Director, Crime and Society Research Centre
Laura's research has focused on a wide range of related areas, from spatial patterns in crime and Geographical Profiling to investigative processes and decision-making, the modelling of crime and study of criminal actions, public perceptions and experiences of crime and juror decision-making. Her work is driven by a focus on real-world impact. She has worked with a number of different police forces and law enforcement agencies around the world on a range of consultancy projects and criminal legal cases.
I am a Reader in Forensic and Investigative Psychology and Director of the Crime and Society Research Centre at BCU. I work extensively with external partners, including the police and victim support charities, with a key focus of my work being on knowledge exchange and impact.
My research focuses on lived experiences of crime and the criminal justice system, exploring the efficacy of investigations and criminal justice proceedings, factors influencing case progression and outcomes, and barriers to engagement and/or effective processing of cases. Underpinning all of this work is an emphasis on the need for – and value of – evidence-based policy and practice.
I have worked with police and law enforcement agencies around the world on a range of consultancy activities and research projects. I work closely with local police forces exploring how evidence-based practices can be embedded in force, how investigative processing of cases can be enhanced, how victim experience can be used to drive improvement, and how to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in police responses.
I have acted as a consultant for a number of national organisations, including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Office of National Statistics. I also work with a number of charity partners exploring support needs of those impacted by crime and how these can best be met.
I have worked on a number of high-profile cases, including a cold-case review of the Zodiac serial killer, the legal appeal of the individual convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and several national major crime investigations. I have also done work exploring novel and emerging crime types, such as spree killings and school shootings, hate crime, fraud and exploitation.