Posts Tagged ‘Rape’

The police service in the UK is renowned for its jargon, abbreviations, acronyms and mnemonics.  Whatever name is given to these odd words, they are used as a way of improving an officer’s recall to remind them of more complex texts.  They are also a way of shortening radio or written communications, saving airtime or space.BPCD 2016 Cover on Amazon

However, such abbreviations could also assist you when formulating your story by using them as a prompt for what should be included or excluded from your text, to make sure it is realistic.  It may provide you with ideas of how to prolong or speed up your fictional investigation.

When it comes to incidents such as a house explosion or a crime scene such as a murder (or mass killings such as a car purposely driven at a crowd), the mnemonic SADCHALETS is often used by the police and could be used as a prompt when writing about such or similar incidents.

In policing situations, it refers to actions carried out by the police officers arriving first at the incident and the information needed to assist others who will be involved later on.  Each letter of the mnemonic relates to a prompting word or words as can be seen below.

  • Survey scene on approach – the responding officer shouldn’t just turn up at a given location, they should take notice of what they experience on approaching the scene.  This requires use of all of the senses, not just sight.  A particular smell may help identify the presence of petrol for instance or a shrill sound may indicate an alarm activated in the vicinity etc.  The flow of a crowd may lead to or away from the scene e.g. most people would run away from a violent offender’s presence but run towards injured or trapped victims in the case of an accident or collision occurring.
  • Assess situation on arrival – the attending officer needs to quickly and accurately determine what has happened and start to gather (even just mentally at this stage) information that will provide the answers to the following steps.
  • Disseminate following details to Control – not only will the police control room want an update from the responding officer but they will need certain information so that they can carry out the tasks either identified from the scene (e.g. and ambulance is required at the scene) or that the controller does in all instances e.g. they have to update all logs created on the force database of calls for service or incident the police are requested or required to attend.  The controller will be responsible for sending additional resources to the incident and for passing relevant information to those officers e.g. they may direct armed officers to attend the scene where a firearm is suspected of being present and they will provide the armed officers any information that will help them carry out their role.
  • Casualties (approx. number) – The sooner the number and type of casualties can be ascertained, the sooner the correct response can be requested of the other emergency services.  Any of them may have already been asked to attend the scene by a member of the public but the correct type and number of (medical/rescue) resources required may not be apparent from this call.
  • Hazards (that are present or potential) – it is vitally important that the first responding officers quickly determine what hazards are or may be present at the scene so that the lives of others can be protected.  If a tanker lorry has toppled over, the officer should be trying to ascertain what if anything it may have been carrying and what dangers the product may pose. It may have held a dangerous chemical that can quickly debilitate anyone approaching it, so an early (and at a distance) assessment is vital.
  • Access (best access routes and rendezvous points) – it may be that the first responding officer reached the scene via the best available route or only route but they must also consider how others, following them, should approach the scene taking into consideration many circumstances such as what hazards are present or possible, what type of vehicle may be following them and is the access suitable for them e.g. a parked car lined street may be problematic for a fire tender.  The officer must also consider the evidence that may be lost or preserved by using a particular route.218 Fact Cover
  • Location (exact including map reference) – not may officers are able to identify map references from a physical location but they may be able to describe it more clearly and accurately than a member of the public, who may use a colloquial name for the location that doesn’t actually feature on a map.  It is possible that a number of calls are made to the police and each one uses a different location for the incident, particularly if it occurs at or near to a multiple junction street or road.
  • Emergency services (present and/or required) – the person making the initial call to the police about the incident may not recognise that a particular emergency service may be required e.g. a car which has overturned and landed on its roof, may easily prompt the need for an ambulance for the injured occupants but having no knowledge of what the fire service can do,  they may not also be requested at the same time to help free trapped occupants from the vehicle.  The attending police officer should be better placed to determine who is and isn’t needed and to recognise those already present e.g. the difference between ambulance staff and a paramedic at the scene.
  • Type of incident (vehicles, buildings etc) – what appears to be a fire at a factory may in fact be a vehicle on fire near to or inside a building, which may require a different response from that initially thought.
  • Safety of all staff at scene – through accurate assessment of the scene, the first arriving officer will be able to identify risks that may affect themselves and others. Through correct and accurate dissemination, they can ensure the safety of others attending the scene e.g. the need to ensure that armed officers attend the scene of an incident before unarmed officers, where weapons may be used against others.

