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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 two research hubs: the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU) in the Psychology Department and the Quantitative and Spatial Criminology (Q&SC) Research Group in the Sociology Department, but also includes 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:


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).


The Centre collaborates with Safer Living Foundation.

Calls for Participation

What is it like to be the partner of someone who has been convicted of a sexual offence?

We are interested in talking to partners of people who have been convicted of a sexual offence as part of a research project that aims to better understand their experiences; how they feel, what challenges they have faced and what help or information should be available to those in their position. It is hoped that partners’ ideas and insights will help inform better tailored support for others in the future.

If you could be interested in telling your story, please e-mail the research team for more information: or Belinda Winder. Your participation is confidential and any information you provide will be anonymised.

The research is being conducted by Belinda Winder and other researchers from the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU), part of the work of COPE.

PhD Studentships

We’re offering fully-funded PhD studentships aligned with our research centres for UK, EU or International students. Find out more about our PhD studentships

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418