On Saturday I made the trip to Portsmouth to attend CSI Portsmouth. Organised by crime writer Pauline Rowson, and one of many events taking place as part of the Portsmouth BookFest 2013, CSI Portsmouth was held at the fabulous Royal Naval Museum in the Historic Dockyard.
Now in its fourth year, the event brought together crime writers and crime solving experts.
The morning panel paired crime authors Pauline Rowson and Kerry Wilkinson, with real-life crime experts Michael Ellis of Hampshire Police and Dr Alex Allan, a Forensic Scientist specialising in Toxicology. The afternoon panel paired crime authors SJ Bolton and NJ Cooper with real-life crime experts Brian Chappell, MBE, former DCI with the MET and Scotland Yard, and Sergeant Tony Birr from Hampshire Police Marine Unit.
Both panels made for some interesting discussions. For example, the debate in the morning panel around ‘legal highs’ and how the use of these unregulated and seemingly untested drugs are impacting on the police and other emergency services, and the conversation in the afternoon panel between NJ Cooper and SJ Bolton on whether provoking fear in themselves whilst writing helped them portray a scary and tension filled scene.
In addition to the panels, Haling Island Bookshop was on-hand for all your bookish shopping needs, and I was able to get my fingerprint (well, thumbprint) taken by Hampshire Constabulary and have it put into a key-ring!
If you’re interested in how crime is investigated both in real life and in crime fiction, CSI Portsmouth 2014 could be worth a visit.