PUPILS at Bonhill Primary School had a very special visitor recently as they learned about the science of fingerprinting as part of a class topic.

Sergeant Sarah Cheesman from the West Dunbartonshire Community Policing Team spoke with the P6 and P7 pupils about the important role finger printing plays in criminal investigations today alongside modern techniques.

She also showed them how to record their own fingerprints.

The talk tied in with the pupils’ topic comparing historical with modern-day Scotland.

As part of this, the children have been researching Scottish physician Henry Faulds, who played a key role in discovering the use of fingerprints as a means of identification back in the 1880s.

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Sergeant Cheesman told the Reporter: “I was delighted to visit Bonhill Primary School to help them with their project. The pupils were very enthusiastic and were able to tell me a great deal about the history of fingerprints. They asked me lots of questions about the modern uses of fingerprints and fingerprint technology.”

During the afternoon, pupils got to match footprints with suspects, dust for fingerprints, create their own fingerprints, and make their own shoe impressions.

In addition, they used their literacy skills to investigate information written in crime reports, and used their problem solving skills to match evidence to suspects.

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Ms Campbell, principal teacher at the school, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed this visit and it put their learning into a real life, valuable context.

“It really makes connections for the children about what they are learning and how this is used in society.

“We are constantly striving to develop the young workforce and the workshops the children had the opportunity to participate in, highlight the skills they are developing and how this will be beneficial for their future.

“It will hopefully inspire some future careers in STEM, forensics and the police force.”