Dr James Tangen

Job: VC2020 Lecturer in Criminology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: 0116 201 3979

E: james.tangen@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls


Personal profile

James is a VC2020 Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and module leader for the undergraduate year 1 course Research Equality & Diversity (CRIM1004) on the BA Criminology and Criminal Justice programme. James acts as Co-Programme Leader for the Community Justice programmes, including the Professional Qualification in Probation. James is a member of the Faculty of Health & Life Science Faculty Development And Review Committee (DARC); Undergraduate Admissions Tutor for the Division of Community and Criminal Justice; and the academic liaison for the Criminology with Psychology programme.

James joined the National Probation Service in 2001 as a Trainee Probation Officer in the Nottinghamshire area. During his training, and immediately following his qualification as a Probation Officer in 2003, James was seconded to Youth Offending Teams and spent over 2 years delivering the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) to prolific and otherwise priority Young Offenders (PYOs).  James has also worked in a variety of Courts and has experience of supervising adult offenders. In 2006 James was promoted to Senior Probation Officer of an inner city team in Nottingham, following which he moved to supervising a community supervision team in Newark and Sherwood, a rural district of Nottinghamshire. Consequently, James has been responsible for the delivery of all aspects of probation services, from Magistrates’ Court liaison to Unpaid Work. During his probation career, James worked closely with partner agencies, including the police, social care and community organisations to manage specific individuals identified as posing a significant risk of serious harm to the public. This included chairing multi-agency public protection meetings (MAPPA Level 2), and working with Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood Community Safety Partnership to develop probation involvement with local Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC). 

In 2010 James took the difficult decision to leave his career with Nottinghamshire Probation Trust to pursue a long-held ambition of an academic career. Following the successful completion of a Master’s degree in research methods, with a special focus on public policy and management, James began studying full-time for his PhD. In 2016 he completed his thesis, titled ‘Instability in the social construction of victims of trafficking: A sociological case study of UK public policy’. This research explored the factors influencing street-level bureaucrats in the UK as they judge the credibility of individuals claiming to be a victim of human trafficking.

2015 also saw James join De Montfort University as a Lecturer in Probation, where his focus was delivering academic teaching as a part the Probation Qualifying Framework. In 2016, James transfered to the BA Criminology and Criminal Justice programme as a VC2020 Lecturer, which allows him to balance his teaching commitments with an equal focus on research activities.

Research group affiliations

  • Community & Criminal Justice Research Group
  • Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Research Network

Research interests/expertise

  • Citizenship & Human rights
  • Criminal Justice Policy & Practice
  • Criminology
  • Critical victimology
  • Digital criminology
  • Sexual and domestic violence

Areas of teaching

  • Digital criminology
  • Research methods
  • Community penalties


  • PhD Sociology (University of Nottingham)
  • MA Research Methods (Public Policy & Management) (University of Nottingham)
  • BA Criminal Justice (University of Birmingham)
  • BA Sociology (University of Nottingham)

Courses taught

  • CRIM1014 Researching Crime & Justice (Module Leader)
  • CRIM2006 Punishment & Society (Seminar Tutor)
  • CRIM2090 Digital Criminology (Module Leader)
  • CRIM3001 Dissertation (Supervisor)

Membership of external committees

  • BSC Midlands Regional Group, 2017-, Co-convenor
  • BSA Citizenship Study Group, 2013-2016, Co-convenor

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Royal Society of Arts (2017-) (Fellowship)
  • Probation Institute (2017-)
  • British Society of Criminology (2017-)
  • Higher Education Academy (2016-) (Fellowship)
  • British Sociological Association (2012-)
  • Social Policy Association (2011-2016)
  • National Association of Probation Officers (2001-2010)

Professional licences and certificates

  • Diploma in Probation Studies (DipPS)

Conference attendance

  • Tangen, J (2017) ‘The role of credibility in constructing the ‘victim of trafficking’ status’, delivered to the British Sociological Association National Conference, University of Manchester: 04 April 2017
  • Tangen, J (2016) ‘The challenge of evidencing coercion and control in the assessment of domestic abuse perpetrators’ delivered to the Coercion and Control in the Commission of Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence and Abuse Conference, De Montfort University: 11 November 2016
  • Tangen, J (2016) ‘Bodies, voices and credibility: Instability in the construction of the victim of trafficking status’ delivered to BSA Early Career Forum Conference ‘Embodied Citizenship: Mediating the State through the Self’, University of Nottingham: 18 January 2016
  • Tangen, J (2013) ‘Business as usual? The conflict between institutional structures and policy priorities in the field of human trafficking’ delivered to the Enquire Postgraduate Conference 2013, University of Nottingham: 10-11 September 2013
  • Tangen, J (2013) ‘Human trafficking, Article 26 and the possibility of world citizenship’ delivered to the BSA Regional Conference: Citizenship and Belonging: A Postgraduate Conference, University of Nottingham: 25 & 26 March 2013.

Consultancy work

  • 2016-2017 Independent Consultant reviewing clinical data for a social & horticultural therapy organisation.
  • 2014-2015 Research Associate conducting a  quantitative data analysis for the Leaving Care Survey for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), University of Nottingham
  • 2010-2011 Consultant researcher undertaking an analysis of risk assessment practices of a mentoring scheme operating at HMP Nottingham. 

Current research students

  • Kirsty Holton (p/t 2016-2022) (First Supervisor)
  • Kim Sadique (p/t 2017-2023 by concurrent publication) (Second Supervisor)

James is interested in supervising doctoral students working in the areas of citizenship & human rights, community justice, criminal justice policy & practice, and digital criminology. 

Professional esteem indicators

  • British Journal of Community Justice, 2015-present, Peer reviewer
  • Enquire Postgraduate Online Journal, 2012- 2014, Editor (Online & Social Media Content)
  • Enquire Postgraduate Conference ‘Interdisciplinarity: Grounding social research and practice in an age of complexity’, University of Nottingham, 2011- 2012, Conference co-convenor

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