Dr Kayleigh Denyer


School of Justice, Security and Sustain

I am a Lecturer in Policing, with a background in forensic psychology and policing. My career began with starting a Masters in Forensic Psychology, where became fascinated by rape myths in the police (perceptions that serve to aliviate blame/responsibility from the perpetrator and place it on the victim).

After my degree I was a Senior Healthcare Assistant on an acute ward for The Priory, helping chronically mentally unwell patients. During that time my Master’s dissertation was published, and I won the 2nd Annual Forensic Update MSc Dissertation Competition for the Division of Forensic Psychology for the British Psychological Society for the dissertation with the most utility to forensic practice. This encouraged me to apply for a PhD in Forensic Psychology where I was successful in securing a full-scholarship. My PhD investigated the situational, personal and professional characteristics in perceptions of rape within the police service, and had direct implications for police training and development.

During my PhD I secured a position as a researcher at British Transport Police which enabled me to translate research findings into policing practice. I was appointed as the lead researcher for conducting research on protecting vulnerable people, which included collaborating with the Metropolitan Police Service, Border Force, Federal Bueau of Investigation, and Samaritans (to name a few!). I led on a wide variety of topics including- suicide prevention, mental health, upskirting, female genital mutilation (FGM), child sexual exploitation, counter-terrorism, sexual offences, and county-lines.

A key moment in my career was when I was appointed as Lead of FGM at British Transport Police as a result of my research paper investigating the prevalence of trafficking for FGM purposes on the railway network, which led to FGM becoming a key priority for the force. I was also actively involved in Operation Limelight- a collaborative operation between British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police Service and Border Force, where I was a research expert in tackling FGM and raising awareness of this abhorrent practice.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Forensic Psychology ‘An Analysis of Situational, Personal and Professional Characteristics in Perceptions of Rape within the Police Service’, University of Kent.
  • MSc in Forensic Psychology, University of Kent.
  • BSc(Hons) Psychology, University of Portsmouth.

Research interests

  • Sexual offences
  • Upskirting
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • County-lines
  • Police mental heath
  • Female genital mutilation (including all harmful practices)
  • Suicide prevention


Department for Transport. (2020). Transport and inequality. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government


Department for Transport. (2019). Transport, health, and wellbeing. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/


Department for Transport. (2019). Access to transport and life opportunities. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/


Department for Transport. (2019). Transport and transport technology: Public attitudes tracker. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transport-and-transport-technology-public-attitudes-tracker

Parratt, K. A., & Pina, A. (2017). From “real rape” to real justice: A systematic review of police officers' rape myth beliefs. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 34, 68-83. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.03.005

Whitby, K. A., & Pina, A. (2013). Investigating rape victim and perpetrator empathy in relation to rape myths within the police service. Forensic Update, 110, 24-26. Retrieved from: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/46146

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