Dr Anna Barker

Dr Anna Barker


I joined the School of Law as a Lecturer in Criminal Justice in 2016, and I was promoted to Associate Professor in Criminal Justice & Criminology in 2020.

I am a graduate of the University of Leeds (MA Criminological Research, 2007 and PhD in Community Safety, 2012) and the University of Brighton (BA Social Science, 2005), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Previously, I was a Lecturer in Sociology (Crime & Deviance) at the University of Bradford (2011-2016). 


  • Programme Manager (MSc Criminal Justice & Criminology/LLM Criminal Justice & Criminal Law
  • Impact Champion for the School of Law

Research interests

Three inter-connecting themes shape and unite my research interests and projects. These are:

  • The governance, regulation and policing of urban spaces, notably public parks
  • (In)security and fear of crime
  • Social and cultural diversity, conflict and conviviality

I have recently completed a collaborative project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage & Community Funds, Big Lottery and Nesta, on 'The Leeds Parks Fund: Developing a Model for Charitable Giving to Parks' with Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Service, Leeds Community Foundation and the Leeds Parks and Green Spaces Forum. This project formed part of the national ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme. The findings have shaped the development of the Love Leeds Parks charitable initiative, the marketing strategies of Parks Foundations across the country, and informed government policymakers thinking on new park revenue streams. 

In 2015-17, I led a major research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in partnership with Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Service, on people’s experiences and expectations of urban public parks across time. This two-year multi-disciplinary project: ‘The future prospects of urban parks: The life, times and social order of Victorian public parks as places of social mixing’ (Grant No: AH/N001788/2, 2015-2017) explored expectations about the social role of urban public parks in the past, the present and the future, and examined how these relate to people’s everyday experiences of the park and its regulation. This was a collaborative research project with Dr David Churchill and Professor Adam Crawford.

I have previously undertaken collaborative policy-focussed research on: (i) reassurance policing and public insecurities with Leeds Community Safety Partnership as part of an ESRC Collaborative Award Studentship; (ii) probation programmes for racially motivated offenders with West Yorkshire Probation Service; and (iii) the management and regulation of Bradford's City Park with Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

<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 Community Safety
  • MA Criminological Research (Distinction)
  • PG Certification of Higher Education Practice
  • BA (Hons) Social Science (First Class)

Professional memberships

  • British Society of Criminology

Student education

I manage the MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology and the LLM Criminal Justice and Criminal Law programmes.

I teach a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the BA Criminal Justice and Criminology, the MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology and the LLM Criminal Justice and Criminal Law. Teaching areas since 2016 have included: Policing, Criminal Justice Processes, and Contemporary Criminological Theory and Approaches.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>