Stephen, a student at a south London school, joined us recently here at Crimestoppers for a two-week work placement. Here, he tells us how it went – and why Crimestoppers is more like the Bat Signal than Batman!
Are you like me a few months before writing this and have no idea what to do for work experience? Do you want to work for a major charity? Have you watched too many shows about serial killers on Netflix and want to know what working in a place that helps to catch criminals is like? Want to get a good-sounding line on your future CV when applying for other jobs? If you answered yes to a few of the above things, then I can wholeheartedly recommend Crimestoppers for your work experience in the summer.
Now, before you continue reading, I would like to clarify a few things. A lot of people have heard of Crimestoppers. You might have heard the name on the news when major crimes like murders and armed robberies happen. Yet quite a lot of people don’t really know what Crimestoppers actually does. This then creates the idea that Crimestoppers is essentially Batman. This is far from being the actual case.
Instead, the charity is more like the Bat Signal. The agents at the Crimestoppers contact centre receive calls and online forms from people who have seen crimes. They then take out any personal information, and pass a report on to the police and other law enforcement agencies. As a charity, Crimestoppers is entirely independent from the police, and its call services and online form are 100% anonymous. They do not keep or store any personal information about callers (trust me, I can testify to this; I’ve seen it).
Crimestoppers provides a service where people can report crimes without the fear of having their personal information being kept and someone else finding out about it.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t make the work experience placement uninteresting or boring at all. Remember, Crimestoppers is a charity. At the central office, there is a wide range of departments, such as Finance, Communications and Campaigns, so you’re bound to find something you’re interested in. Personally, I found the contact centre to be the most interesting, as you always have something to do and the calls are always fascinating.
Work experience at Crimestoppers would look great on a CV, particularly if you want to go into a career to do with the police and criminology. Even if you aren’t interested in those sorts of things, the placement is still worthwhile.
Above all, though, what you should do is keep your options open. Most people in the world of work go for one thing throughout their entire life and end up unhappy at the end of it. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re a heart surgeon making so much money and yet you wish that you could rewrite your own history and get the job that would have made you happy. If you get a job that makes you happy when you’re older, your work won’t feel like a dehumanising grind.