US Air Force seeks advice from Hudds investigative psychologist

Dr Maria Ioannou Dr Maria Ioannou (second right) is pictured at RAF Lakenheath with the USAF base's Sexual Assault Response Co-ordinator, Carolina Yepez.

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09:05:00 BST

‌Dr Maria Ioannou has been working with the USAF to help eliminate sexual violence at its bases

INVESTIGATIVE psychology experts at the University of Huddersfield have been working with the US Air Force to help eliminate sexual violence at its bases.

Dr Maria Ioannou Dr Maria Ioannou (pictured), a Reader in Investigative and Forensic Psychology, is Course Director for the University’s Investigative Psychology MSc degree - a course that is increasingly in demand from police and criminology professionals around the world – and she was invited to visit RAF Lakenheath, which is a base for more than 5,000 USAF personnel and 2,000 civilians.

The purpose of her visit was to provide training to volunteer victim advocates at Lakenheath.

“I spoke about the principles of investigative psychology and the contribution it can make to the investigation of sexual crime,” said Dr Ioannou, who also covered the subject of offender profiling. There was an excellent response to her talk – delivered to about 40 men and women – and she has now received a Certificate of Appreciation signed by Carolina Yepez, who is the base’s Sexual Assault Response Co-ordinator.

certificate “We appreciate the collaboration and friendship we have built with you as we work together to eliminate sexual assault in our communities,” states the certificate.

Carolina Yepez and a USAF colleague subsequently made a reciprocal visit to the University of Huddersfield, where they delivered a lecture to Master’s students.  There are now hopes of further collaboration, including the prospect of USAF personnel taking the the Investigative Psychology course.

The University is home to the International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology, directed by Professor David Canter, who is founder of the discipline.  The MSc course, directed by Dr Ioannou, currently has some 60 students and the number of applicants is steadily rising so that is nearing capacity.  It is a one-year course but teaching is delivered in blocks, so that candidates can fit it around work commitments.

Police officers, psychologists and other professionals from around the world have been taking the course.  In addition to its range of modules – including intensive training on advanced statistical methods – the course also has an international network of law enforcement contacts and students have access to the unique and extensive Investigative Psychology archive developed by Professor Canter.  It contains original case files and material on murders, serial killers, profiles and publications.

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