Biography

As of January 2024, Helen has been working as a UKRI Policy Fellow (Home Office) on a project entitled ‘The impact of Connected and Automated Vehicles on Policing service delivery’.

As well as delivering a number of other funded projects on the theme of policing and technology, Helen is Director of the Roads Policing Academic Network (@RoadsPolicingRN) – an interdisciplinary network of over 120 academics and research-engaged practitioners interested in researching roads policing in its broadest sense – which she established in 2018.

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.

Research and scholarship

Helen's research is largely focused on the area of roads policing, and has included funded research on subjects including the controversies surrounding the use of speed cameras to enforce speed limits, ANPR, Community Speed Watch, uninsured driving, police tasking, public engagement, 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 and over 20 published papers in this area. 
 
Helen is Director of the Roads Policing Academic Network (@RoadsPolicingRN) – an interdisciplinary network of over 120 academics and research-engaged practitioners interested in researching roads policing in its broadest sense – which she established in 2018. 
 
Helen is currently working with the Department for Transport and Home Office on the national roads policing review, as well as on the national rollout of Op. Tutelage (targeting uninsured driving). She is also conducting research for UKROEd (providers of NDORS driver education courses). 
 
As part of a team from Keele, Napier University, the University of Dundee and UCL, Helen has been awarded an ESRC Large Grant to conduct research exploring the police use of technology as a means for interacting with the public, and its compatibility with procedural justice. This is known as the INTERACT project. More on this project here: Keele University - Funded projects 
 
Helen has drawn research funding from the ESRC (large grants, CASE studentships), central government (Department for Transport, Home Office, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology), other national organisations (UKROEd, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau), the police (Staffordshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire), the private sector (VW, British Nuclear Fuels), local government (Staffordshire County Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Safer Communities Partnership), and the third sector (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Magistrates' Association. 
 
Helen has successfully supervised doctoral and professional doctorate students studying topics including; roads policing; fixed penalties; the effectiveness educational for drivers caught using their mobile phone while driving; police/public encounters; everyday policing in Victorian England. 
 
Funded Research projects include:  
 
  • ESRC Large Grant (ES/V00283X/1) INTERACT (Investigating New Types of Engagement, Response And Contact Technology) with Dr Liz Aston (Edinburgh Napier University) Dr Megan O’Neill (Dundee), Professor Ben Bradford (LSE) Value: £876,142. Start date: September 2021 (3 year project) 
  •  UKROEd – Review of shift to online delivery of NDORS courses. With Dr Gemma Briggs (OU) and Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw (Staffordshire University). April-Nov 2020. 
  •  UKROEd – Experiences of online and f2f delivery in NDORS courses. With Dr Gemma Briggs (OU). Value: £28,564. Start date: April 2021.  
  •  NRPOII – Academic Subject Matter Expertise to the Galileo Programme. Start date: September 2017 (ongoing) 
  •  ESRC CASE studentship. Roads Policing Reimagined. Student: Craig Arnold. Start date: September 2019. 
  •  Motor Insurers’ Bureau/NRPOII. Academic Subject Matter Expertise to the National Tutelage Roll-Out. Start date: September 2019 (ongoing) 
  •  Road Safety Trust – large grant. ‘Innovators and innovations in preventing mobile phone use while driving: sharing and improving practice’. Value: £75,096. September 2017-April 2019.  
  •  EU Horizon 2020 - MOCHA –Models of Child Health Appraised. Total value: 6 million Euro. 2015-2019  

Teaching

Helen teaches across the undergraduate Criminology programme, including the Murder, Investigating Crime and Policing and the Police modules and also supervises undergraduate dissertations.    Helen also contributes to the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice, contributing sessions on technology and justice, Police and Crime Commissioners and roads policing, including supervising Masters dissertations. 
 
Helen also supervises College of Policing and ESRC CASE funded PhD and Prof Doc students, currently on the subjects of police use of data in roads policing and rural crime contexts. She is happy to be approached in relation to supervision of projects in the areas of roads policing, policing and technology, procedural justice and criminal justice policy, amongst others. 

Publications

Supervision

Helen currently supervises PhD and Professional Doctorate students funded by a range of external partners as well as the ESRC.

Current topics include: the police use of data in roads policing; risk terrain modelling in rural crime contexts; driver diversionary courses and their place in a criminal justice landscape.

Previous supervisions include: roads policing; fixed penalties; the effectiveness educational for drivers caught using their mobile phone while driving; police/public encounters; everyday policing in Victorian England.

Helen is happy to be approached in relation to supervision of projects in the areas of roads policing, policing and technology, procedural justice and criminal justice policy, amongst others.

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