Ms Susie Atherton

Job: Senior Lecturer in Community and Criminal Justice

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

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

T: +44 (0)116 207 8863

E: satherton@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Research group affiliations

Criminal Justice, Policy and Practice 

Publications and outputs 

  • Cops and Bloggers: Exploring the presence of police culture on the web
    Cops and Bloggers: Exploring the presence of police culture on the web Atherton, Susie The presence and impact of ‘police culture’ has been scrutinized both on the streets (Sherman, 1980; Smith and Gray, 1983; Reiner, 1985; Chan, 1997; Loftus 2010) and in the confines of the police canteen (Waddington, 1999). The traits of conservatism, suspicion, cynicism, sense of mission, machismo and pragmatism (Reiner, 1985) among police officers are widely acknowledged, but still there are debates as to the impact such traits may have on operational policing. More recently, media representations of policing have also been examined in the context of police culture, specifically in relation to fictional depictions which compare the British police past and present (Garland and Bilby, 2011). Police culture has been cited as an organizational influence which impedes reform (Loftus, 2010) but caution over its impact on behaviour has been noted, in relation to the distinction between patrol officers and those in management positions (Chan, 1997). The internet can be an important tool for researching distinct populations (Hine, 2000) and this paper explores one such population, namely commentators (presenting themselves as police officers) on policing themed computer-mediated-communications, or ‘blogs.’ Such blogs may present a forum in which ‘cop culture’ as it is understood is widely expressed, possibly due to a key feature being anonymity and freedom of expression. Whilst acknowledging issues of authenticity, the continuing presence of police culture characteristics within these blogs again raises questions about the impact they may have on operational policing, or whether such forums must be viewed as an important outlet for serving officers.
  • Top Cats: The role and requirements of leadership in community justice initiatives
    Top Cats: The role and requirements of leadership in community justice initiatives Atherton, Susie; Crisp, Annette Community justice initiatives attempt to meet dual aims of dealing with offending and engaging citizens in their local community. They exist throughout the criminal justice system, where policy is being firmly placed at a more local level. Arguably, this requires a clearer understanding of the community in which they are implemented and of what is understood by the term ‘community.’ In addition, a feature of community justice initiatives often include partnership working and concerns over the role of leadership, in relation to responsibility and accountability in order that such initiatives are effectively implemented. Leadership is also highlighted as a key component necessary for building social cohesion and social capital (Rai, 2008; Cantle Report 2006; Coleman 1990), which many community justice initiatives aim to improve on, or draw from. This paper explores the role and type of leadership which can be identified in various community justice initiatives and its importance in contributing to our understanding of social cohesion and communities. The paper assesses current attempts to implement community justice in the context of different styles of leadership and highlights the inherent complexities of organisations and multi-agency working which need to be better understood.
  • Book Review: Victims of Crime and Community Justice Brian Williams (2005) London: Jessica Kingsley
    Book Review: Victims of Crime and Community Justice Brian Williams (2005) London: Jessica Kingsley Atherton, Susie
  • Good Vibrations: The long term impact of a prison based music project
    Good Vibrations: The long term impact of a prison based music project Wilson, David; Caulfield, Laura; Atherton, Susie There is growing awareness amongst policy makers and those working in the criminal justice system of the contribution that can be made by the arts in prisons, in particular by more innovative projects that are often provided by charities and voluntary organisations. Numerous research studies have suggested that projects — such as music and art programmes — that offer participants a creative outlet have a positive impact on offenders, not least by encouraging them to engage with further learning and education. The need to consider fully the long- term impact of such projects has been highlighted in reports commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Education and Skills, and the Arts Council England1, which further suggest that research that tracks participants over time is the most appropriate way to assess the real impact of projects in prison.
  • Service Provision for Detainees with Problematic Drug and Alcohol Use in Police Detention: A Comparative Study of Selected Countries in the European Union
    Service Provision for Detainees with Problematic Drug and Alcohol Use in Police Detention: A Comparative Study of Selected Countries in the European Union MacDonald, M.; Atherton, Susie; Berto, D.; Bukauskas, A.; Graebsch, C.; Parasanau, E.; Popov, I.; Qaramah, A.; Stover, H.; Sarosi, P.; Valdaru, K.
  • Civilian policing, legitimacy and vigilantism: Findings from three case studies in England and Wales
    Civilian policing, legitimacy and vigilantism: Findings from three case studies in England and Wales Sharp, Douglas; Atherton, Susie; Williams, Kate The growth of civilian policing is indicative of public concerns regarding crime, community safety and the performance of the police, along with the recognition of the need for communities to engage in reducing crime and disorder. This paper examines three examples of ‘civilian policing’, including two ‘Street Watch’ schemes and a private security firm. It explores the legitimisation of civilian policing schemes by the police, along with the extent of public support and the impact upon crime reduction. Two of the case studies demonstrate the difficulties for the police in legitimising schemes that engage in the use of or threat of violence and what could be termed ‘vigilantism’. Such activities can clearly undermine the legitimacy of the police, and more specifically the ideals of community policing.
  • (In)Visible barriers: The experience of Asian employees in the Probation Service.
    (In)Visible barriers: The experience of Asian employees in the Probation Service. Heer, Gurmit; Atherton, Susie

