Amy Gainford


Amy Gainford is a PhD candidate affiliated with the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at the School of Law, University of Leeds. With a background in BSc Criminology and Psychology from Teesside University and an MA in Criminal Justice and Criminology at University of Leeds, Amy’s work centres around online deviance and subcultures, as well as media and crime more generally. Amy’s PhD research focuses on the socio-legal construction of online vigilantism, examining typologies, attitudes, and the relationship with the police and criminal justice system. 

Amy has taught on the Crime, Inequality and Social Issue and Study Skills for Criminology modules on the BA Criminology course and the Social Sciences foundation year “crime strand” at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.

Amy holds a position on the editorial board for the inaugural edition of the Leeds Student Law and Criminal Justice Review journal. 

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • online vigilantism
  • cyber-violence
  • toxic masculinity
  • online deviance
  • online subcultures and fandoms
  •  true crime communities
  • crime and the media
  • crime and inequality 


  • BSc Criminology with Psychology
  • MA Criminal Justice with Criminology

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies