PhD Students

Current PhD candidates supervised by staff in the division include:

Chris Alcott

What influences the relationship between policy and practice within the police service? How is policy interpreted, adapted and operationalised by practitioners when delivering service?

Supervisors: Professor Dave Ward

The Police Service is charged with looking to reduce resources across the Service, including, and possibly especially those resources involved in community engagement in its widest sense. This will involve some level of required change process, an enterprise which the police service has reportedly demonstrates little aptitude and ability for. My research focuses on the influences which impact on the relationship between policy and practice within the police service and how policy is interpreted, adapted and operationalised by practitioners when delivering service.

Specifically my research looks to explore the issues which affect the application of policy, procedure and practice set by the police organisation`s executive when used by practioners in the delivery of community problem solving. I intend to collect data on the motivations, constructions and experiences of policing practitioners at the service delivery end of the police organisation involved in this area of work. Specifically of interest is an understanding of the agency and structure dynamic at work between the policy setting level of the organisation and practitioners, along with an understanding of the influences at work in translating and operationalising the policy in producing actual behaviour demonstrated by these practitioners.


Eisa Alqaudi

Supervisors: Dr Perry Stanislas


Sharon Anyiam

Supervisors: Dr Perry Stanislas


Susie Atherton
Communities, justice and cohesion: An examination of the impact of community justice initiatives in Middlesbrough.

Supervisors: Professor Rob Canton; Dr Vic Knight

The main aim of this research is to examine the use and impact of community justice initiatives from the perspective of criminal justice and other agency professionals as this relates to social capital theory (as identified by Durkheim, 1964, Bourdieu, 1986, Putnam, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Faulkner, 2003 and others) and social cohesion (e.g. Mead, 1918, White, 2003, Sampson et al., 1997).

This research aims to assess policy developed within the framework of social capital to specifically address crime and justice issues which are addressed at a local level, and to contribute to understanding of the terms ‘community’ and ‘justice’ to assess their role in social cohesion.


Lucy Baldwin

Supervisors: Dr Victoria Knight & Dr Sally Ruane


Hannah Begum

Supervisors: Professor Rob Canton


Ravinderjit Kaur Briah

Greener Pastures or Migration madness? A study exploring the impact of social problems in Indian Punjab upon the lives of recent Punjabi Sikh migrant women in Birmingham and the Black Country’

Supervisors: Professor Rob Canton; Dr Pippa Virdee

This research aims to analyse how social problems in Indian Punjab are associated with the migration of Punjabi Sikh women and how these problems are experienced by Sikh migrant women to Birmingham and the Black Country (BABC) since 2010.

This is an under researched area which has major implications for public policy and levels of crime in the United Kingdom and in Indian Punjab.  Migration is a global phenomenon and not specific to the UK.  What is specific to the UK experience of migration is that a high number of migrants come to the UK from the Punjab and either start as irregular migrants or become an irregular migrant.  This part of India is at the centre of a drugs and HIV epidemic, is involved in human, organ and transplant trafficking and has a high number of female feticide cases and sexual violence against women.  All of this is against a culture of silence.   It is therefore imperative to understand the extent of the problem so that we can influence policy to address these issues. 


Stephen Christopher

How accountable and transparent are the investigatory processes of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)?

Supervisors: Professor Dave Ward; Dr Victoria Knight

The role of the IPCC is vital for policing and its legitimacy; its impartiality and investigative effectiveness is equally important for public confidence and reassurance. The Commission is an organisation that has received relatively little academic attention although the issue of police complaints is fundamental to policing in a civil society.

The focus for the research is to examine and critically analyse the independence, accountability and transparency of the Commission in its capacity as the autonomous watchdog of serious complaints against the police. The literature review has located the Commission in the contemporary late-modern landscape of governance, regulation, the regulatory state and regulatory capture.

A parallel/simultaneous mixed methods design will be adopted to enable a triangulation of data. The design will involve semi-structured interviews augmented by content analysis of documents. Three strategic groups interact with the IPCC during investigations – complainants, police and stakeholders – and legal representatives of complainants, the police staff associations and Community Response Groups will be interviewed to explore their thoughts and perceptions with regards to specific aspects of its governance, independence, accountability and transparency. To supplement these perspectives, content analysis will be conducted of selected publications disseminated by the IPCC and articles published in the media.


Emma Johnston

Supervisors: Dr Annette Crisp

The role of forensic science in identifying missing migrants

Over one million migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 but nobody knows about those who did not arrive; those who attempted the journey but perished en route.

The international forensic science community is responding to this humanitarian crisis and attempting to identify decedent migrants. However, due to the complex nature of the migrant situation there are practical limitations to some conventional identification methods such as dental records and DNA profiling. Antemortem data can be difficult to gather. The limitations of conventional forensic identification methods may mean that innovative, new scientific techniques are required.

The aim of this project is to determine to what extent and how forensic science is currently being used to identify decedent migrants in the Mediterranean. As well as investigating what an ideal, co-ordinated, European forensic infrastructure to deal with unidentified decedent migrants could look like.


Ross Little

Supervisors: Professor Sarah Younie; Dr Vic Knight; Professor Rob Canton


Michael Mathura

Supervisors: Dr Perry Stanislas


Sarah Nixon 

Supervisors: Professor Rob Canton & Dr Nick Flynn


Kim Sadique

Supervisors: Assoc. Professor Stephen Handlsey; Dr James Tangen; Professor Raghu Raghavan


Jane Wood

Supervisors: Professor Rob Canton & Dr Christina Quinlan

Support for Young Adult ADHD Offenders in a Community Rehabilitation Company     

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong issue which may cause individuals to have poor social, communication and organisational skills; low attention and high impulsivity. Considering the issues that this group face it is perhaps not surprising that that there is an over representation of people with ADHD in the Criminal Justice System.

This research considers what supports are in place for young adult ADHD offenders and the people that work with them whilst they carry out their court orders at a Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). The CRCs are contracted providers of Probation Services working with low and medium risk of harm offenders, which came into being following the government’s Transforming Rehabilitation policy in 2015.

The research was undertaken by conducting a small scale qualitative data collection. A series of face to face interviews were carried out using both service users and CRC staff to explore what support is available.