Sports Criminology

Centre for Applied Criminology Sports Criminology Page Image 350x263 - Man injecting steroids Sport and crime are culturally and politically significant aspects of social life. The Sports Criminology cluster undertake pioneering research covering a range of issues related to crime and harm in sport and leisure. 

Sports Criminology incorporates issues of consumerism, commercialisation and leisure into mainstream criminological discussions, broadening debate to encompass wider contextual issues, themes and perspectives.  

Despite some obvious issues such as violence, doping and corruption, wider criminological issues in sports have rarely been critically addressed.  However, Sports Criminology is a trailblazing cluster, exploring white colour crime, commodification of athletes, security at mega-events, social harm and sports-based interventions on young offenders.  

The Sports Criminology cluster have also developed the first undergraduate module of sports criminology in the UK. Launching in 2017/18, this module will inform and inspire students with an interest in these fields.  This research cluster is at the forefront of this emerging area of criminological research.


  1. Provide a hub for the development of research relating to the study of harm in sport and leisure.
  2. Advance knowledge and theory development.
  3. Generate change in policy and practice across a broad range of sport and leisure areas.
  4. Embed Sports Criminology themes and perspectives into the BCU Criminology curriculum. 

Our researchers have a strong track record of research in a variety of areas including legitimate forms of violence within a sporting context, the practice of violence within mixed-martial arts, and the rapidly growing use of performance and image enhancing drugs in sport.