‘Skelton’ staff plan growth in Hartlepool.
Angela Davies and Dionne Watson used their expertise in crime scene investigation to create an award-winning business. Now they have ambitious plans to expand following a move into new offices in Hartlepool.
CSI Training & Events provides training and unique corporate events to organisations from police forces, fire services and health trusts to schools, universities and companies in many sectors.
The move into UKSE’s Innovation Centre on the Queens Meadow Business Park has given the company the space it needs. The team also includes non-executive Directors Brian Rankin and Angela Whitworth who bring their own knowledge in CSI, quality assurance, training and disaster response to the business.
And team members Ed and George, the articulated skeletons, now have more room to rattle around in too.
Angela and Dionne met at Teesside University then both served as crime scene investigators with Northumbria Police. They started their business in 2012 in an incubation unit and based it at home during the Covid lockdown but badly needed more space.
Their corporate events appeal to companies working in many sectors including recruitment, finance and retail. Teams of six up to 100 staff members enjoy a day of CSI with events encouraging leadership, problem solving and team building skills. They are proving a new attraction to rival paintballing and sports days.
“Adults relish the challenges of CSI and are usually just as keen to dress-up in the crime scene suits and powder for fingerprints as the children,” said Dionne.
Education is a particularly strong growth area for the company and the events appear to be stimulating real interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
“Becoming part of a crime scene is really fun and something different for pupils,” said Angela. “Seeing such enthusiasm and interest is really rewarding.”
CSI also provides online training through a forensic awareness app called Crime Scene Assistant and an online shop sells themed merchandise from pen holders and crime scene tapes to lanyards.
The colleagues also act as disaster consultants and have travelled to Ethiopia, South America and Europe to use their expertise at air disaster scenes.
With Angela living in Redcar and Dionne in Hebburn, Hartlepool is the ideal mid-way spot for their office.
“The Innovation Centre gives us everything we need,” said Angela. “The UKSE team is on hand, we have easy-access storage space, free parking and meeting rooms on site. And Ed and George absolutely love it here!” she added.
Joan Cook, Workspace Manager for UKSE, said: “We have around 50 tenants here and are delighted that CSI Training and Events chose to join them. There’s a real variety of businesses here but this is the first time I’ve visited an office and been greeted by a skeleton. It does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘skeleton staff’.”