The sight of police, specialist search dogs and white suited forensic scientists combing woods and grass land around Ambleside led to the arrest of man wanted in connection with a string of serious crimes.
Operation Blackstock, the two-day major incident exercise run annually by the University of Cumbria, puts policing, paramedic and forensic science students through their paces. Using realistic scenarios students are able to put their training into practice under the watchful eye of retired senior detective Francis Simpson.
“This is totally unique to the university with no other offering anything like this in terms of size and experiential learning through inter-professional relationships,” says Ashleigh Hunt, lecturer in forensic and investigative science at the University of Cumbria and the person who spends weeks coming up with the realistic scenario.
Students play their respective roles – from crime scene investigators to forensic scientists, paramedics and police officers alongside serving professionals and trained academics.
Darren Moss, lecturer in paramedic practice said: “The major incident exercise went well with lots of learning for the students and staff alike.”
The event was particularly important for several students who were assessed as the climax to their basic training as special constables.