunity to apply skills learned on their courses.
Drama students Reece Reidy, Meredith, KIana Smithdale and Meera Joshi
Reece Reidy, a second-year Drama student involved, said: “As soon as I came out the door I put myself in the mind frame that this is happening to me and it felt very real.
“I think things like this make people take drama a lot more seriously as I think a lot of people tend to take practical things like drama as less academic and as less serious.”
Gabrielle Forde, one of the third-year Policing and Criminal Investigation students in the exercise, said: “In class, we get the theory part and we get the education part but, with this, we get the actual police practice which is good if you don’t get the opportunity to do real work experience for your desired job.”
The exchange is not the first of its kind – Drama and Policing students have also worked in tandem with Journalism BA (Hons) students in the past to hold a mock, police press conference. A future press conference is being planned for around February time next year.
Policing students Gabrielle Forde and Robyn Jennings gather more evidence
Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019