You can use the above mnemonic and examples to assist telling your story by making sure that all of the elements of SADCHALETS has been considered if not written about e.g.

Survey – How many officers do you want to attend the scene in the first instances?  Using the senses, what do you want to describe and have them experience?  What do you want them to miss, that you can bring up later in the story?

Assess – Are your officers going to be competent and manage to assess the scene effectively or not?  What factors will you use to inhibit or improve their assessment?  Prior to their arrival, were they overworked and stressed? On arrival, did they find the scene distressing or traumatic?

Disseminate – Were they able to tell the right person the right information and did the person receiving the information act in the right way or not?  Was everyone in the chain of communication competent?  Did the right people get the information they needed or not? Can you create conflict through wrongful dissemination?

Casualties – How many and what type of casualties do you want in the story?  Will they be hysterical, very subdued, badly or minimally harmed?  Who will be helping or harming them on arrival of the police?

Hazards – Are there any hazards within or around the scene of the incident?  Do you want to complicate matters further by introducing any (additional) hazards and if so what?  Will they affect just those already at the scene or those yet to reach it?  What part will the hazard play in the story and what use will it be in taking it forward?

A Writer's Guide to Senior Investigating Police Officers in the UK by [Robinson, Kevin N.]Access – How would you describe the access route?  Is everyone that needs to, able to reach the scene easily or will they be obstructed by something and if so what and how will they surmount it?  Will problems be created by someone accessing the scene in the wrong way?

Location – What location are you going to use?  Do you need to consult a map for ideas regarding access and hazards etc.?  How will you describe the location to the readers?  How will the location impact upon access and safety?

Emergency Services – Who do you want involved at the start of the incident, who do you want to omit, why and for how long?  By omitting or unnecessarily including one, can you introduce conflict into the story?

Type of Incident – What type of incident do you want to feature in the story and is it a means to get characters involved or revealed or is it a significant actor in the story in itself?  Do you know enough about such chosen incidents or do you need to research them?  Will the type of incident allow you to include the elements above?

Safety – How safe do you want the scene to be?  Do you want to increase the risks and if so, how and why?  Who do you want effected by an unsafe environment and why?  How can you ensure that the environment remains safe and who will be responsible for its safety or otherwise?

Hopefully, you will be able to use some of this article to explore, strengthen and deepen your ideas, narratives, dialogues and stories.  If so, please feel free to share the post with others and if not, please feel free to provide me with your feedback.

Don’t forget that you can acquire much research material and answers to your questions from within any of the three books shown on this page – just click on the image to purchase a copy if you haven’t already got one.

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You’re currently putting your story together and you’ve just described the crime scene. There’s blood present, which is believed to belong to the suspect.  You get your forensic examiners to analyse the blood sample that they think belongs to the suspect.  They tell your fictional detective that they have extracted the suspect’s DNA but that it doesn’t match anyone recorded on the DNA database so without further information, they still have no idea who the suspect may be.

However, based on the latest research findings from  the KU Leuven Forensic Biomedical Sciences Unit in Belgium, it is now possible to predict the age of a suspect or unidentified body from a sample of their blood, rather than merely extracting DNA from the blood to check against the DNA Database.

Scientists from KU Leuven have developed the test which predicts an individuals’ age on the basis of blood or teeth samples. This test may be particularly useful for the police, as it can help track down criminals or identify human remains.

The aging process is regulated by our DNA and human tissues and organs change as we grow older.

