Psychology students attended a criminology conference at Friends House in London to learn more about real life criminal investigations and discrimination.
We heard from Dr Lyndsey Harris who spoke about domestic violence and the criminal justice system. This gave an informative and somewhat harrowing insight into the realities of abuse and the difficulties victims often face when coming forward. Following this, Dr Irene Zempi talked about hate crime in the cyber world and the implications this has in the ‘real’ world. This felt particularly relevant in today’s society given the popularity of social media and its lack of accountability. Marisa Merico then recounted her experience of growing up in the mafia, her arrest and her eventual rejection of a life of crime. The complexities of a mafia ‘family’ and the challenges of escaping its influence were chilling. Dr Zoe Walkington’s talk on the psychology of lie detection was engaging and interactive, testing us all on our ability to detect truth and lie telling in others. It also highlighted the clear difficulties in police investigation for both the suspect and investigator. Finally, Noel ‘Razor’ Smith shared his experience of a lifetime of crime, prison sentences and what eventually motivated him to change. Noel’s talk was absolutely captivating, giving an insight into life in prisons and what may initially cause someone to turn to crime. This was also an undeniable message of hope. Whilst in prison Noel had learnt to read and write and had spent years exploring every book he could, eventually writing his own very successful autobiography.
This was a highly informative and enjoyable day and we all went away with a broader understanding of criminology and its wider relevance today.
Amelia D, Upper Sixth