My name’s Ashleigh and this July I was fortunate enough to receive work experience at the headquarters of Crimestoppers Trust.
I personally sought out this position due to my great interest in careers that work to prevent and reduce crime. I have been interested in the crime solving and prevention area of work from a young age, ever since I was old enough to understand the plotline of an episode of NCIS. I also want to work in crime prevention because I have a strong opinion on how crime is negatively affecting society in the present day. These factors prompted me to seek a career in the areas of Forensic Science, which is what I want to study at University.
Two years ago, before I started Sixth Form, I participated in a summer programme that required me to campaign in my local area on behalf of a topic I felt passionate about. My group’s campaign aimed to change the public’s perception of youth in relation to crime and anti-social behaviour. This was an experience that truly opened my eyes to how society views my generation, and this only spurred me on; I became more determined to show people how passionate my generation could be about important issues. This further encouraged me to work towards crime prevention, and it was at this time that I realised what I truly wanted to do with my future.
I had heard about Crimestoppers and their work as a young teenager, as my high school had been keen to tell us about their work and what they do. From then on the organisation had my attention, which is what led me to applying for work experience with them during my second year at Sixth Form. From what I knew about the work Crimestoppers does, I knew this placement would have relevance to my chosen career path. I was also keen to find out what goes on behind the scenes, rather than what is presented to the public. My experience was extremely eye-opening, and I may even consider pursuing a similar career path after University.
As I mentioned before, I believe one of the greatest things holding back the youth of today is the way older people perceive them. If you wear a tracksuit, you have an ASBO – if you wear black, if you have piercings, dyed hair, branded clothing; people make broad assumptions about your personality. Not all young people are criminals – I’m certainly not. I want to be able to spread the message that the underestimated youth of today are capable of much more than is thought of them.
In the next two years I want to be studying Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation at University. I have always had a proclivity for science, and to be able to combine that with my passion for studying crime meant that this degree immediately caught my eye. The course itself includes lessons on Policing and community work, which ties into what Crimestoppers does, hence the work experience. If I can have a hand in crime prevention, maybe I can achieve my goals. Maybe this is all simply an ambition, but I fully intend to try.