Man checking financial figures on calculator

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. 


Project highlights

Publication highlights


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.

Discover our areas of expertise

Counter fraud is one of our 7 areas of expertise in our Criminology research area. Explore the others below.

Forensic interviewing

We're exploring new and better ways to gather quality, reliable information from crime scenes and witnesses' minds – and helping develop protocols and practices that ensure this human data is protected and interpreted correctly.

Woman writing forensic studies notes on whiteboard
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Missing Persons

In our Centre for the Study of Missing Persons, we're identifying patterns of behaviour that precede a person going missing and working to change the policies and practices that determine how such cases are handled.

Empty pairs of shoes left on the beach
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Cybercrime and Cybersecurity

We're exploring the growing threat and impact cybercrime at all levels of society, investigating the methods and motives of the people who commit it, and finding new ways to deal with them.

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In the wake of a prolonged period of budget cuts, our work deals with the most-pressing issues facing the police service – from how police officers learn, to the individual factors that can influence an investigation.

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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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Forensic science

We're taking a closer look at how science can help identify, eliminate, reconstruct and inform the ways in which crime is investigated – including through fingerprinting and DNA recovery.

Female forensics working studying fingerprint on computer
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Research centres and groups