PCSO Neil Park, PCSO Katie Roberts and PCSO Gary Dunning at Whitchurch Hub for the CSI Spooktacular

Police host spooky nights of fun for Cardiff children

Halloween events at Whitchurch Hub included a murder mystery game – and plenty of pizza

CARDIFF Police offered alternative Halloween and Bonfire celebrations for children in Whitchurch with their CSI Spooktacular event, including some Domino’s pizza.

Police Community Support Officer Gary Dunning and his colleagues entertained children at Whitchurch Hub with two evenings of crime solving. The murder mystery event called CSI Spooktacular saw children as young as five take on the challenge.

A local Domino’s branch in Whitchurch donated pizzas for the children to enjoy.

The mystery evenings seem to have inspired quite a few young people to consider taking up police or detective work when they grow up, according to PCSO Dunning.

CSI Spooktacular was held at Whitchurch Hub on Monday October 31 and Saturday November 5 between 6pm and 8pm. The event was designed for children between 10 and 14, but saw older teenagers attempt to solve the mystery too.

The PCSOs scattered clues around the library alongside crime scene markers. Children had to use their detective skills to decipher clues and work through the suspect case file to find who committed the crime.

“This part of the event really encourages the kids to work together, it is a great team building exercise,” said PCSO Dunning.

PCSO Neil Park, PCSO Katie Roberts and PCSO Gary Dunning at Whitchurch Hub for the CSI Spooktacular

PCSO Katie Roberts operated a fingerprint station allowing the youngsters to take their own fingerprints.

At the other end of the hub, PCSO Neil Park ran a phonetic alphabet task.

“The phonetic alphabet is essential for police work and other emergency services,” said PCSO Park.

The range of phonetic-based activities saw kids in the age 16+ group take on the challenge of phonetically spelling Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – the longest town name in the UK.

The PCSOs in Whitchurch first ran the event in 2018 and it continued for two years until the pandemic hit. CSI Spooktacular made its comeback this year, but numbers dwindled to 20 each evening compared with 60 in previous years.

PCSO Dunning hopes numbers will return to pre-lockdown levels next year.

“It is an important event for the community as it allows us to interact with local youths so hopefully if they see us on the street in the future, they will be more willing to talk to us,” he said.