Economic Crime research
Explore our work in economic crime, one of our areas of expertise in Criminology
Economic crime is the most financially-costly crime to society, and our counter fraud research examines the growing scale, impact and cost of economic crime – and aims to help improve the way such crimes detected, prevented, investigated and prosecuted.
We're exploring how widespread fraud, corruption and other economic crimes are, assessing existing methods for fighting such crimes, and helping develop new methods to combat them. We're also looking at the different impacts that economic crime can have on victims, from individuals to large-scale organisations, and developing ethical practices for tackling counter-fraud.
Our work is regularly published in leading industry and academic journals, including the European Journal of Criminology, the International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, Victims and Offenders, the Journal of Financial Crime, the Journal of Criminological Research, and Crime, Law and Social Change. Many of our researchers have also written and published books on the subject.
Staff researching and teaching economic crime are based in the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies.
Our research covers the following key topics
- Counter fraud
- Counter corruption and bribery
- Victims of economic crime
- Cost of economic crime
- Security and privacy
- Food fraud
- Economic and industrial espionage
- Money laundering
- Intellectual property crime
We use both quantitative and qualitative data-gathering methods within our research. For example, recent projects have seen our researchers hold in-depth interviews with fraud victims, and conduct sophisticated quantitative research. We have also conducted research on offenders interviewing cash-for-crash insurance fraudsters and occupational fraudsters.
Partnerships and funders
Our research is regularly used and funded by government bodies, law enforcement and other public and private organisations who deal with fraud and other economic crime. Recent funders include the Home Office, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Intellectual Property Office, the Nuffield Foundation, Cifas, City of London Police, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Crowe UK (formerly Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP).
We also have access to one of the UK's largest groups of active economic crime researchers, and our extensive links with policing, enforcement and industry bodies.
Report for National Fraud Authority and Sentencing Council, Mark Button, Chris Lewis, Jacki Tapley
Researchers in the department are experts in estimating the costs of fraud and have produced numerous projects to estimate the costs of fraud and the consequences of it.
Report for Survey Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (2018), Mark Button, Victoria Wang
Researchers have conducted several studies on occupational fraudsters and insurance fraudsters.
Report for Midlands Fraud Forum, Eversheds and PKF, Mark Button, Chris Lewis, David Shepherd, Graham Brooks, Alison Wakefield
Report for the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police, Fire and Rescue Services
London: IPSOS Mori, K. Finnerty, S. Fullick, H. Motha, J. Navin, M. Button, and V. Wang
2nd Edition (2019). Abingdon: Routledge. M. Button
European Journal of Criminology (2019), 16, issue: 1, page(s): 18-40, M. Andresen and M. Button
The Real Cost of Recruitment Fraud (2019), J. Gee, M. Button, V. Wang, D. Blackbourn and D. Shepherd, London: Crowe
Information Polity (2019). 24, 59-74, V. Wang, D. Shepherd, and M. Button
Interested in a PhD in Criminology?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Criminology postgraduate research degrees page.
Researchers in economic crime also teach on the MSc Economic Crime, and contribute modules toward a unique economic crime pathway in our undergraduate criminology provision. Several of our modules and courses are also recognised by important professional bodies such as ACFE.
We offer training courses leading to a Certificate in Prevention of Bribery and Corruption and a Certificate in Intellectual Property Crime and Illicit Trade.
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Cybercrime and Cybersecurity
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Probation, Prison and Penology
We're working to understand the role of punishment, and how it links with processes of justice and rehabilitation – and helping shape how criminal justice practitioners work, by linking theory to practice.
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Research centres and groups
We're researching the challenge of fraud and its effective control, focussing on how to inform the practice and delivery of security from public and private sector perspectives.
We're researching policing, probation and criminal forensic investigation.
The Centre for Counter Fraud Studies accommodates the growing interest in counter fraud as a research discipline.