Criminology Personal Statement
Crime is a complex and multi-faceted subject that is often dealt with in fairly simplistic terms by the news media. It is easy, therefore, to get a skewed idea of the issues that are at the core of debates around crime; such as the causes, the effects and the best responses. As I have encountered thoughtful and far-ranging studies throughout my schooling, however, the true complexity of the subject has become apparent to me, inspiring a fascination with gaining greater understanding and a passion for ultimately implementing the lessons learnt in a career which has a positive impact on our society. Despite some health difficulties, I have proven myself to be a dedicated and ambitious student who is prepared to work hard to achieve my academic goals. Having not achieved the grades of which I am sure I am capable at GCSE level, due to the above mentioned health issues, I have recently returned to studying English and Maths through Learn Direct and anticipate fulfilling my potential in these subjects in the near future. I am also currently undertaking a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Uniformed Public Services, for which I am continually gaining Distinction or Merit level grades. This course has introduced me to multiple aspects of working within the public services, but has, more importantly, offered my first opportunities to encounter Criminology as a discipline. During a unit called ‘Crime and its Effect on Society’, I became fascinated by learning about the causes and effects of crime and the various legislative measures that have been put in place to attempt to deal with these issues; such the Anti Social Behaviour Act, the Crime and Disorder Act, the Police Reform Act and the Criminal Justice Act.
The course also highlighted the need to understand the social and psychological causes of crimes and has inspired me to undertake a great deal of additional reading outside of my studies. I found Tim Newburn’s ‘Criminology’ to be particularly helpful in outlining the goals and techniques that form the discipline and allowing me to see what studying the subject in more depth would entail. For a more ‘hands on’ experience of the way in which the criminal justice system works, I also attended a court case in Canterbury throughout my summer holiday, involving the smuggling of £90,000 worth of heroin in to Dover Port. This not only allowed me to witness the way in which justice is practised first hand but also highlighted the importance of the inspiring work done in dealing with socially harmful practices, such as drug dealing.
When I am not exploring my growing interests in crime and criminology I am a keen sportsman and enjoy keeping fit. As part of my BTEC course I have been required to create and deliver a fitness plan for my fellow students, honing my leadership, time management and organisational skills in addition to maintaining my physical wellbeing. This experience also drew on communication and teamwork skills I had honed through doing voluntary conservation work at Hambrook Marshes with Kent Enterprise Trust (KET). The sense of pride I gained when giving back to my community through this work is also a factor that has inspired me to seek out a career in public service and make a positive impact on the society in which I live.
Having worked hard to gain a strong grounding in the field of Criminology, both through my studies and in my spare time, I believe that I am now ready to make the leap to undergraduate study. As a dedicated and capable student, with a passion for the potential of the criminal justice system to contribute to a fairer, safer society, I have the skills and the drive to perform to a high standard throughout undergraduate study and into a successful career in a related field, such as the probation service.
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