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Crime, Security and Justice Research Theme

Crime, Security and Justice
Researchers in the Crime, Security and Justice Theme have a significant international reputation for the application of innovative and rigorous research designs to substantive ‘real world’ problems. Their research has advanced theory and knowledge across key areas of sociological interest, including: policing and social control; the governance of community safety and security; and offending and identities.

Criminological research in the School of Social Sciences is uniquely positioned due to a combination of the following:

Application of rigorous research designs that make use of new methodological and technological opportunities;

Engagement with ‘real world’ problems – from violence against women to transnational corruption and money-laundering - in order to inform practitioners and policy-makers at local, national and international levels;

• A high level of research impact arising from excellent working relationships with governmental and other organisations engaged in the delivery of crime control and community safety;

• Theoretical innovation promoting new ways of understanding crime and responses to it.


Cardiff’s international profile in researching crime and justice is based on its sustained track record of research and publication. Since 2001, experts associated with this theme have received over £5 million in research grants from funding agencies including the ESRC, Home Office, Welsh Assembly Government, and European Commission. 20 full-time research students are attached to researchers in the Crime and Justice area. Staff working within this Theme have also made a key contribution to wider scholarship in this area by editing two of the leading international criminology journals, namely Criminology and Criminal Justice (until October 2010) and Policing and Society (ongoing).

Research Centres


Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI)

The Universities’ Police Science Institute (UPSI) was established in 2007 in partnership with South Wales Police and has become renowned nationally and internationally for its innovative work on applied policing research. UPSI has an ambitious mission to enhance the research base evidence for policing in the local, national and international dimensions, drawing on the School’s outstanding record of achievement in the production of novel and rigorous research methodologies. UPSI recently won the Cardiff University Innovation Network award for Social, Cultural or Policy Impact for research that prompted a major drug operation and changed policing. Watch a video of UPSI Director, Professor Martin Innes, talking about how the award was won. 

You can follow UPSI on Twitter, read publications on ISSUU, watch videos on their Vimeo channel and listen to audio clips on Soundcloud.       


Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ)

Researchers in the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ) are also at the cutting edge of the interdisciplinary study of other areas of crime and its control.  In particular, their work has helped to shift the traditional focus of criminological theory and research beyond that of national criminal justice systems. Such work has explored global, national, regional and local influences on the shape and nature of crimes and their control in the ‘networked society’.

Theme convenor

Professor Mike Levi                
+44 (0)29 2087 4376

Research Highlights

Improving Community Policing - Pioneering research carried out by Professor Martin Innes at UPSI has changed the way police respond to crime and disorder within communities. Read full story...

Unchartered Territory - Research reveals 'unchartered territory' on violence against women in Wales. Read full story...

Hate crime still a daily reality for people in Wales - Findings from the biggest ever study into hate crime in Wales and England reveal hate crime is a daily reality for many people. Read full story...