Professor Bram Bekaert from the KU Leuven Forensic Biomedical Sciences Unit explains: “The behaviour of our organs and tissues depends on which of our genes are activated. As we grow older, some genes are switched on, while others are switched off. This process is partly regulated by methylation, whereby methyl groups are added to our DNA. In specific locations, genes with high methylation levels are deactivated.”

Bekaert and his colleagues were able to predict an individuals’ age on the basis of a set of four age-associated DNA methylation markers. The methylation levels of these markers can be used for highly accurate age predictions. The researchers were able to determine an individuals’ age with a margin of error of 3.75 years for blood samples and 4.86 years for teeth.  More information can be found at http://www.kuleuven.be/english/news/2015/blood-and-teeth-predict-age

The new technique is potentially useful in the context of police investigations because it can help determine the age of criminals or unidentified bodies, which in turn can lead to identification.

Remember this little fact when putting your story together if it is being based on now and the near future.  It’s pretty useless for stories set in the past.

If you want to read more interesting facts, don’t forget to buy yourself a copy of 218 Facts a Writer Needs to Know About the Police available on Amazon by clicking the title above or on the picture of the cover to the right.218 Fact Cover

Not only will you get 218 facts, you’ll also see 40 story ideas based on those facts in 36 different areas of policing.

Topics covered include but are not limited to:

  • the organisation of the police
  • crime scene attendance, assessment and investigation
  • police intelligence work
  • police interviews
  • custody suite issues
  • the role of the Senior Investigating Officer

Use 218 Facts a Writer Needs to Know About the Police to make your stories realistic, to provide you with ideas you’d never thought of before and best of all, to prevent you from embarrassing yourself in front of your readers.

If you think your friends or colleagues would find the book useful, please let them know about it.

Do you want to explore serious and serial crime investigations.?  nottinghamwritersstudio.co.uk

Do you want to hear how crime scenes are processed?

Do you want to find out who does what and how leads are developed and followed?

If your work features any type of crime (committing or solving) , join me for an enlightening evening on 28th September 2015 at 1900 – 2100 for the very first Learn Crime From the Experts course run by the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, 25 Hockley, Nottingham, NG1 1FH.

This is the very first of a series of expert talks organised by the Nottingham Writers’ Studio that will help your work stand out and ensure you get the crucial details right.

Further details are available from the Nottingham Writers’ Studio

If you can’t make it, maybe buy yourself a copy 218 Fact Coverof 218 Facts a Writer Needs to Know About the Police available on Amazon by clicking the title above or on the picture of the cover to the right.

Not only will you get 218 facts, you’ll also see 40 story ideas based on those facts in 36 different areas of policing.

Topics covered include but are not limited to:

  • the organisation of the police
  • crime scene attendance, assessment and investigation
  • police intelligence work
  • police interviews
  • custody suite issues
  • the role of the Senior Investigating Officer

Use 218 Facts a Writer Needs to Know About the Police to make your stories realistic, to provide you with ideas you’d never thought of before and best of all, to prevent you from embarrassing yourself in front of your readers.

If you think your friends or colleagues would find the book useful, please let them know about it.

Happy and informed reading.

One of the key positions in any police Intelligence Cell is that of the analyst.  Their role is vital in any major investigation where they can even be a part of the Senior Investigating Officer’s management team.

The analyst can be a police officer but most forces employ civilian analysts.  Their primary role is to receive information and to convert it into intelligence through analysis.

Seven of the most common tasks they may undertake include:

  • Conducting environmental scanning of the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal and Organisational (PESTELO) issues to provide an overview of the environment as it relates to the commission of the crime or is likely to affect the subsequent investigation;
  • Drawing networks of associates of both a victim and potential or actual suspect;
  • Telephone call analysis, charting specific telephones to assist with identifying associations between telephones and the patterns of calls involved;
  • Analysing local and regional crime and incident patterns to identify similar offences and/or precursor incident;
  • Analysing a series of crimes and identifying common denominators between different, possibly linked crimes;
  • Drawing charts of (possibly) significant events including a suspect/victim’s sequence of events chart and an extended sequence of events specific to a particular suspect;
  • Analysing prison intelligence; communications intelligence; intelligence from surveillance and undercover operations.

