Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Professor Adam Crawford

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute; Director of the Security and Justice Research Group; Director of the N8 Policing Research Partnership

I am a graduate of the Universities of Warwick (Law and Sociology, First Class) and Cambridge (M.Phil Criminology) and hold a PhD from the University of Leeds.

I have held visiting positions at KU Leuven, VU Amsterdam, the Australian National University, Pennsylvania State University, Griffith University and Sydney University and the Maison des Sciences de l'Hommes in Paris and Lyon.

I am Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute which works to support and enhance the Social Sciences at the University of Leeds.  It does so by fostering interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, promoting relations with external partners in the public, private and third sectors and building capacity through the provision of training and skills development for the next generation of research leaders.

I am a member of the Scientific Committee of the Groupe Européen de Recherches sur les Normativités (GERN). I am also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Services.

Research Interests

My research interests include: public policing, private security, crime prevention, community safety, partnerships, youth justice, anti-social behaviour, victims of crime, restorative justice, urban governance and the regulation of public space.

I have successfully secured over £10 million in external research funding, mostly as principal investigator. I have managed research studies in the fields of crime prevention, community safety, victims of crime, policing and youth justice, variously funded by the Home Office, Youth Justice Board, ESRC, JRF, HEFCE, Nuffield Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Northern Ireland Office, the College of Policing and the European Commission.

I am currently working on and involved in the following externally funded research projects:

  • Director and PI of the N8 Policing Research Partnership – a research and knowledge exchange collaboration between universities and policing partners in the north of England which has secured £7.2 million funding (including £3 million HEFCE Catalyst Grant), 2015-20.
  • Principal Investigator on an Economic and Social Research Council Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme ‘An Exploratory Knowledge Exchange Platform for Policing: Exploiting Knowledge Assets, Utilising Data and Piloting Research Co-production’, 2014-15.
  • Principal Investigator on an Economic and Social Research Council Research Seminar Series ‘Markets in Policing: The Appetite for and Organisational, Cultural and Moral Limits to Markets in Public Policing’, 2014-17.
  • Co-Investigator on a College of Policing Knowledge Fund ‘Developing Restorative Policing: using the evidence base to inform the delivery of restorative justice and improve engagement with victims’ (with Professor Joanna Shapland (PI), Sheffield University), 2015-17.
  • Co-Investigator on an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant entitled: ‘The future prospects of urban parks: The life, times and social order of Victorian public parks as places of social mixing’ (with Dr Anna Barker (PI), Bradford University and Dr David Churchill, University of Leeds), 2015-17.

I briefly discuss my research in this short interview:


In recent years, I have taught on the following modules.

  • Crime Prevention and Community Safety (first year undergraduate)
  • Criminology (second year undergraduate)
  • Theories of Crime, Justice and Control (MA programmes)

PhD Supervision

I currently supervise the following research students.

  • Ravinder Mann (p-t) (2007-) ‘Integrating Victims in Restorative Youth Justice’.
  • Peter Traynor (2010-15) ‘Pathways into and out of knife use: young people’s motivations, rationales and experiences of carrying/using knives’ ESRC Studentship Award.
  • Andrea Tara-Chand (2011-)Resilience, Threat and Urban Governance’ White Rose Studentship Network Award
  • Mark Hartley (p-t) (2011-) ‘Implementing Community Policing in the UEA: A study of Policy Transfer’
  • Deborah Platts-Fowler (2012-) ‘Policing Social Disorder and Urban Unrest’ ESRC Studentship Network Award
  • Ian Marder (2013-) ‘The Involvement of Police Forces in the Facilitation of Restorative Justice Practices in England and Wales’, ESRC Studentship Award
  • Jennifer Healy (2014-) ‘Who Pays for Public Policing? Exploring the shifting boundaries of responsibility for the provision of “public” policing’, Collaborative ESRC Studentship award with the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police.
  • Christina Straub (2014-) ‘Love as human virtue and human need and its role in (rethinking) rehabilitation, the prison experience and desistance’, ESRC Studentship Award
  • Sean Butcher (2015-) ‘Civilian Activation in Policing Plurality’, ESRC Studentship Award

I am happy to consider proposals in areas of policing, community safety, crime prevention, youth justice, restorative justice, comparative criminal justice and criminology more generally.

