Student Profiles

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
An Evaluation of the Bureau Model of Youth Diversion
Research Supervisor:
Dr Stephen Case and Professor Kevin Haines
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The diversion based ‘Bureau Model’ has evolved out of a Welsh policy context that has sought to give young people a voice in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989; whilst also ensuring that young offenders are treated as ‘Children First and Offenders Second’.

My PhD study will seek to analyse and evaluate precisely how the structures, processes and core principles (i.e. diversion, child rights, parental and victim input, promotion of pro-social behaviour etc.) of the Bureau Model have been implemented across various Welsh locales, within Bureau at differing stages of development.

Equally inherent within the study will be the need to determine what statistical outcomes have been evidenced from Bureau regarding reduced First Time Entrants (FTEs) and Reoffending Rates, along with detailed assessment of the nature and level of participation and engagement from key stakeholders in delivering the Bureau service.

Finally, the study will aim to fill in the ‘existing gaps’ in previous ‘Bureau’ analysis by cataloguing the views of not only stakeholders but also the young people themselves, as well as parents or carers.  

Tom Cartwright

Start date:
October 2011
Research Topic:
Community Safety in an Age of Austerity
Research Supervisor:
Prof. Gordon Hughes and Mr Adam Edwards
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My research is concerned with identifying the governing arrangements for community safety in the current political and economic climate. Through a mixed methods approach the research seeks to test a number of propositions identified in the literature regarding the debates about the future of community safety. These propositions range from the wholesale disbandment of community safety agendas to more optimistic assessments that there may be a continuance of community safety at a local level enabled through innovation by local actors and the peculiarities of local governance.  Through the testing of these propositions the research seeks to acquire an understanding of what factors help or hinder the maintenance of community safety agendas in an age of austerity.

Michael Coliandris

Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Remote Control – The Emergence of Drones in Contemporary Policing in England and Wales
Research Supervisor:
Professor Trevor Jones and Mr Adam Edwards
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Policy-makers and police leaders have expressed substantial support for drone technology in policing across England and Wales. Operational opportunities presented by drones include surveillance and relative cost-effectiveness. For forces pressured by increasingly limited resources drones signal a new mode of contemporary policing that enhances capabilities and exploits emerging and dynamic trends in technological innovation.

My research anticipates the need to engage with legitimate concerns regarding their uses and users. Issues such as police militarisation and effective governance present significant challenges in urgent need of address.

Two research aims emerge:

  1. In light of concerns regarding possible consequences of drone technology, this project will identify which police forces are actually using drone technology in operational and strategic policing, how they are using it, and what issues they may be encountering through its use.
  2. Following from the initial audit of the extent of drone technology adoption, case studies will be selected of early adopters for more comprehensive inquiry into both intended and unintended consequences of drone use.

My current MSc Social Science Research Methods research focusses on the use of Freedom of Information Act requests to investigate public authorities’ drone strategies at local and national levels.

Sara Correia

Sara Correia
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Fraud and Cybercrime in Wales
Research Supervisor:
Dr Stuart Macdonald
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

In June 2014 there were 615 reports of fraud within the Southern Wales region, with an estimated total loss of £3.1m. This equates to over 7000 reports per year in this region alone, worth more than £37m. Yet there remains no detailed, evidence-based understanding of this problem within Wales.

During her first year Sara will complete a multidisciplinary training course consisting of taught modules provided by Swansea University’s ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centre for Wales; an internship within South Wales Police’s Cyber Crime Unit; and will receive expert training from Protect 2020, on the methods and techniques used by cyber criminals and gangs.

In the following research years, Sara will apply quantitative research techniques to analyse ActionFraud data, with a view to uncover patters in offending and victim types in South Wales. This research hopes to make a unique contribution to the academic literature in the area of cybercrime and fraud and produce insights that are of equal value to law enforcement and the cyber security industry.

Selected Recent Publications

Awan, I., & Correia, S. (2015). Engaging with the Muslim community in Cardiff: A Study of the impact of counter terrorism research. Fieldwork in Religion. (Upcoming)

Awan, I., & Correia, S. (2014). Terrorism Research: Understanding Muslim Communities. Criminal Justice Matters, 96(1), 24-25. doi:10.1080/09627251.2014.926069

Conference Presentations

Correia, S., & Salisu, R. (2015). Capturing student perspectives to address the BAME attainment gap in Higher Education – a case study of Swansea University. Paper presented at the Developing diversity competence, Edinburgh.

Awan, I., & Correia, S. (2013). Engaging with the Muslim community in Cardiff: A Qualitative (Pilot) Study of the Impact of Counter-Terrorism Legislation. Paper presented at the Ongoing and Emerging Debates in Terrorism Research, University of East London.

Arron Cullen

Arron Cullen
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Police and Public Communications on Social Media
Research Supervisor:
Professor Matthew Williams and Dr Pete Burnap
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This study examines police and public communications through the utilisation of big social data collected from social media platforms such as Twitter. The methods used in this study are mixed but will lean towards being more quantitative than qualitative. The research is interdisciplinary in scope and employs methods from both computer science and social science, so to contribute knowledge to the field of computational criminology. The principle aim of this study is to understand how the police and the public are using social media to engage and interact with each other. While also, the study aims to advance knowledge regarding the novel methods used to further understand complex contemporary social phenomena through big social data.

ResearchGate:
Arron_Cullen

Jordan Dawson

Jordan Dawson
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Male Sex Work
Research Supervisor:
Professor Tracey Sagar
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Male sex workers are a group which often go unrecognised both in policy and academia, with much of the sex work literature presenting men solely as the client or ‘exploiter’ of sex workers. My research seeks to challenge this view of men in sex work, and highlights the varied experiences of those men who themselves undertake sex work. Much current research on male sex workers does not acknowledge the potential vulnerability of the group. My research looks into the experiences of physical, sexual and verbal violence against male sex workers, and the barriers which often prevent men from reporting such incidents to the police.

In order to research this topic, I am using the internet as a means of data collection, and also as a forum with which I can contribute positively to the male sex work community.

Ruth Doubleday

Ruth Doubleday
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Correcting the Legitimacy Deficit: Relationships, Order and Safety in Prison
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kirsty Hudson and Professor Gordon Hughes
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This research aims to explore the nature of staff-prisoner relationships in a Category B local prison holding adult males. It focuses upon the role that relationships play in maintaining order, improving outcomes for prisoners and staff and, ultimately, in allowing for the prison to be considered a legitimate mode of punishment. Alongside prolonged engagement with the prison regime, data will be collected through individual and group interviews with staff and prisoners. Findings will be embedded within the existing body of literature concerning the sociology of imprisonment. Conclusions will be made available to the Prison Service and to NOMS in the hope that they may inform relevant policy and practice.

Elaine Ellis

Elaine Ellis
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
The impact of privatisation on relationships between offenders and their supervisors
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kirsty Hudson, Prof. Trevor Jones
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

A mixed methods exploratory study investigating the way probation practitioners perceive their relationships with offenders in the first year after privatisation.  Probation practitioners working in Community Rehabilitation Companies  (CRC) will be surveyed to find out what they value as important within the supervisor-supervisee relationship and the aspirations they have for the offenders they supervise.  Comparisons will be made based on the nature of the organisation heading up the CRC. The findings will be related to earlier studies that investigated what quality meant within supervisor-supervisee relationships prior to privatisation. The research will conclude by reporting on the significance of the findings for future commissioning of offender services in the community.

Selected recent publications

Rex, S. and Ellis, E. (2011) The research and evaluation programme for offender engagement , Eurovista, 2 (1).

Ellis, E., Fortune, J. and Peters, G. (2007), Partnership Problems: Analysis and Re-Design, Crime Prevention & Community Safety 9, 34–51 (1 February 2007).

Eve Exley

Eve Exley,
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
The Imprisonment of Welsh Women: Impact, identity and change
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Kirsty Hudson and Dr. Gareth Thomas
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This research seeks to investigate whether Erving Goffman’s (1961) ‘mortification of the self’ is experienced more acutely by Welsh female offenders, owing to the current location of female prison establishments, the nature of their incarceration, and the appropriateness of service provisions.

Chris Goldsworthy

Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
Genetic Testing for Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) and the British Coronial System
Research Supervisor:
Professor Adam Hedgecoe Dr Nicky Priaulx Professor Dhavendra Kumar
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

In the UK post-mortem genetic testing for SADS has been available since 2004; however this technology has yet to be widely employed following suspected SADS related deaths. The implication of this is that many deaths are misdiagnosed and due to the genetic nature of SADS conditions family members are then at risk of suffering the same fate. Whereas an accurate genetic diagnosis could result in family members receiving testing and treatment to prevent the deadly arrhythmia.

This research aims to establish why these tests are not engaged with during the death investigation by Coroners and Pathologists. In this way the research extends debates of the ‘Usefulness’ of genetic testing beyond the clinical setting.
The focus of this research is on the process of post-mortem genetic testing for SADS; from the suspected SADS related death, to the genetic test and cascade screening for family members of the deceased. Utilising the expert accounts of Coroners, Pathologists, and Clinicians, this research hopes to be able to understand why this process is not currently working on a large scale and how it can potentially work in the future.

Orlando Goodall

Orlando Goodall
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Wildlife Crimes and Responses to Them
Research Supervisor:
Prof Mike Levi and Dr Adam Edwards
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Intelligence suggests wildlife crimes in the UK are becoming more prevalent and more organised, reflecting in part, increasing demand for meat and fish commodities and the lucrative proceeds that can be gained from illicit markets in food stuffs. In addition to the criminal justice dimensions of this problem, the perceived growth in these illicit markets provokes a major concern for public health policy, given the potential for recycling unhygienic and inexpertly processed commodities into the food chain. This research will investigate the organisational characteristics of wildlife crime, adopting script analysis to investigate the sourcing, poaching, processing and distribution of illicit food stuffs, underpinned by critical realism and critical political economy.

Anna Graham

Anna Graham
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
Offenders and desistance
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kirsty Hudson and Dr Tom Hall
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC studentship

My research is an ethnographic study of The Clink, HMP Cardiff. The research aims to investigate the change in prisoners’ lives through working in The Clink and whether or not there is a change in public perceptions about ‘offenders’.

Rajeev Gundur

Rajeev Gundur
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
The Proliferation of Mexican Organized Criminal Organizations into the United States
Research Supervisor:
Prof. Martin Innes; Prof. Michael Levi
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This study will investigate how drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) destabilize and weaken the institutional order of society, to create and sustain a facilitative environment for their illegal activities. Utilizing a mixed method case study research design, empirical data will be collected to illuminate the interactions between the various activities of the DTOs and the resultant social control responses of the state and wider society. The aim is to produce a generalizable understanding of how organized crime activities contribute to the weakening of state governance.

Helen Hodges

Helen Hodges
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
A Bayesian Approach to Modelling Risk Factors and Youth Reoffending Relationships
Research Supervisor:
Dr Marty Chamberlain and Dr Yuzhi Cai
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Risk Factor Research (RFR) has had a dominating influence on youth justice policy and practice in England and Wales for over a decade with the basic principle being to identify those risk factors associated with offending and implement measures or interventions designed to counteract them. However, the developmental focus of RFR and use of classical / frequentist statistical techniques has resulted in studies of the risk factor-offending relationship for young people which it could be argued are overly superficial, generalised and insensitive.

My research therefore adopts a Bayesian approach and will utilise novel statistical techniques to address the conceptualised risk factor-reoffending relationship. In doing so, it is hoped that it will be possible to extend the range of ‘risk factors’ considered beyond the restricted set of the traditional psychosocial to include sociological / structural variables and the impact of interventions. Rather than demonstrating static statistical associates between broad categories of risk factors and offending, the intention is to explore the web of complex relations between a range of factors and a range of outcomes.

A key element of the research will be an exploration of the relationship between risk factors and reoffending within different crime types (eg property crimes, violent and sexual offending) and for different features of a ‘criminal career’ (eg frequency, duration, seriousness and escalation), as well as non-reoffending.

Joe Janes

Joe Janes
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Youth Justice in Wales: The Role and Influence of Welsh Youth Offending Teams in the Context of Pre-devolution Youth Justice
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Anthony Charles and Professor Kevin Haines
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My PhD will look at – How Welsh YOTs operate in practice? (e.g. the nature of their structures, ethos, culture, processes, programmes, principles, policy mediation, positions and roles in multi-agency partnerships).

What is the extent and nature of statistical evidence of YOT ‘effectiveness’? (e.g. antisocial behaviour, offending, reoffending, sentencing, public opinion data)

How perceptions of YOT practices, structures, processes, roles, positions, partnership working and influence amongst YOT staff and external stakeholders differ?

What are the links between YOT practice and Welsh policy/law, and how, in practice and at a strategic level do these operate and interrelate? (e.g ‘Children and Young People First’)

Fryni Kostara

Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Regulation of the security industry and its challenges in contemporary society
Research Supervisor:
Professor Michael Levi and Dr Rachel Swann
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The project assesses the criminal challenges facing the security regulatory sector, how the sector police those risks and the past and future effectiveness of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in meeting the variety of challenges.

Criminology has shifted its crime control focus to ‘plural policing’ and to the network of control bodies beyond the police. The growth of the night-time economy, terrorism risks as well as businesses located in normally un-surveilled areas has generated a need for private security who are not working for criminally owned security companies, and the SIA was given statutory responsibility for authorising staff from club ‘bouncers’ to private
guards.

