Francesca Menichelli

Dr Francesca Menichelli

Lecturer in Criminology
PhD in Urban Studies, Universita' di Milano-Bicocca, FHEA
30 AD 03
Office: Mon: 1-3 pm; Teams: Wed: 9:30-10:30 am

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.


University roles and responsibilities

  • Athena SWAN Lead

    Affiliations and memberships

    Academic networks


      Research interests


      Postgraduate research supervision



      Francesca Menichelli, Karen Anne Bullock, Jon M Garland, Jonathan Allen (2024)The organisation and operation of policing on university campuses: A case study, In: Criminology & Criminal Justice SAGE Publications

      The operation of policing services on university campuses in the United Kingdom is under-researched. Drawing on interviews with university managers, security personnel and residential wardens, this article adds to the limited literature on policing in educational institutions by providing a case study of the organisation and implementation of campus policing at a university in the United Kingdom. We find that the work of the security teams includes routine housekeeping and caretaking tasks across campus, maintaining adherence to university rules and regulations, enhancing student well-being and welfare and preventing and responding to crimes. Further research is needed to understand how university spaces are managed and policed across the United Kingdom and the role of private security in dealing with welfare and mental health issues on campus.

      Francesca Menichelli, Karen Bullock, Jon M Garland, Jonathan Allen (2024)Policing universities: exploring the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by private campus security officers, In: Policing and Society Routledge

      Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are widely used across the public and private sectors, including in law enforcement, education, and transport. An extensive body of work exists on the use of BWCs by the public police and their impacts on officers and citizens' behaviours. In contrast, literature on the use of BWCs use in private security is very limited. Even more so is research on the use of BWCs by private security on university campuses. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with campus security officers and senior management in a university in the United Kingdom (UK), this paper investigates how and why BWCs were initially introduced, how they are used and with what outcomes. We find that adoption of the cameras was to strengthen the professionalism and credibility of officers and their ability to collect evidence. In practice, camera use is infrequent and concentrated on specific days and times of the week. BWC footage is prominently used in the investigation of alleged violations of university regulations, and it has become a tool to hold students accountable for their behaviour in a way that was not possible before the adoption of the cameras. The study offers an important contribution to our understanding of the operation and outcomes of private security on university campuses and, more specifically, the role of BWCs in these.

      In recent years, individuals suffering from severe and multiple disadvantage (SMD) have become an explicit target for policy and a new wave of partnerships bringing together the police, local authorities, mental health and social care with third sector organisation has been trying to develop new ways of supporting them. This paper focuses on one of these partnerships and reconstructs how the Covid-19 outbreak impacted on efforts to embed responsiveness, participation and equity into the governance structure of the newly-established partnership. An advisory group bringing together individuals with personal experience of SMD was involved in the identification of the priorities to be pursued. However, the first lockdown and the requirement to house all rough sleepers forced the partnership to abandon them to focus on housing. Complications also emerged in attempts made to embed participation in the work of the partnership, as the peer mentors involved lacked the skills and resources necessary to embrace new forms of remote working. Finally, the unexpected depth of the needs in the client group also raised unforeseen complications in terms of how to allocate available support equitably. The case study offers two lessons: first, police can play a strategic role at the local level in tackling vulnerability and disadvantage; second, police and health partnerships need to be considered in terms of their commitment to democratic values, not just their effectiveness. The paper concludes by offering some broader considerations on the intersection between policing and public health in light of the pandemic

