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International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)

ICCCR is a unique multi disciplinary and cross-faculty Research Centre

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Our research

The International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) draws its membership from a number of departments, including Social Policy & Criminology, Psychology, History and Sociology. As such, its research expertise is widely distributed. However, in addition to the individual research being pursued by members, the Centre runs an interdisciplinary programme of events and hosts specific research seminars and conferences around two main research strands.

The Rethinking Criminology Group

The Rethinking Criminology Group is based in the Social Policy and Criminology Department within the Faculty of Social Sciences. Criminology at the Open University has an established reputation for critical scholarship which is informed by a dynamic and thriving research environment. Currently, our research is concentrated in three general topic areas: policing, imprisonment/punishment, and youth justice. Our research programmes in each of these areas include a problematisation of 'taken-for-granted' assumptions about 'crime', 'the criminal', and/or 'justice'. In the area of policing, our research has included studies of policing and gender and occupational culture as well as violence and police brutality. Current research projects in this area include studies of police corruption, integrity and ethics, and an ethnographic consideration of homicide detectives. With respect to imprisonment/punishment our research ranges from empirical examinations of prison life (for men, women and young people) to broad questions surrounding penal policy, the use of punishment and the concept of justice. In youth justice our key research strands consider children's rights and youth justice policy, the governance of disengaged youth, and considerations of the perspectives of youth justice practitioners and young people during processes of youth justice reform.

The Forensic Psychology Research Group

The Forensic Psychology Research Group is based in the psychology discipline in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University. The group has close links with a range of policing organisations and most research work is aimed at policing policy, investigative procedures and practice. This has included revisions to the PACE Codes and drafting the Memorandum of Good Practice and ACPO guidelines to accompany new legislation. The group has attracted substantial external funding from the Home Office, EPSRC and the BPS. It is regularly involved in the training of police officers and social workers.

For further details contact Dr Louise Westmarland via the email address

Associated Centres

International Centre for the history of Crime, Policing and Justice

The International Centre for the history of Crime, Policing and Justice is based in the Faculty of Arts (Department of History) and was established in 1990. Directed by Dr Paul Lawrence, the Centre aims to promote and facilitate research into the history and practice of modern policing around the world (since c. 1750), and to generate the exchange of ideas between academics and serving policemen. This is achieved via seminars, conferences, publications and the provision of specialist archive facilities. It also has close connections with the Institut National des Hautes Etudes de Sécurité (INHES) and the Arbeitsgruppe zur Polizeigeschichte. The Centre has research specialisms in the history of crime and policing in Europe and the history of colonial policing. Recent visiting research staff have come from as far afield as America, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil, and the permanent staff at the Centre are always keen to hear of relevant research being conducted world-wide. Recent archival acquisitions include the entire ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) Archive.

The Centre has strong links with the Groupe Européen de Recherche sur les Normativités (GERN) and close connections with the Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Sécurité (IHESI) and the Arbeitsgruppe zur Polizeigeschichte.

The Centre holds a substantial collection of international police-related journals, newsletters and articles, but mainly it contains documentation on the British police, for instance the Metropolitan Police Force, Commissioners Reports, Policing on Scottish Burghs, etc. It also keeps copies of Metropolitan Police Orders dating from 1865 to the 1950s and Justice of the Peace dating from 1863 to 1965.

Research partners

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) is based in London and operates as an independent public interest charity that engages with the worlds of criminal justice research and policy, practice and campaigning. The Centre's current mission is to inspire enduring change by promoting understanding of social harm, the centrality of social justice and the limits of criminal justice. Its vision is of a society in which everyone benefits from equality, safety, social and economic security.

It was first established in July 1931 as the 'Association for the Scientific Treatment of Criminals'. It was renamed the 'Institute for the Scientific Treatment of Delinquency' in July 1932, and the 'Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency' in 1951. It adopted its current name - the 'Centre for Crime and Justice Studies' - in 1999. The Centre produces an extensive range of publications on different aspects of criminal justice, including research reports, policy briefing papers, pamphlets, journal articles, lecture presentations and speeches.

The Centre also owns the British Journal of Criminology and produces a quarterly magazine, Criminal Justice Matters.

Last updated: 17 February 2015