Crime and Harm Reduction


Projects in this theme focuses on how applied social science can help us understand patterns of crime and contribute to how best to reduce harm in communities. Click through to read more.

Projects a-z

Homicide Research Group

The Homicide Research Group works with organisations and charities to produce research that can help reduce or prevent homicide. We have already produced a report for the Suzy Lamplugh Trust which has been influential in assessing risk in stalking cases. Currently, we are working with AAFDA to produce a report for the Home Office which will look at family involvement in Domestic Homicide Reviews. We are also working with the Police and Crime Commissioner in Sussex to produce a stalking response model. We have a number of other exciting and impactful projects which are giving students valuable experience, and helping victims and organisations develop their practice and policies.


Labour Market Non-Compliance and Worker Exploitation

Staff: Dr Sam Scott

This ongoing research focuses on labour market non-compliance amongst employers and employment agencies, and on the outright exploitation of workers. Outputs include: a 2017 book with Policy Press that developed out of ESRC and Joseph Rowntree Foundation funding focused on labour exploitation and work-based harm; and a 2019 scoping study carried out with colleagues at UCL, for the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME), to identify optimal ways to measure the scale and nature of non-compliance in the UK labour market.


  • Cockbain, E., Scott, S., Posch, K. and Bradford, B. (2019) The Scale and Nature of Non-Compliance Scoping Paper. UCL/ DLME: London.
  • Scott, S. (2019) Protecting Workers from Exploitation in Neoliberal States: A Social Harm Perspective. Justice, Power and Resistance.
  • Scott, S. (2017) Labour exploitation and work-based harm. Policy Press: Bristol.
  • Scott, S. (2017) Informalisation in Low-Wage Labour Markets: A Case-Study of the UK Food Industry. Population, Space and Place 23.8.

Reducing crime against businesses

Staff: Dr Andrew Stafford; Dr Jon Hobson

This activity seeks to understand the nature and prevalence of crimes committed in town and city centres against businesses and those that use them, and to determine evidence-based approaches to tackling these crimes. Led by Dr Andrew Stafford, Senior Lecturer and Academic Course Leader for BSc Criminology, this activity has provided valuable insight into public perceptions of crime and safety in Gloucestershire’s Night Time Economy, into the benefits of integrated, holistic business crime reduction partnership models, and into the effectiveness of place-based exclusion sanctions as a means of tackling crime and disorder. Current projects include a national survey of crime reduction partnership managers to identify best practice and understand the challenges that they can face, and behavioural analysis of prolific offenders to further understanding concerning desistance from and displacement of crimes against businesses.

External engagement:

This activity has involved collaboration with a wide range of public and private entities. Working with the business crime reduction partnership Gloucester City Safe and The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, research led by Dr. Stafford formed an important part of Gloucester’s successful Purple Flag status application in 2018. Dr Stafford has presented research on business crime reduction partnership models to The Metropolitan Police and is Chair of the National Business Crime Centre’s BCRP Standards Board. Dr Stafford also works closely with the company Littoralis, the provider of an incident reporting and information sharing platform ‘DISC’ used by upwards of 450 crime reduction partnerships, on projects to improve BCRP management processes and better understand crime and disorder affecting businesses.