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Crime and policing go under the spotlight

26 June 2009

Renowned author Phillip Sands who exposed how high ranking members of the Bush administration were involved in authorizing torture and subsequently attempted to cover their tracks, in his book Torture Team will be among a number of headline speakers at an international criminology conference this week in Cardiff.

From 29 June to 1 July, the international best-selling author will be joined by prisons inspector and human rights activist Dame Anne Owers to discuss preventing torture and honouring international human rights obligations at the British Society of Criminology Conference 2009, hosted by the Universities’ Police Science Institute at Cardiff University.

They will be just two of more than 300 speakers taking part in the annual conference which is being held in Cardiff for the first time. Other speakers include Mike Hough, President, of the British Society of Criminology, Professor Lawrence Sherman, Wolfson Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University and Professor Gary Marx from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Mirror or a Motor? What is Criminology For? will be opened by Chief Constable of South Wales Police Barbara Wilding. It will launch three days of presentations by some of the biggest names in criminological research from across the world. Leading academics, researchers and practitioners in the fields of crime and justice will be discussing the future of criminology as a discipline and how it impacts on public policy today and in the future. Topics from surveillance, counter-terrorism policing and neighbourhood policing to community safety, alcohol, drugs and crime will come under the spotlight.

Martin Innes, Director of the Universities' Police Science Institute said: "Today marks the start of one of the most prestigious events in the international calendar for researchers in the field of Criminology and Community Safety - its overarching aim is to ensure that our work is of utmost relevance to those front line service providers who are delivering crime prevention services.

"Criminology as an academic discipline has undergone significant and rapid development in recent years as recognition of the role it plays in shaping policy and practice grows, and it is important that we take a step back and evaluate how we keep our work relevant - this conference provides a vital platform."

Stanley Cohen who coined the term ‘moral panic’ and whose work is widely regarded as the most influential work in the field in the last forty years will be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the British Society of Criminology at the event.

The Universities Police Science Institute is a unique collaboration between South Wales Police, Cardiff University and the University of Glamorgan with the aim of increasing professionalism in the police service. It is the first institution of its kind, integrating police research, policy and operations. The conference has been organised in partnership with the Centre for Criminology at the University of Glamorgan and the Crime and Justice Research Group within the School of Social Sciences.

More than 400 delegates from across the world are expected at the conference at Cardiff’s City Hall. For more information visit:

School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences encompasses teaching and research in social studies and education. Within social studies, the School has research interests in five main areas: criminology and criminal justice; health and medicine, knowledge and social change; modernity (time, risk, environment); and social welfare systems. Recent research includes investigation of drug use, white collar fraud, child welfare, domestic violence and European environmental policies. Many of the staff are international experts in their fields.

About Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at:

Professor Martin Innes

Director Universities Police Science Institute

Tel: 07801 105472


Lowri Jones

Cardiff University

T: 02920 870 995