School of Law

Professor David S. Wall

Professor of Criminology

I am Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies in the School of Law where I research and teach cybercrime, identity crime, organised crime, policing and intellectual property crime. I have published a wide range of 40+ articles and 12+ books on these subjects and I also have a sustained track record of interdisciplinary funded research in these areas from the EU FP6 & FP7, ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC & other funders, such as the Home Office and DSTL.

I am (or have been) a member of various Governmental working groups, such as the Ministerial Working Group on Horizon Planning 2020-25, the Home Office Cybercrime Working Group (looking at issues of policy, costs and harms of crime and technology to society), and the HMIC Digital Crime and Policing working group. I am an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Fellow of the Higher Teaching Academy.

Research Interests

I am currently conducting RCUK funded research into Cybercrime and Cybersecurity (EPSRC CeRes) and also (EPSRC Contrails) Policing Cybercrime in the Cloud in collaboration with Newcastle University Centre for Cybercrime & Computer Security and Durham University Department of Computing. I am also currently concluding two EU (FP7) funded research projects on the proceeds of Organised Crime (OCP) and the infiltration of legitimate economies by organised crime groups (ARIEL) with various European academic partners and policing agencies.


I teach the following subjects:

  • Cybercrime
  • Organised Crime
  • Intellectual property crime

PhD Supervision

I welcome applications from potential PhD students in the field of Cybercrime; Crime, Law and Technology, Policing, Police History, Intellectual Property Crime, Counterfeiting, Crime and Popular Culture.

My current and most recent PhD supervisions cover, or have covered, the following topics: Cybercrime; Public Confidence in the Police; Intellectual Property Crime (Counterfeit Luxury Fashion Goods); Sex Offenders and the Internet; Online Frauds and Deceptions; The Seizure of Digital Evidence; The Rise of the Cyber-Control society (inchoate offences and the reversal of the burden of proof); Policing Online Fraud in Korea.

Key Publications


  • Policing Cybercrime: Networked and Social Media Technologies and the Challenges for Policing, ed. by Wall DS and Williams M (Routledge, 2014)

    Cybercrime has recently experienced an ascending position in national security agendas world-wide. It has become part of the National Security Strategies of a growing number of countries, becoming a Tier One threat, above organised crime and fraud generally. Furthermore, new techno-social developments in social network media suggest that cyber-threats will continue to increase. This collection addresses the recent 'inertia' in both critical thinking and the empirical study of cybercrime and policing by adding to the literature seven interdisciplinary and critical chapters on various issues relating to the new generation of cybercrimes currently being experienced. The chapters illustrate that cybercrimes are changing in two significant ways that are asymmetrical. On the one hand cybercrime is becoming increasingly professionalised, resulting in ’specialists’ that perform complex and sophisticated attacks on computer systems and human users. On the other, the ‘hyper-connectivity’ brought about by the exponential growth in social media users has opened up opportunities to ‘non-specialist’ citizens to organise and communicate in ways that facilitate crimes on and offline. While largely distinct, these developments pose equally contrasting challenges for policing which this book addresses.

  • Wall DS, Cybercrime: The Transformation of Crime in the Information Age (Polity, 2007), xii,276p

    Author URL []

    The primary aim of this book is to contribute knowledge and understanding about the emerging subject of cybercrimes by exploring the transformation of crime and policing in the information age within the context of the shifting public discourse over security. In pursuit of this aim, the book has two key objectives. The first is to map out the substantive areas of cybercrime and therefore contribute to the production of criminological knowledge about it. The second is to understand the regulatory, legal and ‘policing’ challenges that cybercrimes pose for the criminal (and civil) justice processes within the context of an existing compliance framework, or governance assemblage. Because many of the harmful Internet behaviours raising public concern do not fall neatly within the criminal or civil codes and the means by which they are currently resolved is framed increasingly by the discourse over public safety than by law enforcement debates, the book's context is the intersection between law and criminology. Its main reference point is the ‘law in action’.

