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BA (Hons) Criminal Investigation with Psychology students lend their insight for a community project run by Southampton City Council.

13th May 2021

Despite over a year of restrictions, students studying BA (Hons) Criminal Investigation with Forensic Psychology undertook a live placement with Southampton City Council’s Stronger Communities, Neighbourhoods and Housing team. Although restricted in undertaking work out in the community, the conditions provided those participating with unique opportunities to attend national events and participate in more strategic and partnership activity than usual.

With a history of working together on community-based programmes, a student placement from Solent seemed the perfect solution to enable the council to embed the voice of young people in a project targeted at under 25s.

Chris Brown, Violence Reduction Manager at Southampton City Council, was the Council’s lead for establishing the placement which formed part of the programme of work through the Safe City Partnership. “It really started from a chance meeting (as all good ideas do) over a coffee in Guildhall Square where we soon recognised a good synergy for those learning about criminology to be involved in looking at what causes violence and how we can work with those involved or affected by it,” explains Chris. “There is a world of academic research out there, which I felt we needed to use better to make our work more effective, and a student placement seemed the perfect solution.”

Daniella Pereira Araujo was one of the Solent students who took part in the placement. Participating in the strategic and partnership meetings provided an insight as to how organisations prioritise community need and award funding. When restrictions were temporarily eased, engagement work with schools and police enforcement operations was possible, as well as attending official briefings.

Daniella explains how the placement has helped in developing her skills: “The placement was extremely beneficial and helpful for me as an individual; it allowed me to increase my confidence within a professional environment. I also gained valuable exposure to the industry which I would not have been able to do until I started my career after graduating. By undertaking the placement, it’s provided me with a real head-start when officially starting my career.”

Stefan Nawamin Dobrin, a final-year BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology student, also participated in the placement. Talking about his experienced Stefan said: “The placement helped me tremendously by improving and expanding my professional and personal portfolio. I've learnt about what the Violent Reduction Unit (VRU) is and what the VRU does, and how it feels like to work in a professional setting with numerous people and agencies. It also allowed me to network with fellow colleagues and create strong rapports and, most importantly, it gave me a clear, yet small, peek of what it would be like to work in a field that is based on criminology, law, or even social work.”

Despite the restrictions imposed through the pandemic, the placement has delivered significant value to the council. “A big impact for us was having the voice of young people in the city involved in a programme designed to reduce serious violence in under 25s,” commented Chris. “For me personally, the insight and different views they brought by being able to review reports and carry out research was invaluable.”

Organisations interested in advertising a placement to our student community can find further information on our Business Solutions page.