      The PRISMS project analyses the traditional trade-off model between security and privacy and devises a more evidence-based perspective for reconciling security, privacy and trust. It examines how technologies aimed at enhancing security are subjecting citizens to an increasing amount of security measures and, in many cases, causing infringements of privacy and fundamental rights. It conducts both a multidisciplinary inquiry into the concepts of security and privacy and their relationships and a EU-wide survey to determine whether or not people evaluate the introduction of security technologies in terms of a trade-off. As a result, the project determines the factors that affect the public assessment of the security and privacy implications of a given security technology. The project has used these results to devise a decision support system providing users (those who deploy and operate security systems) insight into the pros and cons, constraints and limits of specific security investments compared to alternatives taking into account a wider society context. The criminological work package (WP4) included within PRISMS aims to contribute in two significant ways to the general remit of the overall project. As outlined in deliverable 4.1, the first goal was to arrive to a formulation of a conceptualisation of the notions of security and privacy from a criminological perspective that could be and were used to provide input for the development of the survey, its concepts, questions and hypotheses. The second objective of WP4 was the contextualisation of the results of the survey in light of a qualitative research case study conducted at Brussels airport, in order to further feed with its insights the development of the decision support system, one of the final outcomes of the project. The latter is what is detailed in the present deliverable. The main goal of the second research task of WP4 is to explore citizens’ attitudes and evaluations of security. This means that our leading question is: How do people experience securityprivacy practices or situations? To get insight people’s experiences with security practices we can only rely on how people frame and account (narrate) these experiences and events. Accounts or narratives are tools that individuals use in a sort of radical reflexivity connecting actions and accounts.1 As announced in the work package description, a qualitative case study can precisely focus on the analysis of accounts or narratives concerning the experience of participants of security practices. That way we can access how participants make sense of the situation they are part of. This deliverable is structured as follows: first, we will discuss the Brussels airport case study afterwards, we will shortly evoke the normative framework for aviation security in place before and after 9/11; then we will very briefly describe the governance of this field, with particular emphasis on the Belgian case. Finally, we will present the main empirical findings of our qualitative study, which will be used as the basis for the conclusions advanced in the final section of the report.

      Francesca Menichelli, Giulia Berlusconi (2022)Reimagining Criminological Futures: New Criminologies in a Changing World, In: British journal of criminology Oxford University Press

      This virtual special issue of The British Journal of Criminology has been prepared to coincide with the 2022 annual conference of the British Society of Criminology, hosted by the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Criminology at the University of Surrey. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Reimagining Criminological Futures: New Criminologies in a Changing World’, and it is our hope that the first in-person conference of the Society in three years will offer delegates the opportunity to consider how criminology can respond to an ever wider and complex set of challenges at a time of rapid social and economic change. As it was probably inevitable in light of current events, discussions leading to the creation of this special issue largely revolved around the idea of crisis. In thinking about how criminological research has explored and interrogated recent ruptures and their impact on the world at large and on disadvantaged and marginalised constituencies, we intentionally and purposefully looked outward rather than inward, and the selection of papers you will find below reflects this approach. Brexit does not make an appearance; the Black Lives Matter movement, Covid-19 and the refugee crisis do. We took the last word of the theme literally and made an effort to include papers that study contexts rarely featured in criminological debates, and explore the challenges faced by criminological theory when applied to countries from the Global South. Most of the papers we selected are fairly recent; somewhat counterintuitively, the two oldest focus on technology. The leap from studying the introduction of a computerised management information system to talking about the challenges and opportunities for criminology in the time of Big Data shows the strength and relevance of a discipline that has always strived to make sense of what is happening in the world around us in a critical and socially conscious manner. We hope that the conversations to be had at this year’s conference will help the discipline and all of us to continue this journey.

      Francesca Menichelli (2018)Transforming the English model of community safety: from crime and disorder to the safeguarding of vulnerable people, In: Criminology & Criminal Justice SAGE Publications

      The literature on the English model of community safety describes it as being centrally directed, situational in nature, focused on ASB and incivilities and not concerned with measures of social crime prevention. Based on an analysis of the community safety plans issued by English and Welsh local authorities between 2010 and 2014, this paper argues that such a characterisation is no longer accurate. Partnerships in England and Wales are now free from central oversight, and increasingly focused on safeguarding. In light of the work they do in support of vulnerable populations, and their role within the changing governance of England, more attention should be paid to them.