Journal articles

  • Wall DS, ‘Policing Identity Crimes’, Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, 23.4 (2013), 437-460

    Author URL []

    Identity-related crimes pose a significant problem to both the UK economy and also its citizens because they cause estimated annual losses of around £1.5billion. Not only do identity crimes cause considerable public concern, but they also create challenges for policing them; not least, because policing responses, in the broader regulatory sense, are often over-reactive or take the form of dramatic Public Relations gestures rather than coherent policing policy. Yet, the realities of identity-related crimes are quite different from the ways that they are perceived and even more important is that fact that this difference presents many challenges for those whose job is to ‘police’ them. This article will look at what identity crimes are and at the very real problems they pose for policing them as non-routine policing activities. The article will, firstly, map out identity crimes and outline the behaviours that we understand as identity crimes and their core characteristics. It will then consider how the characteristics map onto traditional police practice and consider some of the ways that the challenges have been addressed.

  • Wall DS, ‘Jailhouse Frocks: Locating the public interest in policing counterfeit luxury fashion goods’, British Journal of Criminology, 50.6 (2010), 1094-1116
    DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azq048

    Author URL []

    Counterfeiting raises some interesting intellectual questions for criminologists, policy makers and brand owners, not least that it differs from the types of offending that traditionally form the crime diet of the criminal justice system. Whilst it is growing in prevalence due to the enormous returns on investment, it is unlikely that the public purse will fund major anti-counterfeiting initiatives in a climate of public sector cut-backs, emphasising the need to allocate resources effectively. This article seeks to locate the public interest in policing counterfeit luxury fashion goods by separating it out from the broader debate over safety-critical counterfeits such as aircraft parts. It then maps out, what is in effect, the criminology of desire for counterfeit goods, before outlining the market incentives for counterfeiting and related criminal activity.


  • Wall DS, ‘Copyright, trolling and speculative invoicing ‘in the shadow of the law’, in The SAGE Handbook of Intellectual Property, ed. by David M and Halbert D (Sage, 2014), 607-626

    Author URL []

    This article explores the phenomenon of ‘copyright trolling’, which is the (il) legal practice often referred to as ‘speculative invoicing’ that deliberately upsets or embarrasses individuals to get them to pay for material they may or may not have downloaded illegally. It looks at the policing of digital copyright in the UK, US and Germany by exploring the legal practice of copyright trolling as well as some recent examples of litigation in those countries. More specifically, it asks the question as to what extent have some intellectual property lawyers been creatively and entrepreneurially seeking to use the threat of court or exposure to embarrass defendants into making payments. It will also ask whether or not this form of litigation has actually had the effect of policing copyright under the shadow of law? The article also contributes to the emerging criminological debate over organizational crime by providing an example of how organizational and professional corruption takes place as well as detailing the process of corruption. It illustrates an aspect of the criminalization of civil space by the private sector, in this case the brutal aim is to neutralize opposition and maximize income generation whilst protecting the income stream. The first part will explore key trends in the changing business model of the music industry and outline the main issues and arguments relating to the debate over sharing music files. The second section outlines the case for file sharing. The third part looks at who the creative industries are in terms of creative assets and creative artists and at how networked technologies have changed the power relationships between the two. The fourth part contemplates what is being protected and the case against file sharing. In so doing, it evaluates what intellectual property rights are and what their purpose is. The fifth section examines the practice of speculative invoicing to ‘police’ illegal file sharing. The following part considers how speculative invoicing has turned into copyright trolling by exploring the case study of ACS: Law and also the US copyright trolling experience and seeks to draw some lessons from the UK and US experiences. The final part draws some conclusions.

Media Contact Areas

  • Cybersecurity
  • Crime, Law and Technology, Policing
  • Police History
  • Intellectual Property Crime (e.g. Counterfeiting)
  • Crime and Popular Culture.

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