Mannheim Matters November 2011 Meet Peter Ramsay


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Mannheim Matters November 2011

Meet….Peter Ramsay

My research to date has been motivated by curiosity about the expanding scope of the criminal law. So I have been working on an explanatory theory of the form and content of the substantive criminal law. In particular I have sought to explain the public wrongs defined by criminal law as one of the forms taken by the duties of citizenship.

I have applied this political sociology to New Labour’s criminal legislation in a book that will be published next year by OUP. It is called The Insecurity State: Vulnerable Autonomy and the Right to Security in the Criminal Law.

I returned to higher education in early middle age. After a brief period making the mistake of imagining that I would like to be a practicing lawyer, it was my good fortune that I decided to take the old London LLM. Among the opportunities that gave me was to be taught human rights by Conor Gearty, who introduced me to the LSE tradition in public law. I also stumbled across a course in Theoretical and Comparative Criminal Law. At the time I decided to take the course, I did not know what a privilege it would be to be taught criminal law theory by Ian Dennis, Nicola Lacey and Alan Norrie. Not only did they introduce me to a broad range of perspectives, but, in Nicola Lacey and Alan Norrie, I discovered two criminal law theorists whose work was methodologically right up my street.

Alan Norrie agreed to supervise my PhD thesis. I thought a theory of the ASBO would be interesting to do. The notorious measure was both the flagship New Labour criminal justice policy and very distinctive in its legal form. I wanted to know why it enjoyed such a high degree of political legitimacy notwithstanding the fierce criticism of it from criminal justice experts. Early on I realized I would need to work out where I stood in a debate between Norrie, Lacey and Lindsay Farmer about the history of the substantive criminal law. In so doing I stumbled on a citizenship theory of the criminal law that provided a historical framework for the political sociology of the ASBO. It also allowed me to write a couple of decent articles and get them published which in turn played a big part in getting me my current job as a lecturer in the law department.

In the thesis I explained the emergence of the ASBO by using a method that goes by the name of immanent critique. It boils down to:

  1. analyzing the legal liabilities that the ASBO creates so as to identify the interests it seeks to protect (the freedom from fear of crime); then

  2. identifying the normative justifications for the protection of these interests with penal law (the vulnerability of autonomy that is axiomatic to recently influential political theories—the Third Way, communitarianism and neoliberalism); and finally

  3. explaining what sort of political order could possibly institutionalize these norms (a post-democratic, post-sovereign order).

The analysis took me in a direction that I had not expected to go. I suppose at the beginning I had expected to find illiberal authoritarianism but what I found was stranger—an absence of political authority as such.

The book reworks the theory of the ASBO in the language of the ‘right to security’ and applies it to a wider range of New Labour’s criminal legislation. I take account of the Coalition’s government’s basic endorsement of New Labour’s right to security and its retreat from the most extreme manifestations of the insecurity state (the Vetting and Barring Scheme and Imprisonment for Public Protection). I also briefly explore why the state should have suffered the decline of political authority that leads to these security laws and what might be done about it.

With the book out of the way, I am now working on some papers exploring the relationship of criminal law to representative government. And when I am not doing that I have the privilege of teaching criminal law and penal theory to LSE’s clever and hard working students.


The Detroit Riot Study

Curiosity about the Detroit Riot study mentioned as the model for Tim Newburn’s ’reading the riots’ investigation, led me to look up some of the original papers as I had not heard of this collaboration between the media and academia.

Philip Meyer, the journalist and Nathan Caplan, the academic, met through a mutual friend as both were investigating the aftermath of riots occurring in Detroit in July 1967. They drafted a questionnaire drawing on one which had measured a previous riot, and trained 30 field interviewers who collected 437 accounts from residents drawn by means of a random probability sample. Of this sample only 11% admitted being rioters.

