The Centre for Crime, Justice and Security is home to four key themes. 

Investigation, Security and Intelligence

The Forensic Science theme is an interdisciplinary theme that covers a wide range of forensic science and forensic investigative disciplines, including, but not restricted to DNA profiling, finger marks analysis, forensic taphonomy, ballistics, fibres and traces, digital forensics amongst many others. Our activities are structured around working groups, such as the Forensic Biology Research Group, the Burial Research Group and the Microplastics Research Group, and others will be formed as we continue to grow and evolve. Alongside our expansive research activities, we also have strong Knowledge Exchange activities, whereby we work closely with users of forensic science (including through our award-winning Staffordshire Forensic Partnership) and through our student focused Forensic Advice and Consultancy Service, whereby our Theme members work closely with our students to provide free forensic advice to anybody who wishes to make use of us.

The leader of this theme is Graham Williams. Contact Graham at, or read his biography within the Leadership Team tab.


Crime, Justice and Communities

The Criminal Justice theme is a multidisciplinary theme covering a multitude of subject areas, including criminology, sociology, law, security, and international relations, amongst others. This theme has a number of working groups within including the Crime and Society Group, and the Prisons Research Group amongst other groups being proposed as we develop. This group also leads a series of training initiatives aimed at Prisoners and supporting Prison Officers. Our activities also include the Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) whereby our students (supported by practitioner academics) provide pro bono legal advice. The real strength of our theme is that we bring together a very wide range of academics from different background to work on problems associated with domestic violence, sexual assaults, far right activities, smuggling in to prisons, terrorism, extremism, and many  others. We are in a position to respond rapidly to evolving social impacts and crime – such as change in criminal behaviour during Lockdown, and how the post-COVID criminal environment may look. For example, there has been an increase in Cyber Crime and Domestic Violence during Lockdown.

The leader of this theme is James Treadwell. Contact James at, or read his biography within the Leadership Team tab.

Professional Education, Regulation and Standards

The Professional Education, Regulation and Standards theme has a generic vision to increase activity and income through not only increasing research grant income, but also through the commercialisation of validation activities, intellectual property, training and Continuous Professional Development activities. We seek to capitalise on a rich resource of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership through increasing collaboration between partner organisations, staff, and students. The theme will lead in Centre in the plans (e.g. expert witness training for police personnel) to develop a series of short courses and Continuing Professional Development across the specialisms and disciplines that make up the wider School expertise. In a world of employment where change is constant, keeping pace with new trends and the latest skills and knowledge, and indeed regulatory frameworks, will facilitate business and employees a competitive edge. Our vision involves development of existing networks and stakeholder activities, improvement of our external profile through the use of advertising platforms, such as web presence and social media activities, so as to be at the hub of discussions and implementation of national regulations and standards across crime, justice, and security. 

The leader of this theme is John Cassella. Contact John at, or read his biography within the Leadership Team tab. 

Evidence Based Policing

This theme encapsulates the principles of evidence based practice and applies them to policing through academic research that informs and directly impacts upon real-world police work, both within the UK and Internationally. The theme is broad and covers a wider range of subjects linked to policing. The theme addresses both internal factors impacting upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the police service, such as police wellbeing and organisational relationships, and external areas impacting on policing, such as understanding different types of crime and the demand they pose, effectiveness of campaigns seeking to deter crime, and public views of policing, with the intention of developing understanding, practice and policies in order to improve service and the delivery of police work. The theme aims to foster existing relationships with law enforcement and expand connections by developing further relationships with police forces around the world. Research within the theme is inclusive and not only informs practitioners of findings but aims to involve and empower them to get involved in current projects or undertake future research within their working area of policing. 

The leaders of this theme are Leanne Savigar-Shaw and Lauren Metclafe. Contact Leanne at and Lauren at, or read their biographies within the Leadership Team tab.