      Francesca Menichelli (2019)Governing through vulnerability in austerity England, In: European Journal of Criminologypp. 1-18 SAGE Publications

      Drawing on interviews with practitioners, the article reconstructs how and why vulnerability has become an organising principle in community safety work in England and Wales. Decreasing crime rates, growing awareness of risk and harm, loss of political salience of volume crime and modifications to the structure of incentives all contributed to making the move away from crime and disorder possible. The paper shows how vulnerability is now used to facilitate partnership working to maintain existing levels of service provision, but also to ration the amount of support made available to citizens at a time of austerity. This is potentially problematic and open questions remain on the solidity, orientation and reach of this shift. The article concludes by discussing the research findings in light of their broader implications for European criminology and comparative research.

      Francesca Menichelli (2013)Rearranging Urban Space, In: International Journal of E-Planning Research2(4)pp. 13-26 IGI Global

      This article investigates what happens to urban space once an open-street CCTV system is implemented, framing the analysis in terms of the wider struggle that unfolds between different urban stakeholders for the definition of acceptability in public space. It is argued that, while the use of surveillance cameras was initially seen as functional to the enforcement of tighter control and to the de-complexification of urban space so as to make policing easier, a shift has now taken place in the articulation of this goal. As a result, it has slowly progressed to affect the wider field of sociability, with troubling consequences for the public character of public space. In light of this development, the article concludes by making the case for a normative stance to be taken in order to increase fairness and diversity in the city.

      Francesca Menichelli (2014)Technology, context, users: a conceptual model of CCTV, In: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management37(2)pp. 389-403 Emerald

      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to challenge the traditional placement of CCTV within the realm of crime prevention technologies and to propose a conceptualisation of surveillance cameras that takes into account how different elements interact to shape how these are understood, defined and used in the day-to-day practices of the police. Design/methodology/approach Methodologically, the research draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two medium-sized Italian cities where open-street CCTV systems have been recently implemented and is based on a combination of non-participant observations and interviews with police officers in both forces. Findings Overall, two main findings emerge from the fieldwork. First, cameras are rarely used and not for reasons pertaining to crime control; rather, they have become a tool for the efficient management of scarce policing resources, with particular emphasis on the co-ordination and real-time tracking of patrolling personnel. Second, this shift is understood in radically different ways by officers in the two cities, so that what is experienced as a benign form of peer-to-peer co-ordination in Central City becomes a form of undue surveillance on the part of higher ranks in Northern City. Originality/value The value of the present work is twofold. On one hand, it provides relevant information to police practitioners on how organisational and structural factors impact on the use of surveillance cameras in policing. On the other, embracing the idea that CCTV is constructed through the interaction of several distinct, yet related, processes can explain why the same technology is implemented, defined and used in different ways in comparable organisations.

      Francesca Menichelli (2013)The national picture: The reconfiguration of sovereignty, the normalization of emergency and the rise to prominence of urban security in Italy, In: European Journal of Criminology12(3)pp. 263-276 SAGE Publications

      This paper argues that in Italy the notion of urban security is being used to shift sovereignty from national to local authorities. This has been made possible thanks to the political and legislative processes taking place in the country in the past decade, which have opened up a space of autonomy where local authorities could play a proactive role in the provision of security to citizens. This is exemplified by the flows of public funding that have been made available for security-related projects throughout the country. Finally, the article concludes by arguing that the spread of concerns over the security of Italian cities has not automatically led to the securitization of urban space in Italian cities.

      Michael Friedewald, J. P. Burgess, Johann Cas, Rocco Bellanova, Walter Peissl, Francesca Menichelli (2017)Surveillance, Privacy and Security: Citizens' Perspectives, In: Surveillance, Privacy and Security: Citizens' Perspectives1pp. 1-284 Routledge, London