Clapham 2011



They compared their respondents to the profiles of those arrested in various cities and found the demographics similar to their sub sample of rioters. Sidney Fine wrote an article describing the criminal justice system’s response to the riots and provided a demographic profile of those arrested. It is interesting to compare this, and the offences, with data recently made available by the Ministry of Justice and Home Office on the UK rioters. Fine (1987) reported that 7,231 individuals were arrested after the Detroit riots (3927 arrested after UK riots). In Detroit the rioters were largely black adult males. In the UK, the ethnicity of rioters was more mixed (42% white and 46% of black or mixed heritage). The gender balance was virtually the same around 10%, but the age profile was different. In Detroit only 10% were classed as juveniles whereas the corresponding percentage for the UK is 26%.

In both Detroit and UK about the same proportion were arrested for acquisitive crime (around 65%) but more were arrested in the UK for violence.

In trying to explain the Detroit riots, Caplan drew on three theoretical formulations: riffraff theory; relative deprivation; and blocked opportunity with the data supporting the last of these. The riffraff theory best fits the prevailing political rhetoric, then and now, that rioters are members of a criminal, deviant underclass or those for whom rioting affords the opportunity to become momentarily freed from constraint and is a temporary aberration. This resonates with the contagion theories offered to explain middle class looting in the 2011 riots. What the Detroit data suggested were that the rioters were actually angry at their exclusion from job and life opportunities.

In a rather later paper, Caplan and Nelson (1973) discuss the nature and consequences of research into social problems and issue these instructive cautions in developing person centered blame models to explain protest or rioting behaviours:

  1. person centred blame offers Government a convenient apology for the causes of rioting;

  2. if intuitions are not held to be the cause of the problem they cannot be held responsible for amelioration;

  3. proposed initiatives are person changing rather than systemic changing;

  4. allowing the melioristic interpretation to consolidate managerial and custodial interventions;

  5. perpetuating social myths about control over one’s fate and increasing a public complacency about the plight of those not having made it on their own.

For those interested in more details see

Caplan, N., and Paige, J. (1968) A study of ghetto rioters. Scientific American 219,2, 15-21.

Caplan, N. (1970) The new ghetto man; a review of recent empirical studies. Journal of Social Issues, 26,1 59-73.

Caplan, N., and Nelson,S. (1973) On being useful; the nature and consequences of psychological research on social problems. American Psychologist, March 199-211.

Fine, S. (1987) Rioters and judges; the response of the criminal justice system to the Detroit riots of 1967. The Wayne Law Review 33, 5,1723-1763.

The recent Home Office and Ministry of Justice reports;-


Recent publications

Sharon Shalev’s Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement, which was published as a Mannheim publication, has been translated by the International Committees of the Red Cross (ICRC) into French and Russian.

More information on the Sourcebook and a copy in English (and Russian, and French) can be found on Sharon’s website,

Chapter One: Sexual Violence in history; a contemporary heritage? Shani D’Cruze

Chapter Two: Sexual violence in literature; a cultural heritage? Liam Bell, Amanda Finella and Marion Wynne Davies

Chapter Three: The legal heritage of the crime of rape. Joan McGregor

Chapter Four: Developing measures of multiple forms of sexual violence and their contested treatment in the criminal justice system. Sylvia Walby, Jo Armstrong and Sofia Strid

Chapter Five: Developments in investigative approaches to rape and domestic violence: the investigative heritage. Miranda Horvath and Mark Yexley

Chapter six: Practitioner commentary; a police perspective. Sharon Stratton

Chapter Seven: Psychological perspectives on sexual violence; generating a general theory. Jennifer Brown

Chapter Eight: On Sociological Perspectives. Helen Jones

Chapter Nine: Family violence and family safety; working therapeutically with victims, perpetrators, survivors and their families. Arlene Vetere

Chapter Ten: Violence and prostitution; beyond the notion of a ‘continuum of sexual violence.’ Jo Phoenix

Chapter Eleven: Practitioner commentary, treating the perpetrators of sexual violence-an applied response. Ruth Mann

Chapter Twelve : Silencing rape, silencing women. Jan Jordon

Chapter Thirteen: Co-ordinating responses to domestic violence. Nicole Westmarland

