Surrey Crime Research Lab

Established as a central research hub to bring together existing criminological and methodological expertise at the University of Surrey, the Surrey Crime Research Lab (SCRL) applies innovative research methods to the study of crime and crime control. With a core mission to provide empirically robust and policy relevant research findings, SCRL has conducted research on a range of criminal justice topics including areas of policing, prison studies, hate crime and technology crimes.

Latest updates

  • Ian Brunton-Smith joined the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology (January, 2015)
  • Members of SCRL presented papers at the American Society of Criminology annual conference in San Francisco, November 2014. Sessions covered prisoner relations with family, trust in the police amongst young people, and cyber-crime.
  • Ian Brunton-Smith and Mike McGuire presented papers at the European Society of Criminology Conference in Prague, September 2014.
  • Daniel McCarthy was jointly awarded the 2014 British Society of Criminology (Policing Network) award for new career researchers for his article: ‘Gendering ‘Soft’ Policing: Multi-Agency Working, Female Cops, and the Fragilities of Police Culture/s’, Policing and Society, 23(2): 262-278.
  • SCRL convened a session at the 2014 Research Methods Festival on methodological challenges in Criminal Justice Research. Full details and slides available here.
  • Daniel McCarthy was recently awarded an ESRC Future Leaders Grant (£271,670) for a project entitled ‘Parenting Young Offenders: Shaping and Re-Shaping Social Networks following Custody’. This project will begin in June 2015.
  • Karen Bullock has been announced as the winner of the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences Researcher of the Year Award, 2014.
  • Jon Garland’s work on Goths and hate crime was covered in The Independent on Sunday on 15th June. Read here.
  • Nigel Fielding, Karen Bullock and Jane Fielding have been awarded ESRC funding (£80,084) for a project titled ‘University Consortium for Evidence-Based Crime Reduction.’

Current research

The lab brings sophisticated research designs to bear on analytically-informed and policy-relevant topics in contemporary criminal justice. Our research has been funded by research councils in the UK and abroad, central government departments, along with a large number of statutory and non-statutory organizations. Currently, we have research projects active in:

Principally carried out by Jon Garland, an internationally recognised hate crime expert, this body of work examines the nature, extent and impact of hate crime victimisation, as well as its causes. Currently Jon is collaborating in the Leicester Hate Crime project, a two-year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which is the largest ever study of hate crime victimisation. This project, which is coming towards its conclusion, is investigating not just the experiences of the more ‘recognised’ hate crime victim communities (including those who experience racist, religiously motivated, homophobic, disablist and transphobic victimization), but also anyone who feels they have been targeted because of who they are. The research includes an extensive online and written survey of the wide range of victim communities, complemented by hundreds of in-depth interviews with victims.

Research in to policing has a long history at the University of Surrey. At the present time Karen Bullock is conducting work on the role of volunteers in policing as well as the police use of social media. Members of the Crime Research Lab are also working alongside colleagues around the country to develop and disseminate knowledge about what is known to be effective in reducing crime as part of the College of Policing's newly established 'What Works Centre for Crime Reduction’. Daniel McCarthy has been conducing work on partnership working, early intervention working, and police cultural change.

Lead by Ian Brunton-Smith with Daniel McCarthy, this project has been examining the role of prison context in shaping prisonerexperience, legitimacy and reoffending. This uses data from a longitudinal cohort of nearly 4,000 prisoners (Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction) linked to the Police National Computer. Multilevel and structural equation models enable us to identify unique prison effects, as well as explore in detail the dynamic nature of prison life. This work has been supported by Ministry of Justice funding.

Daniel McCarthy will be starting a new ESRC funded study exploring the experiences of the parents of young people leaving custody in July 2015.

Ian Brunton-Smith is working to identify and explain the impact that street-segment character and neighbourhood context has in shaping crime and local residents’ perceptions of crime. This involves the application of complex geo-spatial and multilevel models to recorded crime and crime survey data. The work is currently supported by a British Academy grant.

Principally led by Michael McGuire, this research area is focused on understanding and evidencing the growing impacts of technology - not just upon offending, but the criminal justice process as a whole. Current research is focused upon several thematic areas: 1) Developing a more sophisticated understanding of digital or cyber crime and more effective responses to this. Amongst various projects under this theme can be included; an international working group on cybercrime aimed at setting out new cyber crime research methods for the coming decade; work with the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security on mapping and responding to the emerging phenomenon of Cloud based offending; and research into the nature and form of organised crime online. 2) Creating a more comprehensive approach to technology crime and control, in order to extend understanding beyond the use and misuse of digital technologies. One output here will be the forthcoming Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice (Routledge, 2015) which brings together international experts across the fields of chemical, biological, nuclear, and other technologies to offer a state of the art analysis of their criminal significance. 3) Analysis of the implications of automation for crime and its control - for example algorithmic based crime prevention tools. 4) Developing new frameworks for more effective handling of technology dependent evidence in the courtroom.

