North Warwickshire School Pupils Turn Detective During Visit To Police Station

Students from two North Warwickshire schools have swapped problem-solving for murder-solving as part of a special learning day at Rugby Police Station.

Pupils from Harsthill School and Polesworth School were whisked straight into a ‘briefing’ on Friday, November 20, at the station for a mock investigation, as the body of a young woman had been discovered in Rugby.

The pupils were then taken to the Major Incident Room where senior officers shared crime scene photos with the “would-be” detectives from officers that were “first on the scene”.

Officers told the students a murder had taken place and it was down to them to investigate.

The pupils had the challenge of working alongside police officers and examine all the evidence to solve the scenario that had been prepared and put in front of them as part of Takeover Day.

Beki Taylor, youth engagement officer, said: “I am really impressed by what I have seen.

“All of the students took the day seriously and showed initiative when investigating.

“This scenario required the students to think abstractly and with sensitivity, which they did excellently.

“They handled difficult situations with confidence and enthusiasm.

“Everyone who took part should feel immensely proud of themselves”.

The pupils attended further police briefings, sent police officers to do house visits and house searches, questioned mock suspects, dealt with new and incoming evidence and even arrested and charged who they believed was the culprit.

The students had been invited from schools across North Warwickshire and began their investigations at 9:30am when they conducted their first interview.

Police Community Support Officers and other police staff played the parts of all the people involved within the scenario, including suspects and witnesses.

The students continued their interviews throughout the morning and then met with Gold Commander Chief Superintendent Martin McNevin who asked to be updated on the investigation.

Later that afternoon, front office staff reported that Matty (the murdered girl’s boyfriend) was at the front counter to report his girlfriend missing.

He stated he had been in London for the past two days and has returned home to see that her address is now a crime scene.

The students then went down to the front office and arrested Matty (played by a PCSO) on suspicion of murder.

Members of the public who observed this in Rugby Police Station were briefed that what they had witnessed was a role play and part of Takeover Day.

The students then told the custody sergeant why they had arrested Matty and booked him into custody.

Matty was searched and they discovered a pink mobile phone, belonging to the victim, a bank card in the victim’s name and some white powder wrapped in cling film.

The students then led the questioning and Matty confessed to the crime and was charged.

Cllr Margaret Bell, who represents Hartshill on North Warwickshire Borough Council, thought the learning day was a great idea.

She said: “Well what a fantastic opportunity for the children to have been involved in.

“This learning day will have given the children a real insight into what the police do and will build good relationships between the force and the schools involved.

“This type of event is something the children will never forget and is a really fabulous idea.”

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