Chapter Fourteen: Destroying women; sexual murder and feminism. Annete Ballinger

Chapter Fifteen: Violence, sex and the child.Steph Petrie

Chapter Sixteen: Under their parents noses-online solicitation of young people. David Shannon

Chapter Seventeen: practitioner commentary, working with sexual violence. Stephanie Kewley

Chapter Eighteen : Bullying, harassment and sexual orientation in the workplace. Helge Hoel and Duncan Lewis

Chapter Nineteen: Public sector and voluntary sector response; supporting victims. Kate Cook

Chapter Twenty: Public sector and voluntary sector responses; dealing with sex offenders. Hazel Kemshall

Chapter Twenty-one: Changing the community response to rape; the promise of sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programmes. Rebecca Campbell

Chapter twenty-two: Practitioner commentary, response from South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centres. Sheila Coates


Mike Shiner

Mike’s book with Ben Fincham,

Susanne Langer and Jonathan Scourfield,“Understanding suicide; a sociological autopsy” published by Palgrave Macmillan was officially launched at LSE on 20th October.

Jon Scourfield said on researching this topic it was difficult to remain morally neutral and that he hoped an outcome of its publication would help to prevent suicide. He was particularly proud of using mixed methods and also their taking an intersectional approach which combined sociology, social psychology, social policy and anthropology.

Lord Tony Giddens congratulated Mike, Ben and Suzanne on making a major contribution to understanding suicide that that the book will have a significant impact. When he himself undertook a study of suicide he said his aim was to try and understand what drives people to want to escape from life and also why they may want to cling to life. “Suicide”, he said, “teaches us a lot and that life is an affair which one values.” It is a difficult subject to study not least because one cannot interview the successful suicide. One interesting question is whether the intention for self destruction was meant or not. He mention a remarkable study of surviving suicides who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge which revealed the sometimes trivial nature of the precipitating event which contests that precipitation is some deep inner turmoil. Intentions are rarely clear cut and the wish to die is overlaid with great emotion. Thus it is important to connect the social context with the person’s psychological state of mind which is what he said “Understanding Suicide” addresses. Suicide he thought is often an act of aggression or vengefulness against somebody else and that the consequences become part of a family’s history. He particularly mentioned the book’s analysis of suicide notes were very moving “poetry in acts of desperation”.

Post graduate update

Marianne Colbran

The few weeks have been very hectic and very exciting. On 30th September I submitted my Ph.D, “Watching the cops: a case study of production processes on The Bill”. The study looks at the effect of working processes and commercial imperatives on representation of the police over The Bill’s twenty-six year history and was supervised by Professor Robert Reiner, Professor Paul Rock and Dr Janet Foster. They were all immensely supportive and helpful throughout the process but never more so than in the last few weeks when I bombarded them with endless drafts of chapters, which they returned without fail within a day –so huge, huge thanks to them for giving up so much time to help me and make sure I submitted on time.

The reason for the urgency was that I was lucky enough to have been awarded the second Howard League Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Oxford University and I was due to start my fellowship the following Monday. The fellowship is a unique chance for early career researchers to have the time to develop their thesis into a monograph, but also to set up new projects in conjunction with the Centre for Criminology and the Howard League – and in particular, projects with a policy-based output. The project I am planning builds on my doctoral work and will be an ethnographic study of the production of stories about the penal system in a national newsroom. Just as I did in my doctoral work, I aim to explore how commercial imperatives and organizational features, such as time, need for source co-operation and constraints of the medium affect the news-making process – and in particular, why so few stories about the penal system are broadcast or printed in the media.

At a time when the news media has never been more complex or unpredictable and when changes in technology have allowed citizens themselves to make news, it seems more timely than ever to investigate changes in the news-making process, how these affect the news that is being made – and in turn, how such stories influence public understanding of issues relating to the criminal justice system. I am very excited about this project and very grateful to the Centre for Criminology and the Howard League for giving me the chance to develop my work. I am very much looking forward to working with them.

Aleksandra Majchrzak

I have been asked to write a small piece on my experience as a new LSE student. My adventure with LSE started much earlier, at the time I began my undergraduate course at another UK

university. This was where I first heard about The LSE and its reputation as one of the leading institutions both in the UK and the world, with well-known lecturers and great achievements. Over the first year as an undergraduate student I learned more about the LSE and developed a strong opinion about the university. I decided that I wanted to be an LSE student. I knew that getting into the LSE was not going to be easy, but I knew I had to do it. I also knew that I would have to work very hard not only because English is not my first language, but also because I had to meet the criteria required by the LSE. Now I am here, with my ambition fulfilled and I can proudly say that I am an LSE Masters’ student. It is great being lectured and taught by such leading academics in the field as Robert Reiner and Tim Newborn, whose books I have studied. All my hard work has paid off and it is really nice to see the proud look on my parent’s faces when people ask them where I am studying and they can reply ‘She is an LSE student’.

Letter from… Oxford

By Ben Bradford


Prior to that, he was a Research Fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. His research focuses on public opinions of the police,
en joined the Centre for Criminology in September 2011. He was previously Fellow at the LSE Methodology Institute.

particularly as these related to issues of trust, legitimacy, cooperation and compliance.

It seems slightly strange to be writing this letter as I never set out to be a criminologist. I worked at the Office for National Statistics for many years, ending up in the Social Statistics directorate researching and thinking about how to measure ethnic group and religious identity (for example in the Census). The ONS funded me to do a part-time Masters in Social Research Methods at the LSE between 2003 and 2005, for which I repaid them by leaving on a career break the following year to start a PhD at the LSE and in the end never returning.
My route into criminology was via my Masters’ thesis, which looked at the differential experience of police stop and search activity among different ethnic groups in London using survey data (the 2000 Policing for London study) rather than police administrative data. Jon Jackson, still at the LSE and featured in last month’s Mannheim Matters, encouraged me to apply for funding for PhD that I was lucky enough to obtain. My thesis examined the point of contact between police and public, again from the point of view of survey respondents, this time in the British Crime Survey and the Metropolitan Police’s Public Attitudes Survey, and it went on to consider the implications of such contact in terms of trust, legitimacy and cooperation.

I am therefore one of the regrettably small number of quantitative criminologists working in the UK – although there are signs that our number might be growing somewhat! I am definitely not a statistician though, and my concerns are primarily in theoretical and substantive issues rather than in the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the analysis, as important as these are. I am interested in what people think about the police and the criminal justice system, why they think the way they do, and what are the implications, in terms both of our empirical understanding of public behaviours in relation to criminal justice institutions and the law, and of our normative understanding of the way in which, for example, the police should ‘do’ policing.

Like others working in the UK at the moment I have been particularly inspired by the procedural justice model developed in the US by Tom Tyler and colleagues. Understanding, applying and, perhaps, extending this model has been a key feature of my work to date, and that certainly looks set to continue in the future. In particular I’m keen on the idea of combining Tyler’s social psychological model with a more sociological viewpoint, although my attempts to do so thus far have had mixed results at best. On the one hand the symbolism of the police detailed by people like Robert Reiner and Ian Loader speaks directly to Tyler’s idea that the police are ‘prototypical group representatives’, and that their behaviour powerfully communicates messages of belonging or, alternatively, exclusion. On the other hand, the theory of crime causation put forward by the procedural justice model – to massively over-simplify, that people are less likely to commit crime if their hold the police and other criminal justice agencies to be legitimate – seems plausible to me only if combined with other theories that are more attentive to the social contexts within which people act; those put forward by people like Robert Sampson, for example.

I’ve been enormously helped in all this by the support and advice of Jon Jackson and others at the LSE Methodology Institute, particularly in relation to helping me think like a social scientist, someone who generates (or more accurately appropriates) theories and tests them against empirical data. While social scientific reasoning in general and quantitative research in particular is often not popular among British criminologists, as anyone who has read Jock Young’s recent book can testify, I don’t think a more ‘scientific’ approach to criminological research means a necessary retreat into dustbowl empiricism. Steven Pinker’s new book, Wilson and Pickett’s The Spirit Level, and Danny Dorling’s take on injustice all follow a broadly scientific agenda, and all address key criminological questions in ways that are exciting, relevant and above all interesting. There is much we as criminologists could learn from these and similar authors, and I hope the research Jon, I and others will be undertaking using the recently released European Social Survey ‘trust in justice’ module will follow their lead.

Another key influence on my career to date has been Betsy Stanko, currently head of research at the Met. In terms of help and advice; and in relation to providing huge amounts of data from the Met’s various surveys and even, on occasion, allowing the placement of the odd item or three in the questionnaires. The amount of survey and other data held by the Met and other policing organizations is I think one of the great untapped resources in British and indeed world criminology. Entire careers have been built on analysis of far less data than is currently ‘out there’, under-analysed and often barely known outside the organisation that collected it. A full discussion of why such data is under used would probably fill a small book, but if I had to pick two reasons I would say, first, a woeful lack of confidence among criminology students in tackling quantitative data, and, second, a reluctance to engage with the police in the kind of dialogue that would lead to access and useful research. By ‘useful’ I definitely do not mean ‘research that follows a police agenda’, but rather the type of study that engages with the real world of policing and which offers the possibility for changing it in some way.
Looking forward, in the immediate future I’ll be concentrating on getting settled in Oxford, getting used to teaching criminology rather than research methods, and actually publishing papers rather than just starting them. In the long term I hope to soak up some knowledge from my new colleagues and use this to open up some new directions for research. Precisely which direction, at this point, is rather unclear.

Some recent publications by Ben Bradford

B. Bradford, 'Convergence not divergence? Trends and trajectories in public contact and confidence in the police' (2011) 51 The British Journal of Criminology 179-200

B. Bradford, 'Voice neutrality and respect: Use of Victim Support services procedural fairness and confidence in the Criminal Justice System' (2011) Criminology and Criminal Justice

Recent events

27th October

Howard League of Penal Reform and Mannheim Centre What if..lecture

In Praise of Fire Brigade Policing: Challenging the Police Role by Professor Robert Reiner

“In both popular and police culture the role of the police has always been seen in narrow crime control terms. The cops are there to catch robbers, the more the merrier. But until fairly recently this conception was challenged by official designations of the police role (from Peel to Scarman), as well as by many senior officers and researchers. These voices argued for a much wider onceptualisation of police responsibilities in relation to crime, as well as noting the much broader social role of the police. In popular culture this can be dubbed the Dirty Harry vs. Dixon debate, and until the last two decades it was active and vigorous – as shown for example by the 1990 ‘Operational Policing Review’ conducted by the three staff associations. But since then (starting with the 1993 White Paper Police Reform and the legislative and managerial changes flowing from it) the crime control conception of the police role has achieved almost complete hegemony. This is a crucial component of the general domination of the criminal justice policy agenda by the politics of law and order, reflecting the neoliberal consensus of the last two decades.

Fire-brigade policing was originally coined in the 1970s as a critical term, regretting that the transformation through technology of the police response to calls for service had supposedly distanced them from the public. This paper claims that the pejorative usage of ‘fire-brigade policing’ is largely misplaced. The crucial core role of the police is as an emergency service, responding to a sea of urgent troubles of which crime is an important part but far from the whole story. This paper argues for a rediscovery of the social role of policing, beyond crime control, and a frank recognition that they are primarily there as a first line response to people in distress. Their performance should not be judged in terms of the overall crime rate, on which they can have only a marginal impact. Nor should crime detection be a crucial indicator of policing, as it is more a function of crime levels than the quality of investigations. Managerial accountability and assessment require the much more difficult task of assessing the quality of emergency service delivery”.

Tim Newburn and the speakers at the What if event

Forthcoming Events

Mannheim/BSC Wednesday Seminar

7 December 2011 - BSC SEMINAR - 'Erich Fromm and the Political Economy of Punishment: A Freudo-Marxist Approach to Neoliberal Penality'

Dr Leonidas Cheliotis (Queen Mary University of London)

The seminar will start at 6.30pm, with wine from 6.15pm, and we recommend arriving early to be sure of a seat. We hope you will also be able to stay for drinks with the speaker after the talk.

