Research Projects

The lab brings sophisticated research designs to bear on analytically-informed and policy-relevant topics in contemporary criminal justice. Our research has been funded by research councils in the UK and abroad, central government departments, along with a large number of statutory and non-statutory organizations. Currently, we have research projects active in:


Desistance and the Prison

Our researchers have been exploring the impact that time in prison play in offender desistance, with projects focusing on young male prisoners aged 15-21. prisoners involved in prison-based interventions, as well as data from a large scale survey of more than 3,500 prisoners admitted to prison between 2005 and 2010. Work with the Ministry of Justice, Her Majesties Inspectorate of Prisons, and the Prison Service has also helped further understand the impact of prison context and the effectiveness of prison-based interventions.



Research in to policing has a long history at the University of Surrey, and the crime lab maintains a close partnership with Surrey Police. Key research projects in this area have included work on the role of volunteers in policing, police trauma and workplace injuries on police personnel, and the police use of social media . Members of the Crime Research Lab are also working alongside colleagues around the country to develop and disseminate knowledge about what is known to be effective in reducing crime as part of the College of Policing's newly established 'What Works Centre for Crime Reduction’

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Hate Crime

We examine the nature, extent and impact of hate crime victimisation, as well as its causes. This has moved the focus beyond racially motivated offending to also consider, religiously motivated, homophobic, disablist and transphobic victimization, as well as anyone else who feels they have been targeted because of who they are.

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Technology crime and control

This research is focused on understanding and evidencing the growing impacts of technology - not just upon offending, but the criminal justice process as a whole. This includes developing a more sophisticated understanding of digital or cyber crime and more effective responses to it.

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Developments in Methodology 

The crime lab also undertakes methodological work across the criminal justice system. This has included the development of a methodology to calculate the carbon costs of criminal activity. The lab has also addressed the problem of missing data in a longitudinal survey of prisoners, recognising the importance of considering both macro-level prison based influences on attrition, and micro-level prisoner specific effects.