Katrine, student placement volunteer

My name’s Katrine, and I’m a on a student placement at Crimestoppers. I’m originally from Norway. The winters in northern Norway are quite different to those here in England. What Brits call cold, we call summer – and what they call dark, we call cosy.

One key element to surviving a northern winter is binge-watching television shows. We snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket and a nice cup of tea to watch television programmes for days. My favourites are crime dramas.

From Criminal Minds to criminology

Growing up in my small town, I watched a lot of a particular programme – CBS’s Criminal Minds. The show follows FBI profilers in their mission to catch the most twisted and horrifying criminals in the US. Part of me wondered if criminals like these existed in real life. After some research, I discovered that some of the episodes were based on real-life crimes and criminals. I was fascinated, and I was eager to learn why some people commit unspeakable crimes while most of us do not.

While still at school I started looking into profile analysis, criminology and, later, criminal psychology. I was hooked. Understanding who commits crime and why they commit crime is important not only to prevent future crime, but also to understand how we treat offenders.

On to university, and a placement at Crimestoppers

After two years studying criminology and criminal psychology in London, an opportunity to do work placement with Crimestoppers opened up. I did not hesitate to say yes. I wasn’t sure exactly what they did but after spending just one day working alongside a group of brilliant people, I realised that their importance in giving people the power to speak up about crime is much greater than I first anticipated.

Education and information about crime issues are key

One of the most effective ways of detecting and preventing crime is educating people about different aspects of criminality. For example, what is crime by law might be different to what most people perceive as criminal behaviour. Crimestoppers provides a way for people to give information about crime 100% anonymously, and also has lots of information about keeping safe at home, work and out and about on their website. Education and information about crime issues are key, especially when crime behaviour is changing, i.e. more use of internet to commit crime.

I’m looking forward to the rest of my placement at Crimestoppers. Keep a look out for my next blog where I’ll be sharing more about my experience!