I have supervised thirteen research students to successful completion of their degrees, including ...

 Successfully completed PhDs

  • Graham Geddes (co-supervised with York University) (2010-14) ‘White “extremism”: Exploring Islamophobic identity in the virtual and physical spheres’ White Rose Studentship Network Award.
  • Kathy Hampson (p-t) ‘Young Offenders and Emotional Intelligence’ (2012).
  • Kerry Clamp ‘The Receptiveness of Societies in Transition to Restorative Justice’ (2010).
  • Jonathan Burnett ‘Implementing Community Cohesion’ (2008).
  • Ruth Mounce Penfold ‘Celebrity Criminality: The Governance of the Public Image of Criminal Justice’ (2007) ESRC Studentship Award.
  • Alejandra Diaz Gude ‘The Growth of an International Restorative Justice Movement: Some Implications for Juvenile Justice in Chile’ (2004) Chevening Scholarship Award.
  • Sunita Toor ‘Understanding the Criminality of Minority Ethnic Girls’ (2003).
  • Ilona Haslewood-Pocsik (p-t) ‘The Rise of Risk Assessment in the Probation Service’ (2001)
  • Mario Mattassa ‘Security and Control in a North Belfast Community’ (1999).
  • James English ‘The Rise and Fall of the Unit Fine’ (1998).

Successfully completed MA by Research

  • Mike Cooper (p-t) ‘Why Burglars Burgle: Offenders’ Motives and Decision Making’ (2013).
  • Ibrahim Al-Haider ‘Youth Justice in Saudi Arabia’ (2002).
  • Paul Joliffe (p-t) ‘The Use of Interpreters in Magistrates’ Courts’ (1995).

Key Publications


  • Crawford TAM, Hucklesby A, Legitimacy and Compliance in Criminal Justice, ed. by Crawford A and Hucklesby A (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013)

  • Crawford A, International and Comparative Criminal Justice and Urban Governance (Cambridge Univ Pr, 2011)

  • Crawford A, Newburn T, Youth Offending and Restorative Justice: Implementing Reform in Youth Justice (Willan Publishing, 2003), xiv,264p

Journal articles

  • Crawford A, Hutchinson S, ‘Mapping the Contours of ‘Everyday Security’: Time, Space and Emotion’, British Journal of Criminology 2015
    DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azv121, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/92189/

    Author URL [bjc.oxfordjournals.org]

    This article develops a conceptual framework that prompts new lines of enquiry and questions for security researchers. We advance the notion of ‘everyday security’, which encompasses both the lived experiences of security processes and the related practices that people engage in to govern their own safety. Our analysis proceeds from a critical appraisal of several dominant themes within current security research, and how ‘everyday security’ addresses key limitations therein. Everyday experiences and quotidian practices of security are then explored along three key dimensions: temporality, spatial scale and affect/emotion. We conclude by arguing that the study of everyday security provides an invaluable critical vantage point from which to reinvigorate security studies and expose the differential impacts of both insecurity and securitization.

  • Crawford A, ‘Temporality in restorative justice: On time, timing and time-consciousness’, Theoretical Criminology, 19.4 (2015), 470-490
    DOI: 10.1177/1362480615575804, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83483/

    © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.Restorative justice has been the subject of much theoretical criminological debate and policy innovation. However, little consideration has been given explicitly to issues of temporality and the challenges they raise. Yet, at its heart, restorative justice provides a rearticulated understanding of the relationship between the past and future; one that seeks to marry otherwise tense and ambiguous dynamics of instrumental and moral reasoning, along with risk-based and punitive logics. This article explores a number of dimensions in which questions of time, timing and time-consciousness are implicated in conceptions and practices of restorative justice. It highlights the social, plural and contested nature of time and temporalizations with relevance to restorative justice. It points to new lines of enquiry and analysis with inferences for the implementation of restorative values and conceptions of justice. It concludes with reflections on the multiple temporalities inferred in shifts of scale in the application of restorative justice.

