Criminal Justice Personal Statement
Submitted by Holly
As a way to explore my interest in criminology and related fields I have taken part in independent research. In order to see what it might be like to study criminology, I have taken part in two psychology studies. The first was a university research project on attentional disengagement from emotional stimuli in developing children and how this relates to symptoms of depression and anxiety. I enjoyed the process of examining photographs and submitting the data through computer input. The results for this study showed that the participants had faster disengagement from their mother, than to a stranger’s face and to happy faces, rather than sad faces, and there was no significant difference between high and low depression and anxiety groups. Further to this, I was able to take part in another university study, this time on whether or not short-term memory depreciated during teenage years and again, I also submitted this data through computer input. Because I had the opportunity to take part in these studies, it has been interesting for me to be able to see how researchers work and the value ascribed to gathering data through case studies.
Similar to this, I have also taken part in a FutureLearn course on forensic psychology. Over 8 weeks I learned about; what can affect a witness’ memory, inattentional blindness, how to evaluate witness evidence, methods of facial recognition and the identification procedure. This online course was very valuable as it allowed me to look deeper into some of the factors of criminology and made me realise further how much I want to study this course. In the news recently, there has been many stories that feature elements of criminology. For example, if we look at the fire at Grenfell Tower in London, there’s lots of controversy regarding criminal responsibility. The reason that the tower fire has caused so much uproar is that the residents of the fire blame the owner of the building because of the recent renovations, however, although the police are now considering manslaughter charges, it still isn’t fully clear as to what they’ll be charged with. In my opinion, this crime should be classed as corporate manslaughter rather than murder, as murders are premeditated whereas the fire was not. I believe this also because it is well known that the cause of the fire was the recently refurbished insulation which, despite not passing the health and safety checks, was installed because it was much cheaper than acceptable insulation.
Links to criminology can also be looked at through the recent bout of terrorism that has hit the UK. The attacks that hit Manchester and London not long ago have well and truly shook the country because, although we’ve shown a great level of resilience, it’s also showing us as a nation that life shouldn’t be taken for granted because these people that commit such heinous acts will stop at nothing to try and destroy us. As someone who has been a victim of crime myself, I think it’s important to distinguish what is classed as criminal and when it crosses the line and becomes terrorism. The main way to separate the two is by looking at motives. Most crimes are carried out as a way of getting either money or power but terrorist attacks are done purely as a way to hurt people, they want people to be punished for not following their political, ideological or religious standpoint.