Discover our research in victimology and ecological justice
Exploring the role of victims in criminal justice and human-induced forms of environmental harm.
The Victimology and Ecological Justice group brings together researchers from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Our aim is to explore what combinations can be created to highlight our teaching and research across the following areas:
- Gender, intersectionality and inequalities
- Victims and victimisation
- Policy and legislation
- Implementation of reforms
- Impact on professional cultures
- Female offenders
- Ecological justice, wildlife crime, conservation and climate change
Victims of crime remain high on the political and criminal justice agenda following the wider politicisation of crime victims in the 1990s. Since then, the needs and rights of crime victims have been widely debated and remain a highly contested area for reform. Despite the introduction of Victims’ Charters and Codes of Practice, these entitlements remain discretionary rather than legally enforceable. Calls continue for victims to have legislative rights to be enshrined in a Victim’s Law and the findings of a recent public consultation are still awaited.
Recognition of legitimate forms of victimisation have expanded significantly over the last three decades due to activism and campaigning. These include behaviours not previously recognised as criminal — for example, domestic abuse, stalking, sexual harassment and honour based violence — and new crimes resulting from developments in technology, such as internet fraud, cybercrime, and image-based sexual abuse (more commonly known as ‘revenge porn’). There has also been an acceleration of crimes that some thought no longer existed, such as human trafficking and modern day slavery.
More recently, ‘green’ criminology has developed into a rich seam of criminological enquiry, enabling a focus on human-induced environmental harm, through the lens and development of Green Victimology. The United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP, has elevated the urgency. The discipline has flourished with a critical focus on the climate and environmental crises, to embrace both a ‘wildlife criminology’ (Nurse & Wyatt, 2020) and a ‘climate change criminology’ (White, 2020).
We have worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society in the development of a Wildlife Crime Leadership Initiative, designing and delivering courses for investigators in Asia.
We have collaborated with the Zoological Society of London in the development and visualisation of fingermarks on Pangolin scales using gelatine lifters, in order to combat poaching.
Dr Jacki Tapley, Lead of the Victimology and Ecological Justice research group, has worked on behalf of the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Victims’ Commissioner and Police and Crime Commissioners. She holds a range of relevant editorial and trustee positions and serves on several advisory groups to support the role of victims in criminal justice policy making.
Teaching and related courses
- MSc Victimology (Distance Learning) is the only Victimology Masters degree offered in the UK.
- BSc (Hons) Criminology with Environmental Justice
- Our Working with Victims of Crime short course is studied by professionals working in the criminal justice system. In 2021, the course was adapted to provide a bespoke non-credit bearing short course for the South Korean Police Agency.
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice also delivers short courses on behalf of the Wildlife Conservation Society, as part of their leadership initiative.
Deputy group lead:
Explore our research
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Read more about the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and explore the teaching and research activities that take place within it.
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.
Forensic Science Group
The forensic science research group at the University of Portsmouth is using science to identify, eliminate, reconstruct and inform how crime is investigated.
Economic Crime Group
We're researching the scale, impact and cost of economic crimes — such as fraud, corruption and money laundering.
Missing Persons Group
We're researching patterns of behaviour that may precede a person going missing and working to improve how cases are handled.
We're working in collaboration with local, national and international police organisations.
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.