Could you use an analyst in your crime fiction?

You can find more information to help your story-writing by following this blog or using your copy of the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers or click on the picture below to buy your copy:

BPCD Cover

Police officers are not super beings.  They are much the same as the people they serve and protect. It would not be unusual for a police officer to be affected by some of the things they deal with, yet rarely are fictional detectives bothered by the things they come across.

However, in real life, senior investigators have a duty to consider their own welfare and that of their staff.  It is widely accepted that people react differently to traumatic situations or incidents on emotional and behavioural levels, which is why it is important to watch out for signs that someone may be suffering adverse effects when dealing with unpleasant incidents.

Some of the indicators may include any, all or several of the following:

  1. having trembling or shaking hands or limbs
  2. experiencing an increased breathing rate or a racing heartbeat
  3. having difficulty concentrating
  4. being tearful
  5. being anxious
  6. being agitated
  7. seeming over alert
  8. being over talkative or becoming mute
  9. having feelings of guilt, self-blame or anger at self and others
  10. feeling emotionally detached, emotionally blunt or numb.

It is important that if any of these signs are evident, welfare needs are identified as soon as possible and support is made available to reduce potential long-term damage being suffered by the individual.

That immediate support can include

  • responding to them as an individual, in a calm, sensitive manner
  • taking the person to a quiet, private location
  • acknowledging the person’s thoughts and feelings about the event and timescales, no matter how bizarre they may seem
  • allowing them to express their distress openly
  • allowing them to talk without attempting to pacify them or change the subject
  • normalising the person’s experience by reinforcing common-sense reactions
  • encouraging them to be with and speak to colleagues.

Other longer term practical options may include:

  • ensuring that individuals take a longer break before continuing their duties
  • temporarily moving them to another role and allowing them to speak to a colleague who has experienced a similar event
  • allowing them to take time off and/or seeking support from other sources and agencies
  • referring the individual to occupational health services.

Many of these problems can either be eliminated or minimized through conducting specific risk assessments to help police officers and staff to prepare for encountering disturbing images or situations.

Will any of your fictional characters suffer any of the above symptoms and will they get the support they need?

For more ideas of how to progress your police characters and their actions, examine your copy of the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers or click on the picture below to buy your copy:BPCD Cover

There are many shows on TV that purport to reflect a day in the life of a crime lab but follow the link below and read what it’s like in West Yorkshire, UK.  It will give you a better idea for your stories of just what they deal with, how often and how long it will take. remember to go through the Gallery to view some very good images.

Real-Life CSI

Don’t forget, there are links to forensic issues and much more in the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers by clicking on the picture below:BPCD Cover

 

There aren’t many opportunities for writers around like this, especially free of charge.

For as little as up to four-hours work per week over a six-week period, taken at your own pace, you could discover just what it is like to IDENTIFY the DEAD.

Starting 7th September 2015, anyone, anywhere in the world can sign up for University of Dundee logothis on-line course delivered by the University of Dundee via the Future Learn Project.

The Forensic Science and Human Identification course run by Helen Meadows will allow you to uncover a grave, examine the remains and reveal the identity of the victim.  You will be taken on a journey through the world of forensic anthropology, unveiling the tools that will allow you to discover the identity of the remains.

The University blurb reads:

In the shadow of Dundee’s Law Hill, a grim discovery demands the attention of forensic experts. Unidentified human remains have been found and the police need to identify the victim to move forward with their investigation.

After a meticulous recovery of the remains, it will be your job to:

  • document and attempt to explain any evidence of trauma;
  • identify the victim through biological profiling;
  • and undertake a facial reconstruction.

Experts from the University of Dundee’s award-winning Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHId) will guide you through the process of human identification.

They will introduce you to the fields of human identification; forensic anthropology and archaeology; craniofacial identification; and the study of the human body.

Evaluate evidence as the case unfolds

Week-by-week, the case will unfold, providing you with more information about the victim. You will be presented with theoretical material and hands-on learning opportunities, to evaluate the case information and use what you have learned, to piece together clues to the victim’s identity.

