My main position is Assistant Dean (Research, Enterprise and International) within the School of Education and co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Unit on Crime, Policing and Social Justice within the University of the West of Scotland. (click here for further details).
Most of my research and development work is focused on exploring and examining gang culture, masculinity and violence, and the intervention programmes and initiatives in communities and prisons that are most effective in supporting gang disengagement and criminal desistance. I have a particular interest in the role of spirituality within the gang disengagement process, and in particular the impact of yoga and meditation programmes. In addition, I am also a policing scholar and have conducted research on problem-oriented, focused deterrence strategies in the USA and Scotland and explored the impact of stop and search through the lens of procedural justice. I have published books, book chapters and numerous articles in international, peer-reviewed journals on these collective issues. Most recently, as a Fulbright Scholar I conducted a major piece of ethnographic research exploring the perceived nature and impact of the ‘Ferguson Effect’ on serving law enforcement officers in a Southern American State in the USA.
I teach and deliver academic and public lectures and talks on the subject of crime, and with a particular focus on gangs, masculinity, violence and offending, strategies for supporting and enabling gang disengagement and desistance and procedural justice issues in policing. My extensive experience of working with violent offenders, international police agencies and youth outreach teams and studying gang intervention programmes around the world means that I am often called upon by the broadcast media as a commentator, with TV appearances in recent years on Scotland Today, The Politics Show, Channel 5’s Britain’s Crime Capitals and the WKRC Local 12 News in Cincinnati, Ohio. Please visit my Youtube channel to view clips.
I am regularly invited to deliver lectures, talks and after-dinner speeches on my extensive insights into gangs, youth violence, gang desistance, early intervention and policing. I also write about my insights on these issues in the popular press, with recent articles published in The Herald, The Scotsman and the Times Educational Supplement.
I deliver a range of continual professional development courses, knowledge exchange seminars and ‘conversation pieces’ focused on my insights into gang culture and violence, the building of multi-agency prevention initiatives, the role and impact of holistic spiritual practices and interventions in the desistance process and on procedural justice values in policing and their relationship to police legitimacy. These sessions are often in demand by police officers, youth and social workers, teachers and other public sector practitioners in the UK and in other parts of the world. As an experienced academic writer, supervisor, editor and peer reviewer, I am also regularly asked to deliver seminars and courses on qualitative research methods (with a focus on ethnography) and on academic writing strategies for new and developing researchers. I have delivered keynote lectures on my work on gangs, violence, gang desistance and on policing in several European countries, the USA and Hong Kong.
If you are interested in inviting me to deliver a talk, seminar or after-dinner speech, please contact me here*: