Forget cooking and crafts, it was blood testing and fingerprints on the menu for Girl Guides in the Cotswolds.

It was CSI for real when 1st Kingham Guides (based in Bledington) had the chance to roll up their sleeves and get a hands-on experience of what a real forensic examination involves.

Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) and ex-Girl Guide Clare Franks, Gloucestershire Constabulary’s forensics team leader, put them through their paces.

Just like real SOCOs, the Guides learned about lifting fingerprints, electrostatic footprints and presumptive blood testing. They were given a demonstration of other forensic equipment, had a tour of the SOCO van and were able to quiz Clare about the job and what she does.

They might not have solved any crimes, but they did earn their science badge as a result.

Clare said, “I loved being a Guide and it was great to go back and help the girls with their badge. Unfortunately, such is our workload, it’s something we rarely get the chance to do”.

The Girl Guides and Forensics team leader Clare Franks

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “It’s great when members of the Constabulary are able to reach out to the community and tell people about the important work they do.

“Ensuring that young people in the county have a healthy relationship with the police is key to making our county an even better place to live. If we are to have a safer, happier, more inclusive community we need young people onside.

“Perhaps a few of the Girl Guides might be inspired to join the police force forensics unit as a result”.


1st Kingham Guides have space for girls aged 10 to 14 to join in their adventures and are also looking for adult volunteers to help support. If you are interested, please contact For more details on Girl Guiding or to register an interest elsewhere, please visit