      This volume examines the relationship between privacy, surveillance and security, and the alleged privacy–security trade-off, focusing on the citizen’s perspective. Recent revelations of mass surveillance programmes clearly demonstrate the ever- increasing capabilities of surveillance technologies. The lack of serious reactions to these activities shows that the political will to implement them appears to be an unbroken trend. The resulting move into a surveillance society is, however, contested for many reasons. Are the resulting infringements of privacy and other human rights compatible with democratic societies? Is security necessarily depending on surveillance? Are there alternative ways to frame security? Is it possible to gain in security by giving up civil liberties, or is it even necessary to do so, and do citizens adopt this trade-off? This volume contributes to a better and deeper understanding of the relation between privacy, surveillance and security, comprising in-depth investigations and studies of the common narrative that more security can only come at the expense of sacrifice of privacy. The book combines theoretical research with a wide range of empirical studies focusing on the citizen’s perspective. It presents empirical research exploring factors and criteria relevant for the assessment of surveillance technologies. The book also deals with the governance of surveillance technologies. New approaches and instruments for the regulation of security technologies and measures are presented, and recommendations for security policies in line with ethics and fundamental rights are discussed.

      Francesca Menichelli (2018)Italy, In: Bruce A. Arrigo (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications

      Dating as far back as the mid-1990s, when British scholars started to question the spread of surveillance cameras in their country, studies on CCTV has become one of the most established areas of enquiry in Surveillance Studies. We now know that the gaze of cameras is far from neutral and suspicion is socially constructed to reflect the assumptions of those manning the system (Norris and Armstrong 1999), that operators develop strategies to ease the burden of long working hours when, for the most part, not much happens so that cameras are not watched at all times (Smith 2004), and that the use of CCTV for preventing access to public space to specific categories of undesirables is common in several European countries (Mork Lomell 2004; Fonio 2007). What the works mentioned above share with countless others is the belief that cameras negatively impact on the individual’s right to privacy in public space and that, as such, the exponential growth in the diffusion of open-street CCTV systems signals a progressive shift towards a more and more controlled society.

      Francesca Menichelli (2018)New Penology, In: Bruce A. Arrigo (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
      Francesca Menichelli (2018)Sovereignty, In: Bruce A. Arrigo (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
      Francesca Menichelli (2018)Foucault, Michel, In: Bruce A. Arrigo (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications

      Which public and whose space? The understanding of public space as an arena where individuals can claim full use and access hides a reality of constant negotiation, conflict and surveillance. This collection uses case studies concerning the management, use, and transgression of public space to invite reflection on the way in which everyday social interaction is framed and shaped by the physical environment and vice versa. International experts from fields including geography, criminology, sociology and urban studies come together to debate the concepts of order and conflict in public space.

      Rob Kitchin’s latest book is an important addition to the emerging field of critical data studies, in that it manages to both make a clear, convincing and reasonably detailed case for why it is necessary to look critically at what data are—and, just as crucially, what they do in the world—and provide stimulating insights and suggestions for further research in this area. Kitchin’s central claim is that we are in the midst of a revolution that is radically changing how data are produced, managed, stored and analysed, with far reaching implications for governments, businesses, civil society and science. The book charts the data revolution currently underway, providing in the process a conceptual and critical analysis of data and their modes of production and use.

      Francesca Menichelli (2017)Beyond the Trade-off between Privacy and Security? Organisational Routines and Individual Strategies at the Security Check, In: Michael Friedewald, J. Peter Burgess, Johann Čas, Rocco Bellanova, Walter Peissl (eds.), Surveillance, Privacy and Security. Citizens´ Perspectivespp. 91-104 Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

      In his Collège de France lectures of the late 1970s, Foucault (2010) identifies the control over mobility as one of the crucial problems of government. Essentially, as the target of government shifted from the individual to the population, a new political rationality emerged, that identified the management of this aggregate as a problem. This allowed for two imperatives – increased prosperity of the state and the maintenance of peace and internal order – to be mutually satisfied. However, while the growing economic interdependency has globally pushed towards greater facilitation of both trade and travel – as witnessed in the opening of borders through agreements such as Schengen in Europe and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) in North America – a contrasting appeal to security, calling for the tightening of security measures, has increasingly emerged.

      Francesca Menichelli (2018)Theories of surveillance, In: Bruce A. Arrigo (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications