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Operation CSI at Manor Park School 26 November 2008

CSI group photoMANOR Park’s deputy headteacher was arrested by police on Monday and led away in handcuffs – but it was all in a good cause!

Year Six pupils at the school became crime scene investigators for the day as part of a fun initiative co-ordinated by acting sergeant Rosie Hawes of the Eastern Neighbourhood Policing Team. After several hours spent applying their new-found policing skills, the young super-sleuths identified Graeme Cushnie as their chief suspect in the case of the missing toys.

Those suspicions were confirmed when Mr Cushnie fled the scene of the crime and hid behind a wall at the far end of the playground. However, the pupils soon tracked him down thanks to police sniffer dog Rosco and his handler PC Ray Brondon.

Dusting for fingerprintsThe arrest was made and the case brought to a successful conclusion. Operation CSI was set up at Manor Park as a way of improving the relationship between local youngsters and the police. The event was kept firmly under wraps and the Yr 6 pupils had no idea of the drama that was to unfold as they walked through the school gates on Monday morning.

A briefing took place at 9.15am when A/S Hawes and PC Scott Fielding informed the children that a number of items had been stolen from the toy box. A special incident room was established and investigations were launched in a bid to identify the culprit from a list of five suspects.

The budding CSIs conducted searches, obtained handwriting samples, measured and photographed footprints left at the scene and recovered vital evidence such as fingerprints and blood samples – of the tomato ketchup variety. The clues were carefully examined and the net gradually closed on Mr Cushnie who played his role of villain with great conviction.

Measuring footprintsActing Sergeant Hawes said:

‘The children had a tremendous time and really embraced the spirit of Operation CSI. The place was buzzing all day. They were keen to learn and set about their tasks with a genuine sense of purpose and enthusiasm. They were a joy to work with and a real credit to the school and their teachers.’

Headteacher Sue Mowle added:

‘The day was an outstanding success and I’d like to thank the police for making it all possible. The pupils have been asking that now they’ve done The Bill can they do Casualty next!’

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