Professor Adam Crawford

Professor Adam Crawford


I am Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute working to support and enhance the Social Sciences at the University of Leeds. The LSSI does so by fostering interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, promoting relations with external partners in the public, private and third sectors and building capacity through the provision of training and skills development for the next generation of research leaders. LSSI runs the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (the largest in the UK) and is the Leeds arm of the ESRC funded White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. LSSI has forged strategic 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.

Until May 2020 I was the Director of the N8 Policing Research Partnership – a research based collaboration between the N8 Universities and 11 police forces and Offices of Police and Crime Commissioners in the north of England. I remain the Prinicipal Investigator on the HEFCE/OfS Catalyst Grant that has supported the N8 PRP since 2015, until it concludes at the end of 2020.  

I am a panel member and Interdisciplinary Research Advisor for the Law Unit of Assessment (Sub-panel 18) for the Research Excellence Framework, REF 2021. I was also a panel member on the Law Sub-Panel at REF 2014.

I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a lifetime honorary member of the British Society of Criminology. I am also a member of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, and Fire & Rescue Service’s Academic Reference Group.

I am an editor of a new book series (with Dr Tessa Diphoorn and Dr Adam White) entitled ‘Emerald Studies in Plural Policing’. This series is aligned with the International Network on ‘The Everyday Political Economy of Plural Policing’ which is hosted by the Law School at the University of Leeds.

I am currently 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. From 2010-15, I was the Editor in Chief of the journal Criminology and Criminal Justice.

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.


  • Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute

Research interests

My research interests include: public policing, private security, crime prevention, community safety, partnerships, youth justice, anti-social behaviour, victims of crime, restorative justice, urban governance and the regulation of public space.

I have successfully secured over £12 million in external research funding, mostly as principal investigator. I have managed research studies in the fields of crime prevention, community safety, victims of crime, policing and youth justice, variously funded by the Home Office, Youth Justice Board, ESRC, JRF, HEFCE, Nuffield Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Northern Ireland Office, the College of Policing and the European Commission.

I am currently working on or recently completed the following externally funded research projects:

  • IcARUS ‘Innovative Approaches to Urban Security’ Horizon 2020 project, led by the European Forum for Urban Security (2020-24). Drawing upon research evidence from the last 30 years across Europe, this programme of work will rethink tools for urban security policy in collaboration with 18 project partners. With colleagues Dr Elena Sciandra and Dr Christine Weirich, we are leading Workpackage 2 – ‘The State of the Art Review’ – which will inform the policy tools to be implemented, initially in six partner cities: Lisbon, Nice, Riga, Rotterdam, Stuttgart and Turin. 
  • EXCEPTIUS: Exceptional powers in time of Sars-CoV-2 crisis – This comparative European project aims to map and analyse the exceptional decision-making practices and implication of responses to Covid-19 in 32 European countries. The consortium is funded by a combination of a Dutch Research Council (NWO) grant (University of Groningen, Clara Eggers PI), the University of Grenoble (Sebastian Roché & Raul Magni-Berton) and consortium partners. It is exploring the interactions between: (i) the pandemic, (ii) the measures taken by authorities in response; (iii) the characteristics of the political culture and insititutions and (iv) democratic resilience (including political legitimacy and stability).
  • Director and PI of the N8 Policing Research Partnership – a research and knowledge exchange collaboration between universities and policing partners in the north of England which has secured £7.2 million funding (including £3 million HEFCE Catalyst Grant), 2015-20.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

In recent 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>