I am a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Subject Leader for the Combined Subjects Programme in Criminology. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I completed my PhD, which examined the occupational experiences and identities of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), in 2010 and joined the University of Sunderland in 2011. Previously to this, I studied at the University of Northumbria, graduating with a first class in BSc Criminology in 2002, an MSc in Social Research in 2003 and a PGCert in Academic and Professional Learning in 2010, and worked as a social researcher within the Community Safety Research Unit, also at the University of Northumbria. I am currently working on a research project exploring the occupational experiences and deployment of Special Constables.
SSC209 Policing Past, Present and Future SSC207 Youth, Crime and Criminology
I also supervise undergraduate students on the SSC315 Criminology Dissertation module; offering supervision in the areas of policing, youth crime and youth justice.
Research interests for potential research students
My research interests are:
The civilianisation of policing, particularly PCSOs, the Special Constabulary and the growing involvement of citizens in police work
Legitimacy and confidence in policing
Police ethics and professional standards
Structural disadvantage, youth crime and justice
I am currently involved in two research projects:
A research project that explores the deployment and occupational experiences of Special Constables that seeks to enhance understanding of their effectiveness and contribution to local policing and contribute towards strategies for retention (with Dr Pauline Ramshaw).
An evaluation of the Northumbria Local Appropriate Adult Scheme (NLAAS) which provides support to vulnerable adults being interviewed by the police as a victim, witness or accused (with Dr Donna Peacock).
Areas of expertise
My research interest and expertise lies primarily within policing, specifically the occupational experiences, identities and culture(s) of individuals working across the extended police family. Within my PhD research and subsequent research, I have also explored the relationship between communities and the police, specifically strategies and barriers to engagement, professional craft skills of police work and questions of legitimacy and authority that are essential to effective policing and maintaining order.