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Professor Phil Rumney

Job: Professor of Criminal Justice

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester De Montfort Law School

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

T: +44 (0)116 257 7197




Personal profile

I have been engaged in research concerning criminal justice responses to rape for two decades. Much of this work has involved doctrinal and socio-legal analysis of adult male rape, rape sentencing, false allegations, the impact of attitudes on rape law enforcement and the policing and courtroom treatment of victims. My teaching examines law, research and policy issues relating to sexual offences and the criminal law. This includes rape within the criminal justice system, the policing and courtroom treatment of sexual offences, child abuse, cases involving the possession and distribution of indecent images of children, prostitution, sex offenders and sentencing. I have given talks before various bodies, including: the Judicial College, Royal Society of Medicine, law enforcement personnel, forensic medical examiners, prison staff, Victim Support, legal practitioners and members of the public.

My current empirical research examines the use of offender centric investigative techniques in rape cases and the idea of investigative complexity in the context of rape case attrition. I am the co-author of a bystander intervention project, The Intervention Initiative, led by Dr Rachel Fenton and funded by Public Health England. I also co-founded the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society series.

My research interests extend to freedom of expression, self-censorship and academic freedom. I also write about the use of interrogational torture as a counter-terrorism measure and my monograph on the subject, Torturing Terrorists: Exploring the Limits of Law, Human Rights and Academic Freedom, was published by Routledge in November 2014. My research on terrorism includes work that examines the way in which interrogational torture can serve to undermine counter-terrorism strategies by provoking retaliation or hardening the resolve of terrorist groups and their supporters.

Research group affiliations

The Institute for Evidence-Based Law Reform (IELR)

Research interests/expertise

Sexual offences and offending, freedom of speech, counter-terrorism policy

Areas of teaching

Sexual offences and offending




Membership of professional associations and societies

Socio-Legal Studies Association


Offender-centric police investigation of rape cases, with Avon & Somerset Constabulary

Consultancy work

National/local radio and TV interviews (20+ radio/TV interviews since 2015)

Advisory group member for a Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support specialist support service research project for people with learning disabilities (2016-2018)

Member, Bristol Crown Court Sexual Violence Advisory Group (2014-2017)

Consulted by the Ministry of Justice regarding rape defendant anonymity (2010)

Consulted by the Stern Review regarding male victims of rape and false rape allegations (2009)

Member of Expert Group, as part of the Department of Health and NIMHE, Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme (2005-2008)

Consulted by Alan Howarth MP and Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede on the subject of male rape during the passage of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill (1994)

Current research students

Anneleise Williams (Director of Study), Ed Johnston (2nd supervisor)

Externally funded research grants information

‘Developing a victim led police service’ Gwent Constabulary & Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (2018) £26,700

‘Justice, Inequality and Gender Based Violence’ ESRC (2015-18) £780,193

'Evaluation of Avon and Somerset Integrated Victim Care Unit' Avon and Somerset Constabulary (2015-16) £27,789

‘Evaluation of Bluestone: A Specialist Rape Investigation Unit’ British Academy/Leverhulme (2014-16) £9,938

College of Policing Innovation Capacity Building Fund (2014) £24,500

Public Health England, ‘Domestic Violence University Bystander Intervention Resources Specification’ (2013-14) £10,000

ESRC Festival of Social Science (two grants) (2012-2013) £1,600

Wiltshire Probation Evaluation Project, (2010-2011) £112,000

'Attitudes towards male rape' SLSA Small Grants Award (2009) £751

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