Students practise their skills to help uphold the law

Students practise their skills to help uphold the law

Policing and law students at the University of Cumbria came together in order to assume the roles that, once they graduate, they eventually hope to secure.

In a simulated exercise which covered locations in Stanwix, Carlisle and at Carlisle Crown Court, they investigated, took statements, and later undertook prosecution and defence roles in a court hearing originating from an offence re-enacted at the ‘crime house’ at the Brampton Road campus.

Law lecturer Nick Robson explains: “We set up a scenario, centred around an offence of burglary. In it, a householder returning home appears to have disturbed two offenders during a burglary, resulting in an altercation, with both offenders making off leaving the homeowner traumatised and with injuries. A neighbour hears the commotion, comes to help and encounters one of the offenders running from the scene.”

Ian Stainton, senior lecturer in policing and criminology continues: “Enquiries are begun and descriptions given. An officer approaches a suspect in a nearby park, leading to an ‘arrest’.

“The ‘detained person’, who is found to be in possession of articles that could be connected to the offence, is subsequently charged and the case goes to court.”

Students undertook the roles of the officers involved, while some acted as witnesses or as offenders, and others sat on the jury. Statements were taken from witnesses and supplied to the law students who undertook prosecution and defence roles during a court hearing in the afternoon, which they were permitted to hold in the Crown Court. Some of the officers and witnesses were also required to give evidence at the hearing.

Nick and Ian comment: “Our programmes of study are designed to help students prepare for the professional world. Events such as this are included to allow skills and learning to be practiced in a realistic environment.”

Image caption: Pictured from left law students Caitlin Healey, Patricia Krauss, Dorcas Elongama, Natasha Bezuszko, policing student Peter Connolly, law student Rob Barclay, and policing students Callum Woodington and Ed Pawsey.