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Centre for Crime, Offending, Prevention and Engagement (COPE)

Unit(s) of assessment: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience; Social Work and Social Policy; Education

School: School of Social Sciences


The Centre for Crime, Offending, Prevention and Engagement (COPE) contributes to (a) the understanding of victimisation risk and crime harm which has informed crime reduction strategies and initiatives at an international, national and local level; (b) the transformation agenda for change in the Criminal Justice System through the development of new knowledge that is co-constructed with those who offend, in order to change lives, influence policy, and innovate criminal justice practice; (c) enhancing the evidence base around community engagement in order to enable police forces and their partner organisations to more effectively involve local citizens in helping prevent crime and (d) promoting narratives of inclusion and prevention to improve the reintegration and wellbeing of people who have offended, and/or those vulnerable to offending.

The Centre includes three research hubs: the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU), Critical Criminology and Social Justice Research Group and the Quantitative and Spatial Criminology (Q&SC) Research Group, but also includes individual researchers from the departments of Social Work, Education, Youth Justice, Psychology and Sociology.

Our work relates to School Themes, such as:

  • Crime reduction
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Safety and security of societies

And to the University Research Themes of:

Online Webinar - Radicalisation Pathways: What do people want to get out of holding extremist views?

Tuesday 23 May 2023, 6 - 7.30 pm

Join us for our upcoming webinar to hear from three speakers - Dr Jonathan Kenyon, Imam Farooq Mulla, and Associate Professor Jens Binder - who will share their knowledge and experience around extremist views, radicalisation and terrorism.


A number of Research Groups are associated with COPE:

Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit 

The Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU) was set up in 2007 to build upon the collaborative relationship between ongoing research within the Psychology Division at NTU and HMP Whatton. HMP Whatton is one of the largest prisons in Europe, housing approximately 840 prisoners who have all been convicted of a sexual offence: the prison houses predominantly male prisoners with a small population of transgender prisoners.

SOCAMRU’s primary aim is to conduct and facilitate applied forensic research in the area of sexual crime, with the unit sitting at the juxtaposition between the domain of prison, police and criminal justice practitioners and that of academia.

SOCAMRU has continued to broaden its focus and develop new collaborations and working relationships; members of SOCAMRU work with prison management, forensic and clinical psychologists, police and probation services within HMP Stafford, HMP Ryehill, HMP Grendon, HMP Nottingham, HMP Lowdham Grange, Rampton High Secure hospital and HMP Whitemoor. SOCAMRU also collaborates with a number of charities and public-sector organisations, including the NSPCC, NAPAC, Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the Corbett Network for Prisoner Reintegration, Nottinghamshire police and probation

Quantitative and Spatial Criminology (QSC) Research Group

Our research identifies the individual, household and area characteristics that shape your risk of being a victim of crime.

The research knowledge we have generated directly informs crime reduction policy and initiatives.

Recent research has focused upon:

  • The international crime drop and the role of security in reducing crime (vehicle theft, domestic burglary, and non-domestic violence);
  • Crime inequalities and victimisation;
  • Estimating shop theft levels and understanding prolific shop theft offenders motivation and perception of security;
  • Violence in the night-time economy;
  • Anti-social behaviour perception, experience, reporting and impact on quality of life;
  • Community engagement profiles across all neighbourhoods in England;
  • Classifying problematic hand car washes and their location (in conjunction with Nottingham Business School and Nottingham Civic Exchange).

Critical Criminology and Social Justice Research Group

Through its research, the Critical Criminology and Social Justice Research Group aims to challenge conventional understandings of crime, deviance, and the social processes of criminalisation; question the assumptions, concepts and categories through which criminology frames its concerns; and the methods by which it seeks to arrive at these understandings. The group also seeks to look beyond official crime statistics and criminal justice policies and practices to influence policymaking on the basis of theoretically and empirically driven analyses of crime in contemporary society.

Calls for Participation

Have you or your partner served a long prison sentence?

Would you be interested in joining a research panel to design and advise on a long-term project about life inside and outside for people who have served long prison sentences, and for those close to them?

If you are interested in finding out more about what this involves, please email Belinda Winder

Recent Research

We have created a guide for individuals to support them in understanding helpful and appropriate ways to refer to people who have previously been convicted of a criminal offence.

Read the full Recommended Terminology Concerning People with a Criminal Conviction.

Many thanks to all the participants who have helped with research about non-offending partners of people who have committed a sexual offence.

Read the first report to emerge from this project.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

The Centre for Crime, Offending, Prevention and Engagement (COPE) submitted an impact case study to REF 2021. Discover the real-world impact of their research.

PhD Funding

Find out everything you need to know about funding your doctoral studies – from tuition fees and loans, to studentships and external funding.


The Centre collaborates with Safer Living Foundation.