Dr Eleanor Bland

Dr Eleanor Bland


I joined the School of Law in October 2019 as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, and will be undertaking research and impact activities with police practitioners and scholars, producing publications, and teaching as part of this role. I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2019, as part of the AHRC-funded Digital Panopticon Project. This major interdisciplinary research project used digital technologies to bring together genealogical and criminal justice datasets to trace the lives of London convicts tried at the Old Bailey in London and imprisoned in Britain or transported to Australia, 1780-1925.

Research interests

My PhD research examined policing practices in London, 1780-1850, with a particular focus on the police targeting of suspicious persons. I am interested in the concept of ‘proactive policing’, or the occasions on which police officers made arrests based on suspicion that a suspect was about to commit, or had recently committed, an offence, rather than based on supporting evidence or witness testimony. I investigated the characteristics of those targeted by police officers, and the ways in which these individuals conformed to wider criminal stereotypes. I have also researched more widely on the processes and debates around policing reform in the first half of the nineteenth century.

In the next stages of my research, I will be focusing particularly on the connections between the policing of suspicious persons in the nineteenth century, and current policing practices such as the use of stop and search powers. I am also interested in contemporary connections with criminal profiling and stereotypes, and the impact of policing on minority and vulnerable groups. I will also be expanding my research geographically, to consider the police targeting of suspicious persons in the rest of Britain, and in the Australian penal colonies in the nineteenth century.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in History
  • MSt in Modern British and European History
  • BA History

Professional memberships

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I contribute to teaching on the BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology and MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology. My main areas of teaching are policing and historical criminology, and I also supervise undergraduate dissertations on policing topics.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice