Crime, Risk and Society research theme

Research theme within Social Science Research Group (SSRG).


The crime risk and society research theme aims to give voice to the experiences of victims, offenders and professionals within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and critically engage, challenge and inform criminal justice policy and practice.

A team of academics are developing research, theory and analysis to help understand a range of issues related to crime and risk in society as well as assess how the criminal justice system responds to such issues, the evidence basis for such responses and possible alternatives. More generally the research conducted seeks to shed light on what works, how and why within the CJS.

Areas of research expertise

The research expertise of the group cover and range of areas, including but not limited to:

  • Sexual offending (investigation and prosecution of offenders, work with victims, and issues of treatment and reintegration)
  • Hate crime (victims, offenders, policing, research methods)
  • Restorative Justice (RJ) and youth crime and justice (victims, offenders and CJS responses)
  • Drugs policy and treatment
  • Penal policy and reform
  • Troubled families and policy and practice responses
  • Public order policing and crowd violence
  • Evidence based policing
  • Police reform and leadership and finally police community relations and issues of legitimacy

Current research projects

  • Police and Crime Commissioner/Safer Bristol funded project - looking at police and young people’s relationships. The project examines police strategies and tactics to engage and build with young people in areas of historical conflict as well as providing information about the commissioning of services who work with young people.
  • UWE Bristol SPUR 6 (early career researcher award) funded project - looking at police officers’ understanding of hate crime. This has already led to a number of impacts including an invitation to advise on the implementation and development of policy and practice for Avon and Somerset Constabulary as well as an invitation to join the Head of Corporate Communications for Avon and Somerset to develop a programme of internal communications focused on raising awareness of vulnerability related issues within the force.
  • UWE Bristol QR funded project entitled ‘The gender agenda: The impact of austerity and reform on female police officers’ - The project, supported by Avon and Somerset Assistant Chief Constables and gender agenda lead (ACC Kay Wozniak) is examining issues of retention and promotion for female police officers and staff in relation to current organisational change and reform.
  • Police and Crime Commissioner funded project - evaluating Avon and Somerset Constabularies new integrated victim support programme (Lighthouse).
  • BA/Leverhulme funded project - examines the response of a specialist policing unit to allegations of rape. The project looks at a range of issues including vulnerability of victim, attrition rates and police decision making.
  • National ESRC knowledge exchange - network public disclosure of sex offender information/community notification
  • Leverhulme international Network - on sex offender reintegration.
  • UWE Bristol and Avon and Somerset constabulary joint funded PhD scholarship - on predictive analytics and policing. Predictive Analytics is a massive growth area in policing with Avon and Somerset being national leaders in its implementation; this matched funded doctorate has the capacity for achieving high levels of impact.

External partners

  • ATSA
  • Avon and Somerset Police
  • HMP Ashfield
  • HMP Bristol
  • NOTA

SAJRT blog

Access the latest articles on the Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research & Treatment (SAJRT) blog.

Contact the theme leader

For further information about this theme, please contact Dr Nick Addis (

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