Dr Helen Wells

Title: Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Phone: (+44) 01782 7 33748
Email: h.m.wells@keele.ac.uk
Location: CBB1.017
Role: UG Criminology Programme Director
Contacting me: During office hours, posted on my door, or via email appointment
Wells_Helen

Helen graduated from Keele with a BA in Criminology and History (1st class) in 1998, before spending two years working in a Magistrates' Court. She returned to Keele in 2000, and graduated with a Masters in Criminology (with distinction) in 2001. After a period as a Community Safety Officer, Helen once again returned to Keele and was awarded her Ph.D in January 2007. She was appointed as a temporary, part-time lecturer in Criminology in January 2007, became a permanent lecturer in June 2007, and a senior lecturer in 2014.

  • Helen's research is largely focused on the subject of roads policing, and has included the controversies surrounding the use of speed cameras to enforce speed limits, ANPR, Community Speed Watch, and Police and Crime Commissioners’ engagement with roads policing issues.  She is author of the 2012 book 'The Fast and the Furious: Drivers, speed cameras and control in a risk society' published by Ashgate and based on her PhD research.

  • More broadly, Helen is interested in 'the crimes of the law-abiding' - those offences that are committed by large numbers of otherwise law-abiding individuals, including motoring offences, illegal downloading, theft of goods/time from work, and non-problematic drug use, as well as the use of the fixed penalty as a method of punishment more generally.  She is particularly interested in exploring the way in which the conceptualisation of harm in 'risk' terms has resulted in the problematisation of not just new behaviours, but whole new populations of 'risky' people.

  • Helen has drawn research funding from the private sector (VW, British Nuclear Fuels), local government (Staffordshire County Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Safer Communities Partnership), the police (Staffordshire Police, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire), the third sector (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Magistrates' Association) and central government (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology).  

  • Helen has successfully supervised doctoral students studying topics including;  fixed penalties and the future of the Magistracy;  the longer term effectiveness of an educational alternative to prosecution for drivers caught using their mobile phone while driving; everyday policing in Victorian England.

Selected Publications

  • Wells HM. 2016. The Angered Versus the Endangered: PCCs, Roads Policing and the Challenges of Assessing and Representing ‘Public Opinion’. British Journal of Criminology. doi> link>
  • Wells HM. 2015. Grey areas and fine lines: Negotiating Operational Independence in the Era of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Safer Communities, vol. 14(4), 193-202. doi>
  • Wells H. 2015. Getting Around and Getting On: Self-Interested Resistance to Technology in Law Enforcement Contexts. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol 11, vol. 11, 175-192. link> doi>
  • Wells H. 2016. PCCs, Roads Policing and the Dilemmas of Increased Democratic Accountability. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, vol. 56(2), 274-292. link> doi>
  • Wells HM. 2012. The Fast and the Furious: Drivers, speed cameras and control in a risk society. (1st ed.). Surrey: Ashgate. link>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Wells HM. 2012. The Fast and the Furious: Drivers, speed cameras and control in a risk society. (1st ed.). Surrey: Ashgate. link>

Journal Articles

  • Wells HM. 2016. The Angered Versus the Endangered: PCCs, Roads Policing and the Challenges of Assessing and Representing ‘Public Opinion’. British Journal of Criminology. doi> link>
  • Wells HM. 2015. Grey areas and fine lines: Negotiating Operational Independence in the Era of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Safer Communities, vol. 14(4), 193-202. doi>
  • Wells H. 2015. Getting Around and Getting On: Self-Interested Resistance to Technology in Law Enforcement Contexts. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol 11, vol. 11, 175-192. link> doi>
  • Wells H. 2016. PCCs, Roads Policing and the Dilemmas of Increased Democratic Accountability. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, vol. 56(2), 274-292. link> doi>
  • Wells HM and Haines A. Persecution or protection? Understanding the differential public response to two road-based surveillance systems. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells HM and Barnard-Wills D. Surveillance, technology and the everyday. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells HM and Barnard-Wills D. Surveillance, technology and the everyday. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells H. 2011. Risk and expertise in the speed limit enforcement debate: Challenges, adaptations and responses. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 11(3), 225-241. link> doi>
  • WELLS H and Wills D. 2009. Individualism and Identity: Resistance to Speed Cameras in the UK. Surveillance and Society. link>
  • Wells H. 2008. The Techno-Fix versus the Fair Cop: Procedural (in)justice and automated speed limit enforcement. British Journal of Criminology, vol. 48(6), 798-817. doi>
  • WELLS H. 2007. Risk, Respectability and Responsibilisation: Unintended driver responses to speed limit enforcement. Internet Journal of Criminology.
  • Wells H. 2004. Is there a place for covert research methods in criminology? A different approach. Graduate Journal of Social Science, vol. 1(1).

Other

  • Wells HM, Cropper S, Turner J. 2011. Total Place and Alcohol Harm Reduction: Report on Service Recommendations for the Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Safety Partnership.
  • WELLS H and Simkins L. 2010. A Process Evaluation of the Staffordshire Young Driver Coaching Programme Resource Pack. link>
  • WELLS HM. 2004. Speed Cameras. Parliamentary Office of Science and TechnologyPOSTnote 218.
  • Since 2010 Helen has led the modules Building Safer Communities (formally level 5) and Risk and Criminal Justice (level 6).  She has co-led the level 4 module Investigating Crime and has taught on the level 4 Murder module, as well as supervising level 6 dissertations.

  • Helen contributes to the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice, contributing sessions on actuarial justice, technology and justice, and the challenges facing Police and Crime Commissioner. She also supervises Masters dissertations.