Criminology and Forensic Psychology Conference

Criminology and Forensic Psychology Conference

On Monday 3 February, 20 Upper Sixth pupils applying to study psychology at university attended a fascinating criminology and forensic psychology conference that gave our pupils a unique opportunity to see how psychological theory is applied in the real-world. The day was hosted by David Wilson, presenter of BBC’s Crime Files, and featured Dr Graham Pike, Professor of Forensic Cognition, Jackie Malton, former senior Met police detective best known for being the inspiration for the character of DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, Professor James Treadwell, Professor in Criminal Psychology and Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, reformed former violent offender.

Through interactive activities, pupils discovered the fallibility of their own eye witness testimonies and learnt that 75 per cent of wrongful convictions feature mistaken witness reports. Pupils also assessed their accuracy in determining liars, finding that on average, the general public are very bad at detecting if someone is lying and that the biggest clues are often not visual (e.g. touching face, avoiding eye contact, etc.) but verbal (e.g. stuttering, repeating phrases, etc.).

Speakers discussed famous murder cases in British history, for example the Ipswich murders in 2006 and the spree killings by Joanna Dennehy in 2013. They explored the forensic evidence used in the cases and considered the biological, psychological and social factors that make a murderer.

The day concluded with a Q&A session with Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, former ‘professional’ bank robber and convicted criminal on his journey into crime, the realities of living in prison, and his path to redemption and reformation.

Pupils were able to make strong links to the specification and apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life case studies. It was certainly an enriching experience for all who attended!   

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