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CSI Portsmouth 2016, where crime fiction met crime fact

Pauline Rowson welcoming audience to CSI Portsmouth 2016Oh, these were indeed the days! Over a hundred people turned out on a chilly March day in Portsmouth for CSI Portsmouth 2016 to hear crime authors, police and forensic experts debate crime fiction and crime fact.

Events like these sadly stopped in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the banning of all social gatherings. I know many people are missing them and I am missing entertaining the lovely audiences. In the meantime I am looking back at some I have conducted over the years. This CSI Portsmouth 2016 was the sixth I organised and attended and it saw another stellar line up of crime authors, police and forensic experts debating crime fiction and crime fact in two panel events on 5 March at the Pyramids Centre, Southsea.

Pauline Rowson putting questions to panel guests CSI Portsmouth 2016, Elly Griffiths, Simon Mound, Jonathan SmithOn the morning panel, award winning crime writer Elly Griffiths, author of the series featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway, and yours truly joined crime experts Simon Mound, a crime scene investigator with Hampshire Police‚Äôs Scientific Services Department with expertise in the recovery of firearms and the examination of firearm related crime scenes, and Jonathan Smith, a forensic scientist with expertise in the examination of blood and body fluids, hairs, fibres, botany and wood fragment identification and adviser to many UK Police forces. I have to say that Jonathan has give me lots of advice and information for my crime novels n blood pattern analysis since this event.

Taking Fingerprints at CSI Portsmouth 2016 - Hampshire Police Fingerprint Bureau

The Hampshire Police Fingerprint Bureau were also present and delegates were able to have their fingerprint taken and pressed into a keepsake key ring to take away.

Also present were students on the Forensic Science Course at South Downs College, who came armed with a mockup crime scene including a victim, Victor, the dummy.

Simon Mound Hampshire Police Crime Scene Investigator answering a questionI introduced the event and put the morning panel through their paces with a series of questions that covered crime scene investigations, blood pattern analysis,the recovery and use of DNA at crime scenes and in trials, firearms recovery and cold cases.

Book signing Pauline Rowson at CSI Portsmouth 2016Ialso quizzed fellow crime author Elly Griffiths about how she researches and writes her crime novels. The audience were then able to put their own questions to the panel and this was followed by a book signing and the chance for the audience to talk individually to the panel guests.

Will Sutton, Diana Bretherick and James Law Afternoon Panel CSI Portsmouth 2016 The afternoon panel comprised of Will Sutton, a musician, playwright an author of historical mysteries in Victorian London who quizzed crime author and crime expert Diana Bretherick, a former criminal barrister and now a lecturer in criminology and criminal justice at  the University of Portsmouth, and Hampshire based crime author J. S Law, a former Royal Navy officer.

CSI Portsmouth 2016 was highly informative and entertaining. My thanks, as always,to the panel guests, Hampshire Constabulary, Southdowns College, Portsmouth Library Service and to the audience for coming.

The bookshop was provided by the Hayling Island Bookshop.

CSI Portsmouth 2016, was part of Portsmouth BookFest, a festival of popular literature organised by Portsmouth City Council Library Service. Its aim to promote reading for pleasure and enthusiasm for literature in the city of Portsmouth.

Lets hope live events like these can resume soon.

If you would like me to speak to your organisation, company or library please feel free to
contact me.

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