Previous research undertaken by members of the lab includes studies of criminal careers; criminal investigation, including the investigation of murder, and the conduct of major incident inquiries; role conflict in probation officers; the training of probation officers; joint police/social work investigation of child sexual abuse; rural racism; football hooliganism; and the collaborative networks of different criminal justice agencies tackling low-level disorder.


Brunton-Smith, I., Sutherland, A., and Jackson, J. (2014) ‘Bridging structure and perception; On the social ecology of beliefs and worries about neighbourhood violence in London’ British Journal of Criminology. 54(4): 503-526.

Brunton-Smith, I., Jackson, J., and Sutherland, A. (2014) ‘The Role of Neighbourhoods in Shaping Crime and Perceptions of Crime’ in van Ham, M., and Manley, D. (eds) Neighbourhood Effects or Neighbourhood based Problems? A Policy Context. Springer.

Brunton-Smith, I., and Hopkins, K. (2014) ‘The impact of experience in prison on the employment status of prisoners after release: Findings from the first 3 waves of Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR)’. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series. London: Ministry of Justice

Brunton-Smith, I., Carpenter, J., Kenward, M., and Tarling, R. (2014) ‘Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) Using multiple imputation to recover missing data from the SPCR’. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series. London: Ministry of Justice

Bullock, K.(Online first) 'Diversity in the Special Constabulary'. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. 

Bullock, K., and Leeny, D. (Online first) 'On matters of balance: An examination of the deployment, motivation and management of the Special Constabulary'. Policing and Society.

Bullock, K. (2014) Citizens, Community and Crime Control. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bullock, K. (2014) 'Criminal benefit, the confiscation order and the post-conviction confiscation regime'. Crime, Law and Social Change: 62(1): 45-64

Bullock, K. and Sindall, K. (2014) 'The Nature and Extent of Citizen Participation in Neighbourhood Policing'. Policing and Society: 24(4): 385-404

Bullock, K. (2014) 'Integrated Approaches to Domestic violence? An Exploration of the Role of the Victim and Women’s Safety Work in Cognitive-Behavioural Programmes'. The Probation Journal, 61(1): 27-43

Bullock, K., and Lister, S. (2014) Post-conviction Confiscation of Assets in England and Wales: Rhetoric and Reality, in C. King and C. Walker (eds). Dirty Assets: Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets. London: Ashgate.

Garland J., and Chakraborti N. (2014) Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research. Bristol: Policy Press.

Garland J., and Hodkinson P. (2014) '“F**king Freak! What the hell do you think you look like?” Experiences of Targeted Victimisation Among Goths and Developing Notions of Hate Crime'. The British Journal of Criminology, 54(4): 613-631.

Garland J.,and Hodkinson P. (2014) 'Alternative Subcultures and Hate Crime'. in Hall N, Corb A., Grieve J., and Giannasi P (eds.) The International Handbook of Hate Crime. London: Routledge. pp. 226-236.

Garland J., and Rowe M. (2014) 'The Hollow Victory of Antiracism in English Football'. in Treadwell J., and Hopkins M (eds.) Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 92-105.

Hopkins, K., and Brunton-Smith, I. (2014) ‘Prisoners’ experience of prison and outcomes on release: Results from Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR)'. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series. London: Ministry of Justice

McCarthy, D, J. (2014) 'Soft' Policing: The Collaborative Control of Anti-Social Behaviour, Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan

McCarthy, D, J., and O’Neill, M. (2014) 'The Police and Partnership Working: Reflection on Recent Research', Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice,

McCarthy, D, J. (2014) 'Revisiting Revolutions in Youth Justice', Criminal Justice Matters, 97(1): 16-17.

McGuire, M. (2014) 'Putting the 'Cyber' into Cyber-terrorism: Re-reading Technological Risk in a Hyperconnected World' in Cyberterrorism: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer. 

O’Neill, M., and McCarthy, D, J. (2014) ‘(Re)Negotiating Police Culture through Partnership Working: Trust, Compromise and the ‘New’ Pragmatism’, Criminology and Criminal Justice, 14(2): 143-159.

