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Professor Louise Westmarland

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Criminology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Social Policy & Criminology
  • louise.westmarland

Research interests

My research interests largely focus on the police and their occupational culture. This has included studies of gender and policing, homicide investigations and most recently corruption, integrity and ethics. In 2013 I completed some training to make me an accredited Home Office Domestic Homicide Investigator, which means that I can be called upon to conduct a review of the circumstances around any death involving the death of a person by a family member, partner or former partner. I'm also interested in ethnographic research methods, particularly where privileged access leads to dilemmas for researchers. In the past I have published articles on police informers and the way they are regulated and the effect of this upon rights and justice. More recently I've completed a book about research methods in criminology and a journal article about homicide detectives in the US.

Other previous research projects have included studying women bouncers and violence in the context of social control of the night time economy (ESRC Grant reference: RES-000-23-0384-A). One project was called 'Women on the Door: Female Bouncers in the New Night-time Economy' carried out with Prof Dick Hobbs. Another project that was awarded ESRC funding was about police, public services and consumer culture (ESRC Grant reference RES-143-25-0008). This was called 'Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Relationships and Identifications' and was carried out with colleagues at The Open University.

I am currently conducting an extensive survey of police officers' corrupt behaviour and beliefs about their actions and those of their colleagues and hope to obtain ESRC funding to take this forward.

I am Director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR).

Louise Westmarland (2013): 'Snitches get stitches': US homicide detectives' ethics and morals in action, Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, DOI:10.1080/10439463.2013.784313

Westmarland, L. (2011) Researching Crime and Justice: Tales from the Field. London: Routledge.

Westmarland, Louise (2010). Dodgy customers? Can the police ever trust the public? Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 4(3), pp. 291-297.

Clarke, J, Newman,J, Smith, N, Vidler, E and Westmarland, L (2007) Creating Citizen-consumers: Changing Publics and Changing Public Services. Sage: London

Hobbs, D, O'Brien, K, and Westmarland, L. (2007) Connecting the Gendered Door: women, violence and doorwork. British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 21-38

O'Brien, K., Hobbs, D. and Westmarland, L., (2007) 'Negotiating Violence and Gender: Security and the Night Time Economy in the UK', in Body-Gendrot, S and Spierenburg, P., (eds ) Cultures of Violence in Europe: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Springer Publishing .

 Westmarland, L. (2005) Police Ethics and Integrity: Breaking the Blue Code of Silence, Policing and Society, vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 145-165

Westmarland, L. (2003) 'Policing Integrity: Britain's Thin Blue Line' in Klockars,C.B., Haberfeld,M. and Kutjnak Ivkovich, S. The Contours of Police Integrity, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage

Westmarland, L. (2002) 'Challenges of Policing London: A Conversation with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens', Police Practice and Research. An International Journal, vol.3, no.3, pp.247-260.

Westmarland, L. (2001) Gender and Policing. Sex, Power and Police Culture, Devon, Willan.

Westmarland, L. (2001) 'Blowing the whistle on police violence: ethics, research and ethnography', British Journal of Criminology, vol.41, no.2, pp.523-35.

Westmarland, L. (2000) 'Taking the flak: operational policing, fear and violence' in Lee-Treweek, G. and Linkogle, S. Danger in the Field: Risk and Ethics in Social Research, London, Routledge.

Westmarland, L. (2000) 'Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?' Ethical Human Services and Sciences, vol.2, no.3, pp.193-202.

Westmarland, L. and Yearley, S. (2000) 'Scientific selection and the CID', Police Research and Management, vol.4, no.4.

Westmarland, L. (1999) 'Women Managing in the Police', Police Research and Management, vol.3, no.3.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

Since Chairing the development, production and presentation of the Faculty's Level 3 criminology course Crime and justice (DD301) I have been involved in postgraduate and undergraduate presentations. I also supervise PhD students and take a keen interest in curriculum changes that have been taking place recently. I've had a long association with The Open University, taking courses as an undergraduate, then serving as a tutor for 7 years, including 5 years of summer schools and exam marking duties. Once I obtained a full time post as a Lecturer at The Open University, in 2002, I was involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Criminology and Social Policy including Community safety, crime prevention and social control (D863) and Crime order and social control (D315).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences