Centre for Crime, Justice and Security



The Centre leads on ground-breaking research, innovations and enterprise initiatives that are committed to human rights, global security and justice for all.

Our aim

The Centre for Crime, Justice and Security aims for the promotion, development and implementation of justice in various forms. Work primarily focuses on criminal justice and how social justice impacts and is impacted by criminal justice practices. The work we do with our communities aims to enrich and transform lives and to positively impact on policy and practice in wider social and criminal justice environments.

The Centre is underpinned by three pillars:

  • Ethics and integrity

All our activities including research, professional training and practice, and enterprise and innovation will uphold the values of ethical best practice and integrity

  • Sustainability

The Centre develops solutions to real world problems that are financially and environmentally sustainable in the long term

  • Evidence based practice

All of our activities are underpinned by current and relevant research

The Centre is driven by solving global challenges through national and international collaborations and impacting on policy and practice at a global level. Working closely with the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership and Institute of Policing, we are able to have a positive impact on practice and feed into national initiatives such as Transforming Forensics. Our work promotes our students and staff as agents of positive change and disruptive innovators

The Centre contributes to the reduction of crime at local, regional, national and international level through crime prevention activities, improvements in crime detection approaches, developments in approaches to the rehabilitation of offenders, improving access to justice and training the practitioners in best practice.

The Centre aims to improve access to justice in the region outside the criminal justice system through the expansion of the law clinic model, in order to improve the lives of communities and individuals.

Our research involves many areas of criminology, forensic science and policing, including developing new and innovative methods for combatting crime at a national and international level. The Centre is organised into four main themes:

  • Investigation, Security and Intelligence
  • Crime, Justice and Communities
  • Professional Education, Regulation and Standards
  • Evidence Based Policing

Areas of expertise within each theme are diverse and both inter and multi-disciplinary.

The Centre houses four thriving research groups that work collaboratively across the University and with external partners on particular areas of interest. They include:

  • Crime and Society Research Group
  • Staffordshire University Forensic Canine Research and Development Group
  • Burial Research Group
  • Microplastics and Forensic Fibres Research Group

Group leader

Dr Claire Gwinnett


I am a Professor in Forensic and Environmental Science. I specialise in forensic fibres analysis, mircoplastics and plastic pollution, hair analysis, paint analysis and glass analysis.

Claire's profile

Researchers within Centre for Crime, Justice and Security

Rachel Bolton-King

Visiting Fellow

I am an Associate Professor (Tef) and I specialise in forensic firearm identification and ammunition, ballistics imaging, and shooting incident reconstruction.

Rachel's profile

Professor Elizabeth Boath


I am Liz Boath, Professor of Health and Wellbeing. I have three decades experience of Health and Social Care education and research and expertise in perinatal mental health and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

Elizabeth's profile

Dr Tony Craig

Associate Professor

Dr Tony Craig is Associate Professor in Modern History. His research primarily focuses on the contemporary security history of Britain and Ireland.

Tony's profile

Dr Sarah Fieldhouse

Associate Professor

I am a Senior Lecturer and I specialise in fingerprints and their use as forensic evidence.

Sarah's profile

Rebecca Ford

Course Director And Social Work Lead

I am a qualified social worker and practice educator, with 15 years experience in practice with children and their families in statutory settings. Working with and safeguarding older children, has been a driving factor throughout my career.

Rebecca's profile

Dr Richard Halfpenny

Course Director

Richard spent 16 years working in a business setting before returning to university studying a PhD on the species discrimination of cryptic Culex mosquito species using non-molecular methods, and their olfactory mediated sugar feeding behaviou…

Richard's profile

Martyn Hordern

Forensic Partnerships liaison

Dr Nicholas Howe

Director Of Institute Of Policing

As Director of the Institute of Policing Nick oversees the development of the Institute as a centre of excellence for police education and training, research and innovation.

Nicholas's profile

Dr Sunghwan Kim


Dr Kim is a lecturer with a background in both policing and psychology. His research interests include naturalistic decision-making in policing, rapport-based interpersonal techniques in police interviews and criminal intelligence analysis.

Sunghwan's profile

Dr John Lamb

Senior Lecturer

John's research expertise focuses on areas including counter terrorism, radicalization, intelligence services and use of force by state officials. His PhD examined policing, national security and the implementation of PREVENT in the West Midlands.

John's profile

Dr John Mcgarry

Senior Lecturer

John is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Staffordshire University. He teaches and researches in all areas of public law and legal theory.

John's profile

Dr Lauren Metcalfe

Course Director

Lauren completed her PhD in Evidence Based Policing and joined Staffordshire University in 2017. She is now Course Leader for Professional Policing (our Pre-join degree) and Course Director for our policing degrees.

Lauren's profile

Dr Rizwan Mustafa

Regional Course Director

Dr Rizwan Mustafa is the Regional Course Director in the Institute of Policing at Staffordshire University. He is also a specialist consultant to the Countering Violent Extremism in the Commonwealth.

Rizwan's profile

Dean Northfield

Senior Lecturer

Dean worked for West Yorkshire Police as a VIPER Officer (2 Years) then an Imaging Officer (6 years). He progressed to Senior Imaging Officer, before finishing his time at West Yorkshire Police in the Forensic Multimedia Unit

Dean's profile

Dr Abdulrahman Oleiwi

Senior Lecturer

Abdulrahman is a lecturer in forensic genetics and forensic biology. He joined Staffordshire University in 2019 within the school of Law, Policing and Forensics and lectures at all levels on Forensic Biology and DNA Profiling.

Abdulrahman's profile

Sarah Page

Associate Professor

Sarah is an Associate Professor teaching on our undergraduate and post graduate courses in Criminology and post graduate course in Leadership in Action on Poverty. She is also the Co-Director of the Staffordshire University Crime and Society Group.

Sarah's profile

Robin Parsons

Technical Specialist - Mol Bio And Genom

Sarah Plimley


Sarah is a Lecturer within the IoP, having previously been a member of the Criminology Team. Her background is in working with offenders resettling into the community after custody and field research experience academically and for private companies.

Sarah's profile

Samantha Rasiah


Samantha leads the PCDA Level 6 Coaching & Mentoring module and is completing her Doctorate in Legal Education. Her key research interests are Curriculum Design, Professional Education, and Employability Skills in Law, Policing & Criminal Justice.

Samantha's profile

Matthew Rutter

Associate Dean - Curriculum

Matt is currently the Associate Dean – Curriculum and holds a broad portfolio of responsibility for the School of Health, Science and wellbeing.

Matthew's profile

Elli Toulson

International Officer

Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw

Senior Lecturer

I am a Lecturer in Policing with an academic and research background. I have been involved in a number of research projects focusing on mobile phone use by drivers, police legitimacy and procedural justice.

Leanne's profile

Dr Dave Skingsley

Senior Lecturer

Experienced Senior Lecturer with a research based history of working in Higher Education. Skilled in entomology, invertebrate taxonomy, FTIR, Environmental Issues, Research Design, and pedagogy.

Dave's profile

Robert Smallwood

Senior Lecturer

Rob has been a lecturer in higher education since 2017 and is currently our course leader for Staffordshire Police, having served as a police officer with Derbyshire Constabulary from 1983 until 2016.

Robert's profile

Dr Samantha Spence

Course Director

Samantha is the Course Director for Postgraduate Studies in the law department. Her main area of interest lies in feminism and international human rights law, specifically the rights of marginalised groups.

Samantha's profile

Dr Kirsty Squires

Associate Professor

Kirsty is an Associate Professor of Bioarchaeology and primarily teaches in the areas of human osteology and statistical methods. Her research focuses on the analysis of cremated human bone from archaeological and forensic contexts

Kirsty's profile

Abbeygail Standen


Abbey is a lecturer for the Institute of Policing. Specialising in the more digital areas of criminal investigation, Abbey’s main area of focus centres around digital forensics, digital policing and cyber-crime analysis and investigation.

Abbeygail's profile

Julie Tipping

Senior Lecturer

Julie has an extensive experience in advice work practice having worked for over 10 years in welfare rights and welfare benefit appeals. Julie is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Action on Poverty and Hardship.

Julie's profile

Professor James Treadwell

Professor In Criminology

James became a Professor in Criminology at Staffordshire University in 2017. His expertise are in violent, professional and organised crime; prisons, prison violence and victimisation; drugs and crime; Ethnography; Crime and the Military.

James's profile

Dr Joanne Turner

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Soc, Crime & Envir

Dr Jo Turner is Head of Department for Criminology, Policing and Forensic Science and Associate Professor of Criminology. She has worked at Staffordshire University since August 2017.

Joanne's profile

Dr Laura Walton-Williams

Director Of Enterprise Edu Ass Professor

Laura has been a lecturer at Staffordshire University since 2004. Actively involved in research in forensic science, she also conducts consultancy in the examination of evidence of a biological origin. Laura's areas of expertise include DNA an…

Laura's profile

Laura Wilkinson

P/T Lecturer (Hrly)-Crimi Just Forensic

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