South Wales Police celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2024

South Wales Police/Flickr
February 12, 2024

South Wales Police believes that the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity for them to celebrate the women throughout the organisation who are working roles related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and helping to keep South Wales Safe.

Superintendent Eve Davis, Gender Lead at South Wales Police, said:

“I would personally like to thank my colleagues working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related roles, and on this day pay tribute to my female colleagues. At the beginning of my career, I couldn’t have foreseen the advancements made in these areas being so critical to keeping South Wales safe.  

“Our purpose is to pursue criminals, prioritise victims, and protect vulnerable people and the use of STEM within policing has, and will, lead to better investigations. For example, last year we saw advances in forensic science help us to solve a rape case from the 1980s, allowing us to hold the perpetrator to account, provide justice for the victim, and potentially protect others from harm.

“The continuous development in STEM has generated significant organisational benefits and continued professional development opportunities for our officers, staff, and volunteers. We must ensure our workforce is representative of the communities we serve, and we are determined to increase the number of women working in these roles, which is why it is important we recognise and celebrate the achievements of all the women we currently have in STEM related roles throughout South Wales Police.”

Amy works within our Joint Scientific Investigation Unit (JSIU) and was part of the team that helped bring justice to the victim of a rape that occurred in 1980, over 40 years later.

“I am a forensic scientist working in the DNA clean labs. Alongside current cases I also assist the review team with cold cases. This particular case was a huge success and goes to show how dedicated we are to solve even the older crimes that are certainly not forgotten about.

“With advances in technology, lab processes and DNA profiling this is one of the cases that was reviewed and, because some exhibits were retained from the initial investigation in 1980, we were able to examine the items with today’s technology and obtain a DNA profile of the offender. Using the DNA database to search for potential matches the offender was identified and brought to justice over 40 years after their crime.”

Ailsa has worked in our JSUI department for seven years and is the first female Forensic Video Technician in force.

“I work in the Forensic Imaging Unit in JSIU as a Forensic Video Technician. We serve both South Wales and Gwent Police force areas, and I recover CCTV from scenes and premises, as well as office-based processing of audio and video material for court. This can include highlighting, blurring and enhancements.

“Our role includes examining, recovering and processing all kinds of evidential video and audio - from Body Worn Video to mobile phone footage to audio enhancements. Our role can take us to some quite challenging environments, but I love it!

“As we are a joint unit, the role takes me out and about all over the Gwent and South Wales areas. It all depends on where I get called to in a day. I also like that I see a new thing every day and that no two days are the same. CCTV is everywhere nowadays; from homes, to roads, to businesses and is a very impactive visual form of evidence, so it’s important that it’s recovered and processed correctly. I like to feel that I make a difference to help our victims of crime and assisting investigations. I am the first female Forensic Video Technician between our forces, and it’s been fantastic over the years to see more women join the unit.

“As a female in STEM in policing, I love my job. My work involves a fascinating technical science which is continuously evolving as new technologies and software is developed. Our industry can at times be quite male-dominated which I think comes from more boys in school taking up ICT and pursuing that as a career rather than girls. I don’t actually have a scientific background; I have a degree in History which I feel has really set me up well to be able research thoroughly, defend my findings and be able to write reports articulately.

“I would encourage anyone considering a career in forensics to remember that it’s not necessarily out of your reach just because you didn’t study sciences!”

Abbi is one of our Volume Crime Scene Investigators.

“I independently examine volume crime scenes such as burglaries, and assist at serious and major crime scenes. I love the variety of my role, no two days will ever be the same.

“I had thought a career in STEM was out of my reach as my education was not science-based, however through the work experience I had built up in archaeology I was able to demonstrate valuable transferable skills when I applied.

“For a career which challenges you to adapt and think dynamically at every turn, which provides a continuous learning environment regardless of your years in service and values its female colleagues, I would without doubt recommend Crime Scene Investigation.”

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