The University of Derby’s new Forensic Training Facility (FTF) has been officially launched.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Coyne; the Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, Mick Creedon; and the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, David Coleman, cut the ‘crime scene tape’ in a ceremony declaring the building open for business.
The FTF is a £410,000 custom-built facility within, what looks from the outside, to be a normal four bedroom house, adjacent to the University’s Kedleston Road site.
Hidden behind its walls are up to seven replica crime scenes (including a bedroom, bathroom, office, shop, garage, living room) and a blood pattern analysis room – believed to be the only one in a UK university.
The house is fitted with state of the art CCTV, audio-visual equipment and other technology allowing tutors to monitor students from a distance, so they can work crime scenes independently in a real-life setting.
The building was designed to a very precise specification, providing top-notch facilities not just for students on Forensic Science courses but also external clients, such as the emergency services, who will use the building for staff training.
Dr. Ian Turner, Head of Forensic Science at the University of Derby, said: “This is a really exciting development for the University. Having this resource onsite allows us to give our students the skills needed to develop a career in forensic science because they are learning in a real life context, with the same equipment and facilities used by professionals.
“The staff on the teaching team are also a major asset. The academics leading the project have nearly 30 years of commercial forensic experience between them in addition to their academic expertise, and can share their skills and knowledge with the students.”
University of Derby Online Learning, which allows students from all over the world to balance work and family life and gain qualifications without leaving home, has also used the facility to film a 360 degree virtual crime scene. Students on its Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation course can navigate the scene remotely, collecting and analysing evidence then write and prepare a statement of evidence for a court of law.
The FTF is one of many major estates developments made by the University this year. Also recently completed is the new courtroom at the Kedleston Road site, which is an exact replica of a real courtroom, used by students on Forensic Science courses as well as those studying law and criminology.