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University students provided with hands-on experience of real-life cold cases

Leeds Trinity University’s Cold Case Unit has been supported through the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s Safer Communities Fund.

The project was awarded £6,087.36 as part of the round of grants where recipients from across the region celebrated at an awards evening on Wednesday 7 February at Pudsey Grammar School in Leeds.

The Cold Case Unit provides Leeds Trinity students with a unique opportunity to work on real-life cases across the UK, find new lines of inquiry and help families find answers to their loved ones’ disappearance or murder. The University currently has 100 students enrolled on the Cold Case Unit.

Dr Kirsty Bennett, Cold Case Unit lead and Senior Lecturer in Policing at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“The Cold Case Unit provides our Criminology and Policing students with real experience of investigations and supports secondary victims of unsolved and long-term missing persons cases.

“Secondary victims are often omitted from the policies and practices underpinning the work of agencies within the Criminal Justice System. Yet, they experience exacerbated trauma when they continue to try and find answers and justice, over long periods of time.

“I am proud to lead the Cold Case Unit providing a unique opportunity for students to gain experience of real-life cases across from across the country and to also provide a little hope for families. I am looking forward to seeing what our students may find as part of their investigations.”

Professor Tony Blockley, Head of School of Criminology, Investigation and Policing, said:

“I am thankful to Dr Bennett for bringing her knowledge and expertise to Leeds Trinity and providing our students with this brilliant opportunity, giving them an insight into the sort of tasks that will be asked of them in their chosen field and careers. The funding received will go towards supporting students to learn about elements of their potential future careers whilst they study, and help families and the police as part of this process.”

68 community projects across West Yorkshire have benefitted from over one million pounds in funding. The money is from the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund and goes towards tackling issues such as serious violence, hate crime and support victims of crime and trauma. The fund is financed through recovered cash and assets seized from criminals by police and prosecutors, under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

At the awards event, Dr Kirsty Bennett was given the opportunity to showcase the work of Leeds Trinity’s Cold Case Unit and highlight the impact this work could have on victims, their families and loved ones and the wider community. 

For more information about Leeds Trinity’s Criminology, Investigation and Policing courses, visit the University website.

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