Professor Adam Crawford

Professor Adam Crawford


I am co-Director of the ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre a £10 million investment which commenced in May 2022 and is hosted by the Universities of York and Leeds. Since August 2022 I joined the University of York where I am employed 75% of my time and retain a 25% post at Leeds all of which is dedicated to fulfilling the ESRC Research Centre grant, managing research staff and supervising my existing PhD researchers. I was the founding Director of the N8 Policing Research Partnership (2013-2020), a collaboration between the eight research-intensive universities in the north of England (including York) and 12 northern police forces and partners.

I joined University of Leeds over 30 years ago and remain a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Law. At Leeds, I was the Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute between 2015 and 2021 during which time I managed the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) and I helped to establish international partnerships with sister social science institutes, notably the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Queensland and the Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani (IIGG) at the University of Buenos Aires.

I also held leadership roles as Pro-Dean for Research & Innovation (2012-15) in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (2005-2011) and Director of Research in the School of Law (2001-204). I was the Leeds lead for the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (2016-21). I started my academic career as a Research Fellow at Middlesex University (1987-1988) and as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire (1988-1992).

I serve as a member of the new Police Scientific Advisory Council, which provides independent advice to the National Police Chiefs’ Council in the UK on science, technology, analysis and research matters relevant to policing policy and operations. I was a Law sub-panel member and Interdisciplinary Advisor for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 and before that was on the Law Sub-panel for REF 2014. I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and an Honorary Lifetime member of the British Society of Criminology. In 2018, I was Distinguished Professorial Visiting Fellow at UNSW and Visiting Professor at Griffith University and the University of Buenos Aires.I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a lifetime honorary member of the British Society of Criminology

From 2010-15, I was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Criminology and Criminal Justice and I have been an Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Criminology. I am a member of the International Advisory Boards for the academic journals Criminology and Criminal Justice, The International Journal of Restorative Justice and Social Sciences. I have held visiting positions at KU Leuven, VU Amsterdam, the Australian National University, University of New South Wales, Griffith University, Sydney University, University of Buenos Aires, Nanjing University, Penn State University and the Maison des Sciences de l'Hommes in Paris and Lyon.

I am a graduate of the Universities of Warwick (Law and Sociology, First Class) and Cambridge (M.Phil Criminology) and hold a PhD from the University of Leeds.


  • Co-Director, ESRC Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre

Research interests

My research focus has been on policing, urban security, crime prevention, anti-social behaviour, victims of crime, restorative justice and the regulation of public spaces, working closely with a range of external partners.

More recently, my research has focused on both building the evidence base through mechanisms of co-production and translating research knowledge to effect change in frontline policing and community safety partnerships.

I have successfully managed/completed high profile studies, securing over £22 million in external funding, mostly as Principal Investigator. My research has been funded by the ESRC, AHRC, the Nuffield Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, the British Council, the Higher Education Funding Council, the Home Office, the Northern Ireland Office and the European Commission.

I am co-Director of the ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre, which commenced in May 2022, with £10 million from the ESRC to advance a programme of interdisciplinary research with a team of 26 Co-Is and supported by match funding of over £1 million from 38 regional, national and international project partners. In 2013, I established and led the N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) and was PI on the £7.4 million HEFCE/OfS Catalyst Grant supporting a 5 year programme of research co-production and knowledge exchange (2015-2020).

I am currently part of a major European consortium working on the IcARUS project ‘Innovative Approaches to Urban Security’, a EU Horizon 2020 research programme coordinated by the European Forum for Urban Security (2020-24). In relation to this, I lead a major review of the urban security knowledge base which has now been published on the consortium website, see here.

Recent completed research projects include:

  • Co-Investigator on an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant entitled: ‘The future prospects of urban parks: The life, times and social order of Victorian public parks as places of social mixing’ (with Dr Anna Barker (PI) and Dr David Churchill, University of Leeds), 2015-17.
  • Principal Inverstigator on Review of Research-Policy engagement between Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds, funded by Research England and ESRC IAA. The Review will include a mapping exercise, a survey and indepth interviews with key people from both organisations. With Dr Nicola Carroll, the Review will result in a published report – entitled ‘Unlocking the Potential of Civic Collaboration’ – with recommendation, and an Action Plan for implementation.
  • Principal Investigator on an Economic and Social Research Council Research Seminar Series ‘Markets in Policing: The Appetite for and Organisational, Cultural and Moral Limits to Markets in Public Policing’, 2014-17.
  • Co-Investigator on a College of Policing Knowledge Fund ‘Developing Restorative Policing: using the evidence base to inform the delivery of restorative justice and improve engagement with victims’ (with Professor Joanna Shapland (PI), Sheffield University), 2015-17.

For further information:

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


  • PhD University of Leeds
  • M.Phil Criminology University of Cambridge
  • BA Law & Sociology, University of Warwick

Professional memberships

  • Lifetime honorary Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • European Society of Criminology

Student education

My current PhD students that I am supervising are:

Sat Kartar Kaur Chandan – ‘Adversity, Trauma and Resilience in Childhood Experience’ (in collaboration with West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership & West Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership)

Rebecca Fox – ‘Protecting the vulnerable through neighbourhood policing’ (in collaboration with South Yorkshire Police)

Eleanor Abbott – ‘Exploring the impacts and implications of National Thematic Inspection of Policing Responses to Domestic Violence and Abuse’ (in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS))

Jennifer Healy – ‘Who pays for public policing? Exploring the shifting boundaries of responsibility for the provision of ‘public’ policing’ (in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police and Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner)

In previous years, I have taught on the following modules.

  • ‘Rethinking Policing’ (postgraduate module)
  • 'Criminology', (undergraduate second year module)
  • ‘Policing' (undergraduate third year module)
  • ‘Security, Crime & Justice' (postgraduate module)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Leeds Social Science Institute

Current postgraduate researchers

<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>