The Applied Criminology and Policing Centre conducts research and consultancy into crime and disorder and issues in policing and security.

Our aim is to impact on policy and practice in developing and advancing appropriate responses to crime, policing, and security problems.

Our current core research themes include

Self-Selection Policing

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and Hate Crime.

Policing and Investigating Serious Crime

Green and Wildlife Crime

Evidence-Based Policing, Crime Analysis and Research Methods.


Below are two examples of how the research of our Centre members has had an impact on crime and policing in the UK and internationally

Self-Selection Policing (SSP)

Self-Selection Policing (SSP) is an approach to identifying active, serious criminals, from the more minor offences they commit. It rests upon the simple premise that ‘those who do big bad things also do little bad things’.

Originally conceived at the University of Huddersfield, over the past 15 years Professors Jason Roach and Ken Pease have developed this additional policing approach to identifying active serious criminals. This produced a book and numerous research projects and papers identifying specific minor driving offences, such as driving while disqualified and illegal parking in disabled bays.

Termed SSP ‘trigger offences’, these are minor offences by which police scrutiny is more likely to uncover those committing them to be involved with serious criminality, than for other types of minor offending.

The Self- Selection Policing approach (Roach and Pease 2016) is being adopted by an increasing number of UK police and recently was included in a Parliamentary Affairs Select Committee report into prolific shop theft.

Reducing Crime through Design

The extent to which housing design influences the likelihood of future crime is of fundamental importance to both planning and policing policy and practice. Once built, housing lasts for decades, and there is little that can be done to correct vulnerabilities without great expense. Research conducted by Professor Rachel Armitage and Dr Leanne Monchuk on the subject of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) has been incorporated into national and local planning policy and procedures and has contributed to shaping urban planning at an international level.

Their research has confirmed that the design of residential housing influences risk of crime, and that housing built to the police Secured By Design (SBD) standard experiences 55% less burglary than housing that does not meet these standards, thus enabling planning guidance, building regulations and other national and local policy to stipulate that housing be built to these standards; increasing the number of secure homes (43% of new homes built between 2006 and 2017 were SBD) and, in turn, decreasing the number of crimes experienced.

Their research also identified the extent to which designing out crime is being implemented by police DOCOs, the strengths and limitations of training provision and how effectively crime prevention is being embedded within local and national planning.

Armitage and Monchuk have been invited to present their research to academics and practitioners as far afield as Australia and the United Arab Emirates. In 2011 they were commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council to develop planning guidance specific to crime prevention, and also played a key role in the Parliament of the Australian State of Victoria’s inquiry into locally based approaches to community safety and crime prevention.

Through research projects funded by a variety of diverse agencies, presentations at international conferences, participation on key Advisory Boards, the production of practitioner and resident focused knowledge transfer materials, this research has impacted police and planning policy and practice, prevented residential burglary and reduced the economic and social costs of crime.

The video Designing out Crime: Building Safer Communities demonstrates the concepts and the effectiveness of designing out crime.