Gruesome murder scenes, cybercrime, fraud and stalking entertained audiences at CSI Portsmouth 2012 with crime authors and crime experts

Crime authors Stephen Booth, Ann Cleeves, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson, and crime experts from Hampshire Police, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Surrey kept a packed audience enthralled at CSI Portsmouth on Saturday 3 November when they were grilled by Cheryl Buggy, Station Director of Express FM radio, in two lively panel debates of crime fiction versus crime fact.

Over a hundred and sixty people attended the one day event held at the John Pounds Centre, Portsmouth hailing from as far afield as the north of England, the Midlands and Kent as well as joining local people to hear what police and crime experts had to say about their work and to listen to the crime authors talking about their novels.

The audience also had the chance to put their questions to the panel and to talk to the team from the fingerprint bureau and students from the Forensic Science course from South Downs College who provided a crime scene.

CSI Portsmouth 2012is in its third year, the brainchild of Pauline Rowson who organises it with Portsmouth City Council Library Service and the Hayling Island Bookshop. Part of Portsmouth BookFest it is fast becoming a major fixture in the crime fiction festival calendar.

Joining authors Ann Cleeves, Stephen Booth, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson were Carolyn Lovell, Crime Scene Manager/Coordinator for Hampshire Police, DC Terry Fitzjohn, Fire Investigation Officer for Hampshire Police, Watch Manager Andy Earl from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, Adrian Fretter, from the Hi-Tech Crime Unit of Hampshire Police, fraud expert Dr Mark Button from the University of Portsmouth, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and Professor Bran Nicol an expert on crime culture and stalking.

Both panel sessions ended with a book signing by the authors and there was the chance for the audience to talk individually to the authors and experts.

Pauline Rowson, author of the DI Andy Horton series of police procedural mysteries set on the South Coast of England, says, ‘The day was a great success. It was entertaining, intriguing and very informative. I came away with lots of ideas for crime novels as I know my colleagues also did. The feedback from the audience was very positive and we’re now looking to build on this success for CSI Portsmouth 2013.’

CSI Portsmouth 2013 will take place on Staurday 2 November. More details to follow.

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