Sturgis, P., Brunton-Smith, I., Jackson, J., and Kuha, J. (2014) ‘Ethnic diversity and the social cohesion of neighbourhoods in London’ Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(8): 1286-1309.

Brunton-Smith, I., and Hopkins, K. (2013) ‘The factors associated with reconviction following release from prison: Findings from the first 3 waves of Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR)'. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series. London: Ministry of Justice

Bullock, K., and Condry, R. (2013) Responding to Denial, Minimization and Blame in Correctional Settings: The "Real World' Implications of Offender Neutralizations, European Journal of Criminology. 10(5): 572-590.

Bullock, K. (2013) Community, Intelligence-led Policing and Crime Control, Policing and Society. 23(2): 125-144.

Bullock, K., and Leeney, D. (2013) Participation, ‘Responsivity’ and Accountability in Neighbourhood Policing, Criminology and Criminal Justice. 13(2): 199-214.

Bullock, K. (2013) Intelligence Led Policing and the National Intelligence Model, in J. Brown (ed). The Future of Policing. London: Routledge

McCarthy, D, J. (2013) 'Gendering ‘Soft’ Policing: Female Cops, Multi-Agency Working, and the Fragilities of Police Culture/s’, Policing and Society, 23(2): 262-278.

McGuire, M. (2013) 'Technomia and the Biochemical Citizen', Deviance et Societe, 3.

McGuire, M. (2013) 'Cybercrime - A Review of the Evidence', HOS/11/047. Home Office.

McGuire, M. (2013) 'Counting the Cost of E-Crime', British Retail Consortium, Research Report. 

Millie, A., and Bullock, K. (2013) 'Policing in a Time of Contraction and Constraint: Re-imagining the Role and Function of Contemporary Policing', Criminology and Criminal Justice. 13(2): 133-142. 

Sutherland, A., Brunton-Smith, I., and Jackson, J. (2013) ‘Collective efficacy and violence in London’ British Journal of Criminology, 53(6): 1050-1074.

Brunton-Smith, I., and Jackson, J. (2012) ‘Chapter 2 - Urban Fear and its Roots in Place’ in Ceccato, V. (ed) Urban Fabric of Crime and Fear. Springer.

Bullock, K., and Leeney, D. (2012) Public Concern about Organised Crime, Crime Prevention and Community Safety. 14(4): 287-292.

Bullock, K., and Johnson, P. (2012) The Impact of the Human Rights Act on the Police Service in England and Wales, British Journal of Criminology. 52(3): 630-650.

McGuire, M. (2012) Technology, Crime and Justice. London: Taylor-Francis.

McGuire, M. (2012) 'Organised Crime in the Digital Age (II)', John Grieve Centre for Policing/Detica BAE.

Millie, A., and Bullock, K. (2012) Re-imagining policing post-austerity. British Academy Review, 19: 16-18.

Brunton-Smith, I., and Sturgis, P. (2011) ‘Do neighborhoods generate fear of crime?: An empirical test using the British Crime Survey’. Criminology, 49(2): 331-369.

Brunton-Smith, I. (2011) ‘Untangling the relationship between fear of crime and perceived disorder: Evidence from a longitudinal study of young people in England and Wales’. British Journal of Criminology, 51(6): 885-899.

Bullock, K. (2011) Responding to Anti-social Behaviour: Analysis, Interventions and the Transfer of Knowledge, Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal. 13(1): 1-15.

Bullock, K. (2011) The Construction and Interpretation of Risk Technologies in Contemporary Probation Practice.  British Journal of Criminology. 51(1): 120-135.

Garland J., and Bilby, C. (2011) ''What Next, Dwarves?': Images of Police Culture in Life on Mars'. Crime, Media, Culture, 7(2): 115-132.

McCarthy, D, J. (2011) 'Classing Early Intervention: Social Class, Occupational Moralities and Criminalization', Critical Social Policy, 31(4): 495-516.

McGuire, M. (2011) 'Organised Crime in the Digital Age (I)', John Grieve Centre for Policing/Detica BAE.

McGuire, M. (2011) 'Abnormal Law: Teratology as a Logic of Criminalisation', in The Structure of Criminal Wrongs, Volume II.

Treadwell J., and Garland J. (2011) ‘Masculinity, marginalisation and violence: A case study of the English Defence League’. The British Journal of Criminology, 51(4): 621-634.