Specialty Seminar

The Mannheim Centre for Criminology is holding a specialty seminar to mark the publication of Children of the Drug War by Damon Barrett.

When? Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 6 :00-7 :30 pm.

Where? Moot Court Room, 7th floor, New Academic Building, Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Chaired by Damon Barrett (Senior Human Rights Analyst at Harm Reduction International)

Speakers :

Jennifer Fleetwood (Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Kent) - Mothers and Children of the Drug War : A View from a Women’s Prison in Quito, Ecuador.

Steve Rolles Information Officer at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation )- After the War on Drugs : How Legal Regulation of Production and Trade Would Better Protect Children

Michael Shiner (Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at the LES) - Taking Drugs Together: Early Adult Transitions and the Limits of Harm Reduction in England and Wales

About the book

Children of the Drug War is a unique collection of original essays that investigates the impacts of the war on drugs on children, young people and their families. With contributions from around the world, providing different perspectives and utilizing a wide range of styles and approaches including ethnographic studies, personal accounts and interviews, the book asks fundamental questions of national and international drug control systems:

  • What have been the costs to children and young people of the war on drugs?

  • Is the protection of children from drugs a solid justification for current policies?

  • What kinds of public fears and preconceptions exist in relation to drugs and the drug trade?

  • How can children and young people be placed at the forefront of drug policies?

For further details see

RSVP: If you are planning to attend please let Michael Shiner know (

Hermann Mannheim quote of the month

“There is one final point we should bear in mind when dealing with the Criminal statistics: it is the obvious fact that for them all offences of the same legal type count alike irrespective of their gravity. It has often been emphasized in official documents, and quite rightly, that “ in these statistics the theft of a bottle of ginger beer has the same numerical value as the robbery of a jeweller’s shop.” To counteract this leveling tendency, other figures are sometimes published which show the value of property stolen. No corresponding figures exist, however, for false pretences and frauds, although it is here that the greatest value may be involved. the more large-scale offences of this kind are committed, the more are the statistical figures in danger of losing any significance as a means of measuring the real role played by crime in the economic and social life of the nations.

Mannheim. (1940) Social aspects of crime in England and Wales between the wars. London: George Allen & Unwin. p89.

Forensic Psychological Services at Middlesex University

For more than 20 years, Middlesex University’s interdisciplinary research centres have led the way in independent evaluation and multi methodological approaches to complex problems in Britain, Europe and beyond. Middlesex University is a national centre of excellence for work based learning and has been at the forefront of work into community engagement, minimising exclusion and assessing the impact of national strategies on local areas.

Forensic Psychological Services (FPS) at Middlesex University builds on these firm foundations to offer continued professional development; evaluation; research; consultancy and supervision to those working in and around criminal and civil justice. FPS supports a wide range of organisations including: local authorities, prisons, police, probation, government departments, youth offending teams, charities as well as individual practitioners and those training to practice.  We work to standards set by professional bodies (such as the British Psychological Society), statutory requirements (such as the Health Professions Council) and legislation. Our services are under pinned by Middlesex University’s academic framework to safeguard quality assurance.
General introduction to FPS

Forensic Psychological Services at Middlesex University is directed by Dr. Joanna R. Adler with Dr. Miranda A.H. Horvath as her deputy. They are guided by an advisory board consisting of leading practitioners and researchers from the criminal and civil justice fields and have a pool of over 20 freelance consultants with whom they work closely to deliver a range of services and projects. FPS is based in the Psychology Department of the University and has close links with colleagues in other departments including Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy. We contribute significantly to the MSc in Forensic Psychology; the Forensic Psychology Research Group and supervise a number of PhD students.

Some examples of evaluation work:

FPS are currently evaluating the impact of The Forgiveness Project (TFP) in prisons. TFP is a broadly restorative intervention aimed at working with offenders at early stages of their sentence and with short term sentence servers. We have adopted a mixed-methods, prospective, matched control design with a small sample of interviews to be conducted retrospectively. The evaluation is based in two adult prisons and one mixed adult and youth institution.

In collaboration with Georgie Parry-Crooke from London Metropolitan University we are currently evaluating the Primrose Programme, which is for women diagnosed as having Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder and is run at HMP and YOI Low Newton. Also between 2010 and 2013 we are evaluating the Stella Project Mental Health Initiative which is run by and organisation called Against Violence and Abuse ( The evaluation is funded by the Department of Health. During the same time period we are also conducting research on the overlaps between problem substance use and domestic and sexual violence experienced by young women with the same organisation, this time funded by the John Paul Getty Jnr Foundation.
Other examples of work undertaken include large and small projects for organisations such as:

  • The Safer London Foundation: A series of independent assessments of projects that they had funded and an overall evaluation of their work. (2008-2010)

  • Evaluation of the work of Escaping Victimhood (a charity working with bereaved victims of crime). (2010)

  • Evaluation of the London Probation Trust’s partnership working with released “TACT” offenders. (2010)

  • Assessment of a new module (Girls, Gangs and Consequences ) in the Growing Against Gangs Programme, a training package for delivery in secondary schools funded by the Lambeth Summer Projects Trust (2011)

Conferences and Training:

One of FPS’s great strengths is the ability to bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers to ensure that knowledge transfer becomes a dynamic, meaningful exchange with the opportunity to contribute to both theory and practice development. There are two areas that stand out: the 2008 and 2010 Hate Crime Conferences and our most recent conference: 2011, Sexual Violence Conference.

On the 8th September, FPS hosted its inaugural Sexual Violence Conference, organised by Drs Miranda Horvath, Jackie Gray and Susan Hansen. The conference brought together over 120 key practitioners, leading strategists, policy makers and academics working in this field from around the world. During the one day event, 4 keynote speeches, 4 debate sessions, 31 papers and 12 posters were presented and artist, Alex Brew showed a video installation she had created in response to the conference theme entitled “Not for the faint hearted”. The following day, we hosted a half-day masterclass with Professor Moira Carmody (University of Western Sydney) about the Sex + Ethics Violence Prevention Program that she developed in Australia, and which has since been adopted in New Zealand. At the time of writing, it was being used in an innovative public health campaign to combat an expected rise in sexual assaults during the Rugby World Cup. In the masterclass, there was discussion of how the program addresses best practice principles of violence prevention education, and how the program has been refined since its inception to meet the needs of local and diverse communities. The class concluded with a discussion of the policy and practice implications for sexual violence prevention in the UK. FPS is planning to bring the Sex and Ethics Violence Prevention Program to the UK.

Sexual Violence Conference Organisers (from L-R) – Dr Jackie Gray, Dr Miranda Horvath and Dr Susan Hansen

In 2012 FPS will be running two British Psychological Society, Division of Forensic Psychology, Continuing Professional Development Seminars. The first on The Psychology of Sexual Violence will be held on the 15th May and the second on Sexual Violence Prevention on Thursday 13th September in London (see for more information).


PS seeks to contribute to the ongoing theoretical and practitioner development within forensic psychology. For example with a colleague at Birmingham University (Dr Jessica Woodhams) Miranda Horvath is currently running a seminar series titled ‘Multiple Perpetrator Rape: Setting the Research Agenda’ funded by the British Psychological Society. One output of the seminars will be an edited collection titled ‘Handbook on the study of Multiple Perpetrator Rape: A Multidisciplinary Response to an International Problem’ which will be published by Routledge in 2013. Information and feedback from the seminars, as they occur, can be found on the forums of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (see Another example would be that the MSc Forensic Psychology was the first Forensic Psychology programme to teach and engage students in consideration of genocide and other crimes by the state. These matters, along with hate crime are now routinely included in Forensic Psychology texts, including the 2nd edition of Forensic Psychology: Concepts, debates and practice. Which was edited by Joanna and Jackie and picked by THE as the exemplar Forensic Psychology book in the text book roundup of 2010.
Contact Details

Dr Joanna R. Adler –

Dr Miranda Horvath –

And Finally…

Some November images


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