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Criminology research

Explore the research we're doing in Criminology

The nature of crime is changing, and the ways in which we prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute it are evolving too. Our Criminology research explores these challenges and aims to improve the policies and practices used in the field.

Our research focuses on 8 interconnected, collaborative and multidisciplinary research groups. Within each, we're busy turning our knowledge, expertise and findings into action.

Our cybercrime research is exploring the growing threat and impact of this type of crime at all levels of society – from governments and law enforcement agencies, to private organisations and the public. We're investigating the methods and motives of the people who commit it, and finding new ways to deal with them.

Forensic science has helped changed the face of contemporary justice, and our research in forensics is taking a closer look at how science can help identify, eliminate, reconstruct and inform how crime is investigated – from fingerprinting and DNA recovery, to forensic interviewing. In the latter area, our research is identifying new and improved ways to gather quality, reliable information from crime scenes, and from the minds of witnesses. It's also helping to develop protocols and practices that ensure this human data is protected and interpreted correctly by police.

Policing and the economic, political and social world in which it operates is another focus of our research. 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.

Within the Missing Persons Group, we're also 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.

Interested in a PhD in Criminology?

Explore our Criminology postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils. 

Explore our all Criminology research groups

Find out more about the facilities and research methods that shape our Criminology research – and learn more about our recent projects, the academic and industrial partners with whom we collaborate, and the major funders who fund our work.

Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Group

We're researching how crime takes place using technology, such as cyber fraud, hacking, online abuse, and its impact on individuals and society. 

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Collaboration of Forensic Interviewing Group

The Collaboration examines the best ways to elicit reliable and fulsome information from interviewees in a trauma-informed way and to ensure informed decision-making.

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Missing Persons Group

We're researching patterns of behaviour that may precede a person going missing and working to improve how cases are handled.

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Economic Crime Group

We're researching the scale, impact and cost of economic crimes — such as fraud, corruption and money laundering.

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Policing Research Group

We're working in collaboration with local, national and international police organisations to research the social, economic and political context in which policing operates.

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Probation, Prison and Penology Group

The University of Portsmouth is working to better understand the role of punishment & how this links with processes of justice and rehabilitation to promote change.

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Forensic Science Group

The forensic science research group at the University of Portsmouth is using science to identify, reconstruct and inform how crime is investigated.

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Victimology and Ecological Justice Group

We're researching victims and victimisation, inequality, domestic and online abuse, ecological justice, wildlife crime and climate change.

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