Stephen Tonks

Senior Lecturer

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability

I graduated in 1989 with a degree in Business Studies from the University of West London, and joined West Midlands Police, where I served as a Police Constable, Police Sergeant and Detective Sergeant, in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

In 2001, I transferred to West Mercia Police. During this time, I worked as a Detective Sergeant and a Detective Inspector and I became the head of investigative CID at Telford. One element of my role was the support and development of newly appointed detectives. As a Detective Chief Inspector within West Mercia Major Investigation Unit, I led investigations into offences of murder, manslaughter, robbery and sexual offences. In 2007, I undertook the Senior Investigation Officer accreditation (PIP 3) and I operated as an SIO for the remainder of my police service. In this role, I attended and spoke at national and regional development events and ran the crime investigation element of the College of Policing’s International Leadership Programme.

I was subsequently appointed as the force lead for Family Liaison, an area that I remain passionate about, affording me the privilege of working with and in support of bereaved families. This role was subsequently extended to cover Warwickshire Police where my role included arranging professional development conferences to support family liaison delivery across the West Midlands region. In 2014, I was appointed as the Head of the Statutory and Major Crime review unit for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police, undertaking reviews into undetected crimes and critical incidents, MAPPA serious case reviews, domestic homicide reviews and serious case reviews.

I joined the Institute of Policing in October 2019 and have been module leader for investigative modules on the PCDA programme. I am currently the course leader for West Mercia Police supporting the progress of students within the PEQF programme.

Professional memberships and activities

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education - PGCHPE, Staffordshire University
  • BA (Hons) Business Studies, University of West London


  • Serious and Major Crime Investigation
  • Reviews
  • Family Liasion
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021