Forensics: The Real CSI - DI Laura Harrison
"I initially moved to the West Midlands to study for a tourism degree but here I am now as a police officer of almost 20 years. It’s about doing the best you can to get justice for victims and their families and I feel privileged to be in this role."
Detective Inspector Laura Harrison is a relatively new recruit to our homicide team having only moved from another department in early 2020.
She’s risen through the ranks and is now helping to solve the most harrowing cases and ensure murderers are put behind bars.
Although it could have been a different story, and her policing career may never have taken off at all…
“When I was at school I thought about joining the army, but by the time I was in my late teens I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do," she said.
“I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors - and activities such as mountain walking, kayaking and skiing - so ended up moving from Bedfordshire to Birmingham to study adventure tourism management.
“I was still undecided of my career path after that but something pulled me towards applying to join the police. I was 21 and I remember having to go for an interview in Coventry.
“I actually turned up late because of traffic and I thought there’s no way I will be accepted now, but thankfully I was given a chance. I’m just grateful I was as joining the force is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."
Laura started off as a response officer in Birmingham and then took her first detective steps by moving into CID.
She was involved in teams tackling robbery and burglary before becoming a Sergeant within our public protection unit in 2014.
Following her promotion to Inspector she was recruited to the homicide unit in January last year and has needed to hit the ground running - as viewers of the recent episode of Forensics - The Real CSI will have seen.
“I had a long-term aspiration to join the homicide unit and now I’m here I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else," the 40-year-old said.
“We deal with some horrific and heartbreaking cases but we’re in a position where we can try and get justice.
“When someone has lost their life it’s not a feeling of satisfaction when you catch and convict whoever was responsible. You’re just determined to do your best for all those affected.
“I have acted as family liaison officer (FLO) so know the pain suffered by those who’ve lost someone very special to them."
Laura is married to a former homicide detective so he understands the sacrifices she needs to make and emotions she goes through. She knows she can rely on the backing of her colleagues.
“The support of my team is one of the best parts of the job. We all work long hours but we do it because we want to solve the most serious crimes.
“With this role every day is different and when your phone starts ringing you just brace yourself for what you’re about to be told. You never lose sight of the impact that a death can have, it’s always at the forefront of your mind.
“No investigation is solved by one person alone, there are lots of things to consider and different roles to play. Our greatest strength in doing this job is the teamwork."
Interested in making a real difference and joining one of our teams? We’re recruiting so check out https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/