First class forensics graduate impresses on police placement

"It was quite nerve-wracking knowing that the research could impact change but it made me want to work really hard and do everything right."

Elli Sarvari, MSci Forensic Science

A Forensics graduate from Staffordshire University has earned praise for her work to help vulnerable victims of crime.

Elli Sarvari, 22 from Reading, was inspired to study MSci Forensic Science at Staffordshire University by the enthusiasm of the lecturers.

“From the day that I came to an Open Day, the lecturers were so enthusiastic. They've got amazing knowledge and have previous experience in practice.” Elli said.

“Being able to tell the stories of when they worked and their enthusiasm for what they are teaching has been amazing.”

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and facilities including an on-campus Crime Scene House offer students practical experience during their degree.

Students also have the opportunity to complete industry placements and Elli spent time at Staffordshire Police Headquarters working with the Vulnerable Victims Unit.

During the three-month placement, Elli researched the support available for vulnerable victims who give evidence in court, known as 'special measures'.

She explained: “Using a police database linked with the crown prosecution service, I looked at all crimes from October 2017 to February 2018 to analyse if special measures were being used correctly and understand what improvements could be made.”

Elli received a letter of praise from the Assistant Chief Constable for her research and presented her findings to the Victim and Witness Service Improvement Group and the Criminal Justice Service Efficiency Board. The study will now feed into the Ministry of Justice's new national victim strategy.

She said: “It was quite nerve-wracking knowing that the research could impact change but it made me want to work really hard and do everything right. I realised how important it was to do that for victims in the future - I wanted to do it for them not just for myself.”

Having graduated with first class honours Elli will begin a PhD this autumn, working with Dr Laura Walton-Williams at Staffordshire University and with Staffordshire Police. She will look into the number of rape and sexual offences reported to the police compared with the number of cases recorded by services such as sexual assault referral centres.

Elli believes that the confidence she gained during her time at university is largely thanks to her lecturers.

She added: “Particularly Laura, she has just been amazing. I get nervous a lot and she has been there to help support me along the way and made me realise I can do more. Definitely the lecturers have been the best part of my degree.”

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