As more and more functions of the state are being privatised and police resources are cut via austerity policing, the challenges facing this sector have grown, and there are additional areas such as private detective work in the corporate and cybersecurity space who might also be thought about as possible areas capable of SIA regulation.

The research design will be primarily interview and data driven, with access to SIA and industry staff being facilitated, and interviews with industry actors.

David R. Mair

David R. Mair
Start date:
November 2012
Research Topic:
The Articulation and Presentation of the Threat of Cyber Terrorism
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Stuart Macdonald (Primary supervisor), Dr. Lee Jarvis, Professor Thomas Chen (Secondary supervisors)
Supervising school:
Department of Criminology,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

In an age of austerity, with cutbacks being made across the public sector, the government has earmarked extra spending for the security services to improve the United Kingdom’s defences and capabilities against cyber-attacks and threats. Furthermore, the 2012 UK National Security Strategy places cyber-attacks in the top tier of priority risks that face the country in terms of likelihood and impact. With recent publications into the use of the internet by terrorist groups, there is speculation that cyber-terrorism may emerge as the next big threat to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. This project aims to identify the way in which the concept and phenomenon of cyber-terrorism has been constructed through multimedia platforms and presented to the general public for consumption as a viable threat. It aims to examine what is being said about cyber-terrorism by the media, government and by terrorist groups, explore how the general public understand the cyber-terrorism threat, and evaluate the threat that cyber-terrorism actually poses.

Luke Morgan Roach

Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
The Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS) and Crowd-Sourcing Social Sensing for Statistical Modelling
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Matthew Williams and Dr. Pete Burnap
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This project will use the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS) as a means to collect “big data” and explore its application in sociological research. Providing both advantages and pitfalls when compared to traditional research methods, the ubiquity of online social information provides a vast arena in which to conduct research, and its unique value and function as an augmentation to traditional research, a replacement or something different all together, will be a focus of this project.

Christopher Wilson

Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
The restorative nature of Cirles of Support and Accountability
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kirsty Hudson
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Circles of Support and Accountability (Circles) are one of the most successful restorative based reintegration schemes for those persons released from prison who have been convicted of sexual offences and are considered by the statutory agencies to continue to pose a high risk of harm to the community in which they now live. Circles are unique in their ability to engage and empower that local community to take responsibility for their own protection and safety by ensuring that such a person, known to the Circle as the core member is safely reintegrated and held accountable for their past offending behaviour. The Circle works in partnership with and is supported by, those agencies responsible for the risk management of the core member.

The research question will use a qualitative, mixed methodology and will focus upon identifying what restorative processes exists within a Circle for those volunteers who have themselves experienced sexual violence. It is hoped that the research will inform both the policy and practice of a wide range of agencies who work to support and manage those persons released from prison and living in the community who continue to be regarded as a potential danger to that community.

It is the intention of this research to replicate the study’s methodology and collect data from the three separate European countries of Wales, England and the Netherlands all of who operate the Circles scheme.

In this crucial field of social science research, the Wales DTP pathway offers both critical mass and a strongly interdisciplinary research environment. The pathway straddles the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) and the Department of Criminology at Swansea. SOCSI is one of the largest such schools in the UK and a recognised centre of research excellence. At Swansea, criminology sits within the College of Law and Criminology, adding complementary interdisciplinarity in legal studies, the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People, and the collaborative Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology.

At Cardiff, there is established focus on transnational and corporate crime, and its regulation, on policing and on the governance of security. The School also hosts the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Universities’ Police Science Institute, the University Institute for Crime and Security, the Centre for Open Source Communications, Analytics and Research and the Social Data Science Lab. SOCSI is also part of the ESRC/College of Policing University Consortium for Evidence-Based Crime Reduction. Criminologists at the Social Data Science Lab work closely with industry partners on crime and security research, including the Airbus Group, Cambrensis, EE, BT, and Admiral Insurance. At Swansea, the Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology undertakes interdisciplinary empirical research on youth justice policy, community-based supervision, sex work, anti-social behaviour, white-collar crime and cybercrime. Swansea University also hosts the ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre (Wales), which facilitates access to linked, de-identified administrative data in a secure environment.

Students following a ‘1+3’ route will undertake a Masters that develops a breadth of methodological capacity as well as having specialist modules and a supervised dissertation that is more subject-specific. Students are based in either of the two locations whilst often working across them. Throughout, students come together for joint workshops, residential courses and annual conferences. Seminars include those we organise with the Wales Branch of the British Society of Criminology; conferences include the annual Welsh Criminology Conference (held at Gregynog since 2009) which now includes a residential postgraduate training day. In these and other events, students work and present alongside established researchers.