Helping Forensic Investigation students understand the challenges of cold case investigation and training the next generation of leading investigators

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Established in 2021, the University of Winchester's Cold Case Unit (CCU) aims to develop the next generation of leading investigators. Based in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Forensics and Politics, the CCU provides an opportunity for our Forensic Investigation students to undertake cold case investigations, supported by the academic team. The CCU aims to progress cases dealing with outstanding missing persons or unidentified remains, and provide information for families and police investigators.

Through the CCU, students learn to understand the complexities and challenges of cold case investigation. Students at all levels (undergraduate and postgraduate) are offered the opportunity to work on real cases alongside experienced investigators from a variety of disciplines. Student members receive additional training as part of this process, and the CCU provides them with a strong foundation to pursue a related career upon graduation. Students benefit from being able to use our state-of-the-art forensic research facilities.

The CCU works with the charity Locate International, the Centre for Missing people Investigations, to select suitable cases. Locate International then provides the unit with case information, training and support, and they liaise with the families on our progress and any additional information the CCU requests. Student members identify and explore investigative lines of enquiry. Though student-led, the CCU investigation takes place under close supervision and guidance of the CCU case management group.

Student members are selected from the BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation and the BSc Cyber Crime and Forensic Investigation programmes, with plans to widen the programmes of study further across the university. Student volunteers are invited to apply and will sit an interview as part of the recruitment process. Currently, the CCU has six dedicated student members who give up their time to volunteer alongside studying for their degree here at the University of Winchester.

Read BSc (Hons) Cyber Crime and Forensic Investigation students Oshina Ann Jose and Ingrid Hoff's experiences of being part of the University's Cold Case Unit.

Meet the team

Internal Steering Group

This group looks after the administrative management of the Cold Case Unit; it manages the membership and the growth of the unit.

Case Management Group

This group is primarily responsible for case management, setting out the priorities and targets for case volunteers.

  • Anna Chaussée, Chair and CCU Director/Senior Lecturer in Forensics
  • Nicky Booth, Vice-Chair/research student
  • Polly Ayres, Internal Forensic Advisor/Lecturer in Forensics
  • TBC, Independent Forensic Advisor
  • TBC, Student Lead