Click here for a full listing of Susie Atherton's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Policing
  • Community courts
  • Social capital and social cohesion
  • Drug and alcohol related offending
  • Policy response to drug use in EU

Areas of teaching

  • Criminological theories
  • Community justice
  • Multi-agency working and risk
  • Media and crime
  • Policing.

Qualifications

  • BSc Psychology and Sociology (University of Plymouth)
  • MSc Criminal Justice Policy (London School of Economics)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research (Birmingham City University)

Courses taught

Foundation Degree in Policing (Leicester)  

  • Module Leader - Legislation for Policing
  • Module Leader and Teaching - Criminal Justice and Policing

 

UCPD in Community Policing (Leicester)  

  • Module Leader - Understanding Legislation
  • Teaching - Understanding the Criminal Justice System

BA Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Module Leader - Crime, Risk and Community Safety (undergraduate year 2)
  • Teaching - Introduction to Criminology, Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (undergraduate year 1)

Membership of external committees

Chair, Post Graduate Committee and Executive Committee member, BSC

Membership of professional associations and societies

British Society of Criminology
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

Professional licences and certificates

License obtained, certifying institute, not commercially sensitive information

Forthcoming events

BSC Post-Graduate Annual Conference, University of Portsmouth

Conference attendance

ATHERTON S. Cops and Bloggers: Exploring the presence of police culture on the web, Paper presented at the British Society of Criminology annual conference, Leicester, 2010.

ATHERTON S. Top Cats: Who are the leaders in community justice? Paper presented at the British Society of Criminology annual conference, Cardiff, 2009.

ATHERTON S. Managing part-time study with full-time work, Paper presented at the British Society of Criminology postgraduate conference, Cardiff, 2009

ATHERTON S. When two worlds collide: Policing problematic drug and alcohol use in Lithuania, British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Huddersfield, July 2008.

ATHERTON S. Juveniles in Secure Settings with Problematic Drug Use: Interim findings, Paper presented at the International Prisoner Health Conference, Tallinn, Estonia, 19 - 21 June 2006

ATHERTON S and WILLIAMS K. Everyone’s Business: Investigating the resettlement needs of black and minority ethnic ex-offenders in the West Midlands, Paper presented at the British Society of Criminology Conference, Leicester, December 2005.

ATHERTON S and WILLIAMS K. Cruisin’ For A Boozin’: A study of two arrest referral schemes, Paper presented at the British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Leeds, July 2005

ATHERTON S. Problematic Drug Users in Police Detention in the European Union: A review of current research, Paper presented at the European Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Amsterdam, August 2004.

Key research outputs

MacDonald M, Atherton S, Berto D, Bukauskas A, Graebsch C, Parasanau E, Popov I, Qaramah A, Stöver H, Sarosi P and Valdaru K (2008) Service Provision for Detainees with Problematic Drug and Alcohol Use in Police Detention: A Comparative Study of Selected Countries in the European Union, The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) Paper no. 27 (available from http://www.heuni.fi/12542.htm).

Externally funded research grants information

  • Service Provision for Detainees with Problematic Drug and Alcohol Use in Police Detention: A Comparative Study of Selected Countries in the European Union, funding from EC AGIS programme, July 2005 - July 2007, co-project manager and researcher, collaboration with Morag MacDonald (Birmingham City University) plus EU partners in Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria and Hungary.
  • Why are certain crimes so high in Nottinghamshire? Nottinghamshire Police and Safer Nottinghamshire Board, June - September 2009, researcher (literature review), with Professor Rob Canton and Professor Jean Hine.
  • Hearing the offender learner voice in community based skills policy and practice, City and Guilds, Centre for skills development, Researcher (literature review and fieldwork), June - October 2010, with Professor Rob Canton and Professor Jean Hine.

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