CSI Southampton

The CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) Television series is an extremely popular and lucrative franchise. But what’s it like in real life?

Glad you asked.

We have a young lady visiting with us right now who is a forensic investigator working with the police in Southampton, UK. Her specialty is finger print detection and identification. She’s a member of the type of team you see solving complicated cases in one hour flat on the television shows. But according to her (and her name is Cathy) it doesn’t wrap up quite as quickly or neatly as it does on TV.

A lot of criminals are caught by forensic investigators; it just takes more time than television and Hollywood have to tell the story. Cathy is on vacation right now and decided to have a look at Canada even though we are still in the cool transition phase from the bitter cold of winter to our temperate spring. We’re so glad she chose to stay at our hostel.

I’m sure we all have the impression that forensic investigation is an exciting and somewhat exotic occupation. Well, sometimes it can be just that. Cathy’s plan for the future is to work in Iraq. She’ll be doing precisely the same work in that war-torn land she does back home; only over there she will be encumbered with a helmet, body armor and probably packing a pistol – all of which adds up to a sartorial indiscretion that won’t do much for her lovely figure.

Cathy also told me some of the simple (and devilishly clever) methods criminals employ to avoid leaving their prints at a crime scene, other than the obvious wearing of gloves. Gloves on a hot summer day would attract undue attention, to say the least. Being a good citizen, I won’t let you in on the secrets to hiding your prints; however, I might consider selling the information, if the price is right.

It’s been a real pleasure having you here Cathy and we look forward to having you back. So when you’re out there in the Middle East, keep your head down; keep your eyes and ears open; and come safely home.

Cathy enjoying a cup of Tea in the Hostel Patio


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