  • Crawford TAM, ‘L’hétérogénéité du concept de sécurité : ses implications sur les politiques publiques, la justice et la durabilité des pratiques’, Cahiers de la securite et de la justice, 27/28 (2014), 25-34
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83672/

    In this paper, I want to explore and assess a number of interconnected trends and their implications for our understanding of security and justice in contemporary societies. In so doing, I will draw most evidently on developments in the UK but also delineate and evoke broader trans-European comparisons, where these seem appropriate. My argument will be structured around the elaboration and consideration of two inter-related contemporary trends which are evident across European societies, albeit sometimes expressed differently, reflecting divergent political and cultural contexts. The two trends are: first, the rise of ‘public safety’ as an holistic domain of policy, notably at the level of the city/region; and, second, the evolving conceptualisation of ‘security’ as promiscuous. Particular attention is given to security’s evolving quality and social character as well as to its temporal and distributive dimensions. The purpose is to highlight the aggrandising and future oriented ramifications of securitising practices. In the concluding section, I turn briefly to consider the implications of these dynamics for our understanding of the tense relation between security, liberty and justice. I explore the implications of the preceding discussions for how we might conceive of a conception of ‘sustainable security’. In so doing, I elaborate a conceptualisation of security which is normatively rooted in notions of social justice without being capacious or pervasive. One that attends to the short-term security needs of living with risk and threat without prompting social injustices and inequalities or compromising future security by generating new sources of insecurities.

  • Crawford A, ‘Governing through Anti-Social Behaviour: Regulatory Challenges to Criminal Justice’, British Journal of Criminology, 49.6 (2009), 810-831
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/43001/

    The advent of the ‘anti-social behaviour’ agenda in Britain and the introduction of diverse new powers and regulatory tools, represent a major challenge to, and assault upon, traditional conceptions of criminal justice. This article argues that the language of regulation has been appropriated and deployed to cloak and legitimise ambitious (yet ambiguous) bouts of hyper-active state interventionism and social engineering that have more to do with quests to demonstrate government’s capacity to deliver visible public sector reform and to be seen to be doing something tangible about amorphous public anxieties than with meaningful behavioural change. Rather, regulatory ideas are being used to circumvent and undermine established criminal justice principles, notably those of due process, proportionality and special protections traditionally afforded to young people. Consequently, novel forms of state-sponsored control have resulted in more extensive, more intensive and earlier interventions, most especially into the lives of young people.

  • Crawford A, ‘Criminalising Sociability through Anti-Social Behaviour Legislation: Dispersal powers, young people and the police’, Youth Justice, 9.1 (2009), 5-26
    DOI: 10.1177/1473225408101429, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/43003/

    This article explores the impact of dispersal powers introduced as part of the British government’s drive to tackle anti-social behaviour. It focuses especially on the experiences and views of young people affected by dispersal orders. It highlights the importance of experiences of respect and procedural justice for the manner in which they respond to directions to disperse. It considers the ways in which dispersal powers can increase police-youth antagonism; bring young people to police attention on the basis of the company they keep; render young people more vulnerable; and reinforce a perception of young people as a risk to others rather than as at risk themselves. It reflects on broader conceptions of youth and public space apparent within the anti-social behaviour agenda.

  • Crawford A, ‘Dispersal Powers and the Symbolic Role of Anti-Social Behaviour Legislation’, MOD LAW REV, 71.5 (2008), 753-784
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2008.00714.x, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76517/

  • Crawford A, ‘Networked governance and the post-regulatory state? Steering, rowing and anchoring the provision of policing and security’, THEORETICAL CRIMINOLOGY, 10.4 (2006), 449-479
    DOI: 10.1177/1362480606068874

  • Crawford A, ‘Contractual Governance' of Deviant Behaviour’, Journal of Law and Society, 30.4 (2003), 479-505
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2003.00267.x

    This paper seeks to analyse and make sense of the growing role and implications of forms of ‘contractual governance’ that are emerging in diverse fields of social life and public policy in England and Wales, both within and beyond criminal justice. Collectively, these modes of control mimic and deploy ‘contracts’ and ‘agreement’ in the regulation of deviant conduct and disorderly behaviour. The rise of contractual governance is explored against the background of a crisis in penal modernism and the challenge of crime prevention. Contractual governance in a number of fields is outlined and discussed including home-school agreements in education; acceptable behaviour contracts and introductory tenancies in social housing; restrictive covenants in private residential neighbourhoods; domestic security and private residential patrols and youth offender contracts. It will be argued that, in these contexts, contracts seek to induce conformity and order through modes of governing the future that depart significantly from traditional modes of policing and that recast social obligations in forms of parochial control.