You will be able to discuss, with educators and others learners, your thoughts on the identity of the deceased, based on your evaluation of the evidence.

Get your own copy of the murder mystery

After you submit your evaluation of the victim’s identity, all will be revealed at the end of the final week. You can continue your journey into the life and death of our victim in your very own e-book copy of a specially written murder mystery by international best-selling crime novelist Val McDermid.

Bear in mind that although this course involves the investigation of the death of a fictional character, some of the content may be distressing to individuals, particularly younger learners. However, this material is representative of that encountered by forensic experts.

To join the course just follow this link: Identifying the dead.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already got your copy of the British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers by clicking on the picture below:BPCD Cover

 

 

 

To use it you need to know what it is first of all, so without wishing to insult those in the know, here is a basic guide.

ANPR is an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, linked to roadside cameras and the Police National Computers (PNC) database of over 45 million motor vehicles in the UK.

Most of those vehicles are recorded on the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) database of vehicles registered for use in the UK.  Some foreign vehicles will exist on the PNC but they are usually of “interest” to the police for reasons such as it has been stolen or used in crime whilst in the UK or abroad.

ANPR Cameras courtesy of the BBCAccording to recent revelations, there are now over 8,000 cameras in the network, with senior officers hopeful of extending it further because they regard ANPR as a key tool that helps to cut crime and save lives.

Privacy campaigners have their own views on the existence and use of ANPR technology.

It is claimed that the ANPR CCTV cameras on Britain’s road take around 26 million photographs every day.  That means that every vehicle passing those cameras is photographed, innocent or not.  This means that the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC)  holds around 17 billion photographs in its archive.  This is thought to be the world’s largest such database.

Two images are taken of every vehicle – one focused on the number plate, the second on the whole car, which often includes the face of the driver. Details on the time of day and direction of travel are also kept.  The pictures can be kept for up to two years and cross-checked for “hits” against the Police National Computer and other “hotlist” databases, including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Now, when any serious crime has been committed, one of the Senior Investigating Officer’s first ports of call is to have ANPR covering the area of and around the crime scene secured and checked.   This action alone can be enough to either put people into or out of the pot of potential suspects.

The ANPR cameras are not all fixed in one location either.  Most if not all UK police forces now have a mobile ANPR capability that can be deployed in areas where there is no fixed coverage or to cover specific noteworthy event.

SO, are these cameras going to aid or hinder the investigation in your story?  Did they or would they ever have existed without the above news?

To see one of the success stories about catching a sex attacker, follow this link –

http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Porn-drug-addicted-father-jailed-sex-attack/story-20473605-detail/story.html

To view the Police information about ANPR, follow this link –

http://www.police.uk/information-and-advice/automatic-number-plate-recognition/

To view a newspaper article about ANPR follow this link –

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/23/cctv-cameras-uk-roads-numberplate-recognition

Don’t forget your copy of Writers, Researchers and the Police at an introductory price to the first 50 purchasers. For more information follow the image below

Writers, Researchers and the Police 2014 Cover

Following the success of the Spring Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop, the Autumn workshop is now open for booking.

It will help writers of any genre bring their stories to life as they find out how real police investigations work and delegates will pick up hundreds of ideas for their next stories.

The workshop will run from 17th to 18th November 2012 (inclusive) at the Premier Inn, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire.

   

What the weekend is about!

The following are some (but not all) of the topics that time and delegate requirements permitting may be covered over the weekend –

  • The history and the future of the police.
  • How is a police force organised and structured?
  • What does policing look like across the U.K, internationally and who is involved?
  • What are the terms and conditions that an officer must work to and how are they trained?
  • What work do the police focus upon, how and why?
  • What are the main crime types and what do they mean?
  • What are some of the more serious offences investigated by the police and how?
  • How is information turned into intelligence and how is that used?
  • What types of profiling are there and how are they used?
  • What types of offenders are there and what makes them tick?
  • How is a crime scene analysed?
  • What forensic techniques are used and why?
  • What are the rules regarding arresting, detaining, interviewing and charging an offender?

