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Gruesome Murders on the morning panel at CSI Portsmouth 2012

Crime Busters Pauline Rowson, Stephen Booth, Matt HiltonCrime authors Stephen Booth, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson, and crime experts from Hampshire Police and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services kept a packed audience enthralled at CSI Portsmouth 2012 on Saturday 3 November during the morning panel when they were grilled by Cheryl Buggy, Station Director of Express FM radio, in one of the two lively panel debates of crime fiction versus crime fact.

Pauline Rowson introducing CSI Portsmouth 2012Over a hundred and sixty people attended the one day event held at the John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth. The audience also had the chance to put their questions to the panel and to talk to the team from the fingerprint bureau and students from the Forensic Science course from South Downs College who provided a crime scene.

On the morning panel Carolyn Lovell, Crime Scene Manager/Coordinator for Hampshire Police, gave a fascinating insight into her role of managing crime scenes and spoke of how the advances in science were assisting the conviction of criminals but in turn was adding to the amount of paperwork the police increasingly have to complete in order to bring a case to court.

Caroyn Lovell, Hampshire Police, Crime Scene Manager Co-ordinatorWith an MSc in Forensic Archaeology Carolyn was also quizzed about her study of the decomposition of pigs and how it affected the forensic recovery of finger marks in blood on items within the grave environment. Asked about the biggest challenges facing her team, Carolyn said the lack of resources and cut backs in the police were presenting increasing difficulties, a point that was shared by DC Terry Fitzjohn, Fire Investigation Officer for Hampshire Police, who joined Carolyn on the morning panel.

Alongside Watch Manager Andy Earl from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, DC Terry Fitzjohn spoke of how Hampshire Police and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services had combined to provide an Arson Task Force that was so successful in not only reducing arson attacks but also in securing convictions that other police forces across the UK were now consulting them over, wishing to emulate their success.

Andy Earl HFRS, Arson Task Force with DC Terry Fitzjohn, Hampshire Police, Fire InvestigationsAndy Earl explained that the Hampshire Arson Task Force had been set up in April 2007 and now boasts a fifty three percent arrest rate with a conviction rate of seventy percent, which is 2 to 3 times the national average. Both Terry and Andy spoke of some of the harrowing incidents they’d attended and told the audience how they dealt with them by often using a dark humour to relieve the tension, but adding that their professional training helped.

Matt Hilton, Stephen Booth, Pauline RowsonAsked about the challenges facing the authors, Matt Hilton, a former cop and author of the Joe Hunter series of action packed thrillers, spoke of the pressure to not only write two novels a year but at the same time to see novels through copy editing to publication across different publication timetables in the UK and the USA while continuing to promote and market them.

Stephen Booth, author of DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry series set in the Peak District spoke of the challenges of writing a continuing series and at the same time keeping it fresh for the reader, a sentiment that was echoed by Pauline Rowson author of the DI Andy Horton series set in the Solent area on the South Coast of England. 

Booksigning- Matt Hilton, Stephen Booth and Pauline RowsonThe panel session ended with a book signing by the authors and there was the chance for the audience to talk individually to the authors and experts.

The day was a great success, entertaining, intriguing and informative.

Click here for more on CSI Portsmouth.

DVD CSI Portsmouth 2012CSI Portsmouth 2012 - DVD Now Available

Running Time 2hrs. 17 mins.

Cost £20 plus £3.50 postage and packaging.

To order or for enquiries outside the UK please e mail using the Contact Us form

CSI Portsmouth 2012 in its third year is the brainchild of Pauline Rowson who organises it with Portsmouth City Council Library Service and the Hayling Island Bookshop. Part of Portsmouth BookFest it is fast becoming a major fixture in the crime fiction festival calendar. 

CSI Portsmouth 2013 will take place on Saturday 2 November. More details to follow.

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NOVEMBER 5TH, 2012 @ 7:06:19 UTC

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