  • Crawford TAM, Cunningham M, ‘Working in Partnership: The challenges of working across organisational boundaries, cultures and practices’, in Police Leadership - Rising to the Top, ed. by Fleming J (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 71-94

    This chapter sets out to identify and revisit some of the fundamental challenges associated with working in partnerships across organisational boundaries, cultures and established practices, and to consider some of the vexed issues that often stymie good intentions as well as their implications for police leadership. This critical starting point is deliberately chosen to prompt consideration of how best to manage inter-organisational relations. It also underscores the importance of strong leadership and strategic direction in providing organisational commitment and coordination of effort as well as facilitating engagement with and buy-in from multiple partners. The intention of this chapter is not to undermine the rationale for a partnership approach, but rather, to highlight often ignored problems and structural conflicts, so as to inform contemporary thinking and good practice and to help enlighten leadership strategies for negotiating these. For, it is only by recognising the barriers and the working assumptions that inform organisational hurdles that we can begin to surmount them. The implication is that successful inter-organisational partnerships don’t just happen; they need to be fashioned, crafted, nurtured and supported. They need both strategic leadership and the appropriately skilled people to deliver them on the ground.

  • Crawford TAM, ‘Thinking about sustainable security: metaphors, paradoxes and ironies’, in Positive criminology: reflections on care, belonging and security, ed. by Schuilenburg M, Van Steden R and Oude Breuil B (The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2014), 33-56
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83484/

    In keeping with the theme of this book, the chapter will seek to contribute to a positive notion of security. It will do so by endeavouring to reclaim a reflexive conception of security from the growing and somewhat dystopian (and utopian) ‘anti-security’ critique (Neocleous and Rigakos, 2011), whilst acknowledging the dangers and malign societal impacts of which this body of literature sagely warns us. In its place, a conception of security as distinctly social, tied to notions of justice and legitimacy that is attentive to its temporal implications and distributive consequences will be advanced. It sets out from the premise that an underpinning of security is an essential prerequisite for a stable economy and vibrant communal life, as well as for inter-subjective well-being and human flourishing. This socially sustainable foundation necessitates that governments, businesses and societies can better predict, prevent and mitigate threats to security but also requires the capacity of societies, communities and individuals to adapt and live confidently with risk. The chapter seeks to bring a greater focus to the ethical dimensions of security (across time and space) and the societal consequences of security practices as a framework which can be used to enable and empower public policy and social interactions rather than simply hinder them. It underscores the importance of ethical and cultural considerations in understanding insecurities and public attitudes to security concerns. Hence, the chapter begins to sketch out the normative conditions under which security policies and practices might become socially sustainable, in that they are legitimate and just, in ways that avoid generating malign social consequences and the erosion of other societal values or ethical principles. The chapter is organised in two parts. The first outlines a number of metaphoric interpretations of security in contemporary discourse to highlight its ambivalent and ironic qualities. Particular attention is given to security’s evolving quality and social character as well as to its temporal and distributive dimensions. The purpose is to highlight the aggrandising and future oriented ramifications of securitising practices. The second section briefly explores the implications of the preceding discussions for how we might conceive of a conception of ‘sustainable security’ as a progressive notion.

  • Crawford A, ‘From the Shopping Mall to the Street Corner: Dynamics of Exclusion in the Governance of Public Space’, in International and Comparative Criminal Justice and Urban Governance, ed. by Crawford A (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 483-518
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76504/

  • Crawford A, ‘Regulating civility, governing security and policing (dis)order under conditions of uncertainty’, in Governing Security Under the Rule of Law?, ed. by Blad J and others (The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, 2011), 9-35
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76506/


  • Crawford TAM, L'Hoiry X, Partnerships in the Delivery of Policing and Safeguarding Children: Full Report, (Leeds: CCJS Press, 2015), 1-12

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