Time will be allowed for delegates’ specific questions and to explore how their plots and characters may be developed or made more realistic.

The exact content of the course will be tailored to meet the needs of the delegates.

There will also be several handouts as well as post workshop support and guidance available to all attendees, which will include over 100 police advice and guidance documents.

Some of the feedback from the delegates on that Spring workshop includes

Barbara  – Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course.

I wanted a general overview of the police and procedures which I think you covered very well. Even if you don’t use a lot of it in the writing, it is useful background to get an idea of how a whole police station would operate. The stuff on the Major incident teams and crime scenes etc was very useful. I guess writers are also interested in dialogue so discussing interviews etc was also helpful.  I also found the stuff on who certifies death, the role of the coroner etc helpful.  The stuff on serious criminal, like rapists was very good as was the discussion of forensic profilers.  Just skimmed through the CD and it will be an excellent resource for us.

We were quite a demanding audience and you handled the questions very well. I really did enjoy it. A big part as well is the other attendees and I got a lot out of talking to the others in break times.

Caroline  – Thanks for a terrific course and for your individual attention with my plot, really appreciated. A great weekend and I am now energised and armed to complete the book hopefully with my cop facts right.

CJ – I wanted to thank you for a very stimulating and informative weekend. I learnt a lot and especially valued having my specific questions all dealt with. Overall, it was a fun weekend and a great experience and I will recommend it to other crime writers.  I could tell you put a lot into organising everything for us and it paid off big time.

Gareth – I’d like to thanks you so much for an amazing weekend.  I felt so fortunate to meet you and so many wonderful people.  The course was very informative.  The main strength of the course was you.  You were clearly knowledgeable and presented the information in a friendly, easy to understand way, but, above all, your great sense of humour made it so much fun.

Ian – It was a great course thanks,

Jan – It was brilliant.  I’ve done over 20 OU courses and about 13 summer schools – and this has to be up there with the best of them.  I really enjoyed the whole thing.

It was exactly what I needed to convince myself that non-police personnel stand a chance of writing crime – both from the point of view of the information received (and thank you so much for the DVD, it’s excellent) and from being able to meet with published authors and non-published authors in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  I thought it did exactly what it said on the tin – it explained the structure and routines and left me in a much better position to track down my own information, and to know what level of information I need to include.

It was obvious so much thought had gone into the whole weekend.  I also felt the tone was exactly right.  Serious subjects, but tackled in an intelligent and light-hearted way, which was just the right balance for me.  I’d be back like a shot for further courses

Linda  – Just a quick line to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated this weekend. I think you covered every question I thought I might ask and covered a good many I didn’t even know I needed to ask! You surpassed all my expectations of what might be got out of the sessions, and I think I will be referring back to the information on the DVD for a long time to come.

Lesley – Firstly thanks for the workshop, you obviously did a lot of hard work to produce it.  I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. I got a lot from it and learnt things I didn’t know. In fact I have created a new main character for my next book from those who are co-opted onto the enquiry (more later). T he DVD of information is an excellent resource.  Weekends like this are as much about talking to other people during the breaks and in the evening as about the workshop itself and we had plenty of time for that.

Maggie – You often don’t realise what you want to know until you know it and it provokes further questioning! I was open to consuming new knowledge that I could utilise along the way within my writing. I think I gained a new perspective through the course.  At the time I felt that being informed about the different uniforms was not necessary – in hindsight I feel that it was totally in context with the rest of the content once I had done the two days. It helps that you can take notes of thought provoking ideas rather than have to scribble everything that is said down and miss the overall aim/ambience.  During the course it was thought provoking and I am sure many of us have come away with some ideas for plot lines.  All in all I would definitely recommend this course to anyone considering it. Meeting the variety of people that were there was also interesting, some of us will definitely stay in touch and thus we are able to widen our network of contacts/writers/new friends.  10/10!

