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Centre for Criminology

About us

University of South Wales' Centre for Criminology was established in 2001 and comprises a team of active researchers and research students with specialisms in homicide and violence, policing, youth justice and youth policy, probation and prisons, the rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders, prisoners' children and families, substance misuse, green, global and transnational criminology, crime prevention, animal abuse, informal justice and alternatives to prosecution and imprisonment. Members also collaborate with colleagues in the Centre for Social Policy and the International Centre for Policing & Security and in Psychology.

The Centre maintains close links with external agencies locally and nationally, aided in Wales by the work of the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice, set-up in 2011 by Professor Mike Maguire and Professor Kate Williams to facilitate research collaboration between criminologists in Welsh universities and forge closer links with policy and practice.

The centre hosts a number of research groups: the internationally-focused Criminal Investigation Research Network (CIRN), established by Professor Fiona Brookman; the impact centred Substance Use Research Group (SURG), established by Professor Katy Holloway;  the Violence & Homicide, Investigation & Prevention, Expertise & Research Group; the professionally focused Youth Justice, Probation, Custody and Vulnerability group; the internationally recognised Global, Green and Comparative Criminology (GGCC), established by Professor Ali Wardak and Dr Jennifer Maher as well as a joint research and practice USW's Cold Case Unit, established by Dr Cheryl Allsop.

We routinely conduct research with and on behalf of local and national government (and international governments) and engage with a wide range of policy and practice experts and have won research funds from prestigious national sources, including the ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Big Lottery, Ministry of Justice and Home Office. Funding for research in Wales has been secured from Welsh Government, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and a number of third sector organisations.

Excellence in research

We publish our research in leading national and international journals and books and present our work at conferences around the world. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) almost two thirds of our Criminology research as recognised as either world-leading or internationally excellent and 80 percent of our research was recognised as world-leading in terms of its impact. In the most recent REF (2021) we vastly increased both our world-leading and our internationally excellent outputs and despite increasing the number of criminology impact statements submitted we were world-leading or internationally recognised. In 2014 the University of South Wales was eighth in the UK for world leading research impact in social policy and criminology – and top in Wales. In 2021 we retained a very high placing and are now second in Wales.  Read more about the impact of our research.

Criminology Research Groups