Wednesday 17 April 2024
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Nottingham

How Silent Witness inspired Nottinghamshire Police career

An avid fan of BBC crime drama Silent Witness has revealed she is “loving” her job at Nottinghamshire Police.

Virginia Fletcher landed an apprenticeship with the force before securing a permanent role as a forensic analytical services laboratory officer, based at the Arrow Centre in Hucknall.

The 25-year-old helps solve cases across the county – from murders and sexual assault investigations to less serious offences.

She described working for a police force as a childhood dream come true having been inspired by characters in Silent Witness – a programme she started watching from the age of 11.

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Virginia, from Nottingham, said:

“I’m absolutely loving it. What I love about working with the police is you can do something with what you find, such as solving a case and getting justice for a victim.

“I really love how you can find something really small and build a case around it. You might have to go through 20-30 exhibits before you can get the ball rolling on a case, but it’s worth it when you find that crucial bit of evidence.

“Eventually you might hear on the news that a person has been convicted and you know yourself you played a key role in that happening – and it feels amazing.”

Virginia said her passion for forensic science harks back to her school days. She said:

“I really liked science at school – I remember a lesson about DNA when I was in year seven and that got the ball rolling in terms of my interest in forensic science.

“From there I was always watching programmes such as Silent Witness and playing around with forensic science kits designed for kids.

“It’s nice now watching Silent Witness with my parents. We still watch it together only now they keep asking, ‘do you do that?’.”

Having been inspired by the BBC series, Virginia went on to achieve a biomedical sciences degree from the University of Sheffield, followed by an MSc.

After university, she successfully applied for a forensic apprenticeship with Nottinghamshire Police in 2022 – an opportunity she’s grasped with both hands. She said:

“I thought an apprenticeship would be a great way to get a foot in the door and learn how to do the job.

“The good thing about this job is it offers something new every day. You never get a job that’s the same as something that’s gone before.

“There are people in the department who have worked here for 30 years and they still come across exhibits they’ve never seen before.

“There’s a puzzle to be solved every day.”

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