Paul – I enjoyed the weekend immensely and it was tremendous value for money. The extensive CD alone was worth the workshop fee and it contains everything the crime writer could wish for.  I think you provided a very good ‘walk through’ of what actual happens at the scene of a major crime and the different roles etc.  In conclusion it was an excellent experience

Sheila – I got loads from the course.  Lots of little gems will stay in my mind for further use.  I love anecdotes from people’s working lives, details that you will never get from a manual such as the spitting prisoner in a cage in a van.  The role play on tracing a wanted bod taught me how to think investigation.

Tom – I found the weekend most useful and the content and materials we subsequently received will prove valuable reference sources for crime writing. I got all the factual material I needed – and more. In fact I would suggest you were over-generous in how much info you released.

Wanda – I just want to say how much I enjoyed the weekend, and I certainly learnt a great deal. I am also delighted with the CD. You have been very generous with your knowledge, time and information and I am sure that I will now have a much better idea on how to proceed with my crime novel.

The Costs and Stuff

The cost of the weekend is £160.  Lunch and refreshments each day are included in the price.

Places are limited to ensure each delegate has plenty of individual support.  So to secure your place on the workshop by paying a £50 deposit a.s.a.p.

A number of double rooms are available at the hotel at a promotional rate of £58 for Friday and £63 for Saturday night.

The venue is located adjacent to one of the country’s top tourist attractions – Xscape and Junction 32 Factory Outlet just off the M62 motorway.

English: Xscape in Castleford, West Yorkshire

English: Xscape in Castleford, West Yorkshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please feel free to pass information of this workshop to friends and colleagues and if you have any questions, please just get in touch – the.writer@hotmail.co.uk

BREAKING NEWS

Secure your place NOW on the November 2012 Crime Fiction – Making it Real, weekend workshop designed for writers interested in learning more about the police, their procedures and practices.  There will be time to immerse yourselves in case studies and to bring along your very own questions to be answered.  Check out the Autumn 2012 Workshop page for more details.

For more information, contact me via e-mail at  –

the.writer@hotmail.co.uk

It seemed a long time coming but when it did finally arrive, it flew.

From a personal point of view, the weekend far exceeded my expectations.  To top it all, I met a great bunch of people who were attentive, keen to learn and better still, keen to share their knowledge and help their peers.

What I’m talking about is the very first Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop, held at the West Yorkshire Police Training and Development Centre.

Delegates came to Wakefield from as far away as Avon and Somerset, Devon, Essex, the big city – London and Northumbria as well as places closer to the venue.

But don’t take my word for how good it was, read some of the feedback received –

Barbara  – Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course.

I wanted a general overview of the police and procedures which I think you covered very well. Even if you don’t use a lot of it in the writing, it is useful background to get an idea of how a whole police station would operate. The stuff on the Major incident teams and crime scenes etc was very useful. I guess writers are also interested in dialogue so discussing interviews etc was also helpful.  I also found the stuff on who certifies death, the role of the coroner etc helpful.  The stuff on serious criminal, like rapists was very good as was the discussion of forensic profilers.  t skimmed through the CD and it will be an excellent resource for us.

We were quite a demanding audience and you handled the questions very well. I really did enjoy it. A big part as well is the other attendees and I got a lot out of talking to the others in break times.

Caroline  – Thanks for a terrific course and for your individual attention with my plot, really appreciated. A great weekend and I am now energised and armed to complete the book hopefully with my cop facts right.

CJ – I wanted to thank you for a very stimulating and informative weekend. I learnt a lot and especially valued having my specific questions all dealt with. Overall, it was a fun weekend and a great experience and I will recommend it to other crime writers.  I could tell you put a lot into organising everything for us and it paid off big time.

Gareth – I’d like to thanks you so much for an amazing weekend.  I felt so fortunate to meet you and so many wonderful people.  The course was very informative.  The main strength of the course was you.  You were clearly knowledgeable and presented the information in a friendly, easy to understand way, but, above all, your great sense of humour made it so much fun.