Brunton-Smith, I., Sindall, K., and Tarling, R. (2010) ‘The Effect of Demographic Make-up on Perceptions of Antisocial Behaviour in London as Measured by the British Crime Survey and 2008 Place Survey’. Government Office for London.

Bullock, K., Clarke, R., and Tilley, N. (2010) Situational Prevention of Organised Crime. Cullompton: Willan.

Bullock, K. (2010) Enforcing Financial Penalties: The Case of Confiscation Orders, The Howard Journal. 49(4): 328-339.

Bullock, K., and Ekblom, P. (2010) Richness, Retrievability and Reliability – Issues in a Working Knowledge Base for Good Practice in Crime Prevention, European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research. 16(1): 29-47.

Bullock, K. (2010) The Confiscation Investigation, Policing: An International Journal of Policy and Practice. 4(1): 7-14.

Bullock, K. (2010) Improving Accessibility and Accountability – Neighbourhood Policing and the Policing Pledge, Safer Communities: International Journal of Community Safety. 9(1): 10-19.

Bullock, K. (2010) Generating and Using Community Intelligence: The Case of Neighbourhood Policing. The International Journal of Police Science and Management. 12(1): 1-11.

Bullock, K., Sarre, S., Tarling, R., and Wilkinson, M. (2010) An Implementation Study of the delivery of Domestic Abuse Programmes in Probation Areas and Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Ministry of Justice Research Series 15/10. London: Ministry of Justice.

Chakraborti N., and Garland J. (2012) 'Reconceptualizing hate crime victimization through the lens of vulnerability and 'difference''. Theoretical Criminology, 16(4): 499-514. 

Garland J. (2012) 'Difficulties in defining hate crime victimization'. International Review of Victimology, 18(1): 25-37.

Garland J., and Chakraborti N. (2012) 'Divided by a common concept? Assessing the implications of different conceptualizations of hate crime in the European Union'. European Journal of Criminology, 9(1): 38-51.

Garland J., and Treadwell J. (2012) 'The New Politics of Hate? An Assessment of the Appeal of the English Defence League Amongst Disadvantaged White Working Class Communities in England'. Journal of Hate Studies, 10(1): 123-141.

Garland J. (2010) '‘It’s a Mosher Just Been Banged for No Reason’: Assessing the Victimisation of Goths and the Boundaries of Hate Crime'. International Review of Victimology, 17(2): 159-177.

McCarthy, D, J. (2010) 'Self-Governance or Professionalized Paternalism? The Police, Contractual Injunctions, and the Management of Deviant Populations', The British Journal of Criminology, 50(5): 896-913.

McGuire, M. (2010) 'Sharpes Monsters and the English Law', Journal of Social and Legal Studies.

McGuire, M. (2010) 'Online Surveillance and Personal Freedom' in Jewkes, Y., and Yar, M. The Handbook of Internet Crime. Willan.

Rowe M., and Garland J. (2012) 'Paying the price? Why football still has a problem: Mike Rowe and Jon Garland assess the ongoing presence of racism in football'. Criminal Justice Matters, 88(1): 30-31.

Brunton-Smith, I., and Allen, J. (2009) ‘Chapter 3 - Measuring Crime’ In M. Bulmer, J. Gibbs and L. Hyman (eds) Social Measurement through Social Surveys: an Applied Approach, Ashgate.

Bullock, K., and Tilley, N. (2009) Born to Fail? Policing, Reform and Neighbourhood Problem-Solving, The Police Journal. 83(2): 117-130.

Bullock, K., and Tilley, N. (2009) Police Reform: the Prospects for Evidence Based Policing and Crime Reduction, Policing: An International Journal of policy and Practice. 381-387.

Bullock, K., Chowdhury, R., and Hollings, P. (2009) Public Concerns about Organised Crime. Home Office Research Report 16. London: Home Office.

Bullock, K., Mann, D., Street, R., and Coxon, C. (2009) Examining attrition in confiscating the proceeds of crime. Home Office Research Report 17. London: Home Office.

Chakraborti N., and Garland J. (2009) Hate Crime: Impact, Causes and Responses. London: Sage.

McCarthy, D, J. (2009) Policing and the Poetics of Everyday Life (Review), Policing and Society, 19(4): 493-4.

Bullock, K., and Tilley, N. (2008) Understanding and Tackling Gang Violence. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal.  10(1): 36-47.

Bullock, K., and Tilley, N. (2008) 'Problem-oriented Policing', in A. Wakefield, A Dictionary of Policing. London: Sage.

McGuire, M. (2008) Hypercrime: The New Geometry of Harm. Routledge-Cavendish.