Ian – It was a great course thanks,

Jan – It was brilliant.  I’ve done over 20 OU courses and about 13 summer schools – and this has to be up there with the best of them.  I really enjoyed the whole thing.

It was exactly what I needed to convince myself that non-police personnel stand a chance of writing crime – both from the point of view of the information received (and thank you so much for the DVD, it’s excellent) and from being able to meet with published authors and non-published authors in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  I thought it did exactly what it said on the tin – it explained the structure and routines and left me in a much better position to track down my own information, and to know what level of information I need to include.

It was obvious so much thought had gone into the whole weekend.  I also felt the tone was exactly right.  Serious subjects, but tackled in an intelligent and light-hearted way, which was just the right balance for me.  I’d be back like a shot for further courses

Linda  – Just a quick line to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated this weekend. I think you covered every question I thought I might ask and covered a good many I didn’t even know I needed to ask! You surpassed all my expectations of what might be got out of the sessions, and I think I will be referring back to the information on the DVD for a long time to come.

Lesley – Firstly thanks for the workshop, you obviously did a lot of hard work to produce it.  I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. I got a lot from it and learnt things I didn’t know. In fact I have created a new main character for my next book from those who are co-opted onto the enquiry (more later). T he DVD of information is an excellent resource.  Weekends like this are as much about talking to other people during the breaks and in the evening as about the workshop itself and we had plenty of time for that.

Maggie – You often don’t realise what you want to know until you know it and it provokes further questioning! I was open to consuming new knowledge that I could utilise along the way within my writing. I think I gained a new perspective through the course.  At the time I felt that being informed about the different uniforms was not necessary – in hindsight I feel that it was totally in context with the rest of the content once I had done the two days. It helps that you can take notes of thought provoking ideas rather than have to scribble everything that is said down and miss the overall aim/ambience.  During the course it was thought provoking and I am sure many of us have come away with some ideas for plot lines.  All in all I would definitely recommend this course to anyone considering it. Meeting the variety of people that were there was also interesting, some of us will definitely stay in touch and thus we are able to widen our network of contacts/writers/new friends.  10/10!

Paul – I enjoyed the weekend immensely and it was tremendous value for money. The extensive CD alone was worth the workshop fee and it contains everything the crime writer could wish for.  I think you provided a very good ‘walk through’ of what actual happens at the scene of a major crime and the different roles etc.  In conclusion it was an excellent experience

Sheila – I got loads from the course.  Lots of little gems will stay in my mind for further use.  I love anecdotes from people’s working lives, details that you will never get from a manual such as the spitting prisoner in a cage in a van.  The role play on tracing a wanted bod taught me how to think investigation.

Tom – I found the weekend most useful and the content and materials we subsequently received will prove valuable reference sources for crime writing. I got all the factual material I needed – and more. In fact I would suggest you were over-generous in how much info you released.

Wanda – I just want to say how much I enjoyed the weekend, and I certainly learnt a great deal. I am also delighted with the CD. You have been very generous with your knowledge, time and information and I am sure that I will now have a much better idea on how to proceed with my crime novel.

Anyone interested in signing up for the second workshop, drop me a line at the.writer@hotmail.co.uk

For those of you not sure of what you missed, take a look at the original post for the Crime Fiction – Making it Real workshop.

Kent Police Crime Scene

Image by kenjonbro via Flickr

Are you seeking crime writing inspiration, looking for your investigative muse or your policing Mo Jo?

  • Have you ever come up with a story-line only to wonder if it would work the way you would expect it to?
  • Not sure how the police really work?
  • Ever wondered if your killer really can get away scot free?
  • Want to know how a real police investigation works?
  • Having problems with your police procedures?

If you are, look no further. Help is at hand.  With 30 years police experience I can tell you how it really is and just where you can get your plot, twists and turns along with creative ideas to get your novel going or restarted.

Inspiration, ideas, knowledge, guidance and support are what I can offer you so send me your questions, your problems and let’s see what you and I can do.