Innovation Fund – End of Project reports
2018 – Race Matters Symposium
3rd Crime and Control Ethnography Symposium
The 3rd Crime and Control Ethnography Symposium was hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London on the 5th and 6th of September 2018, and supported by joint funding from the British Society of Criminology and the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths, University of London. Funding supported digital security training for researchers, and our plenary speakers: Professor Maggie O’Neill (University of York), Professor Shane Blackman (Canterbury Christ Church) and Dr Kate Gooch. We were also delighted that Professor Les Back joined us to take part as our ‘keynote listener’.
The symposium attracted around 50 participants, all undertaking ethnographic research on a diverse array of subjects connecting to issues of crime, control and victimisation. Many were criminologists, but we were pleased to meet new colleagues from cognate disciplines such as geography, urban studies and art. Although many participants hailed from London and the South East, participants also travelled from Canada, Denmark, Belgium and Germany. In spite of long-running threats to criminological ethnography, it is arguably undergoing a period of unprecedented vitality and creativity.
The aim of the symposium is to create a space for open and honest accounts and discussions about ethnographic fieldwork. Inspired by the idea of an ‘unconference’, our sessions encouraged peer-learning and collaboration. In addition to traditional plenary sessions, the symposium included hands-on training into digital security; a walking activity; a panel discussion on supervising ethnographic research, and Les’ provocation as keynote listener. Almost everyone spoke in one of the 8 parallel sessions. Speakers were invited to speak for just 10 minutes on an aspect of fieldwork to begin a group discussion on an aspect of fieldwork on topics such as: negotiating boundaries in research; managing risk; ethnography beyond the text, and access and ethics in institutions.
2) Statement of Outcomes
- Build capacity among researchers to meet the methodological, ethical and legal challenges presented by criminological ethnography. The symposium was preceded by a workshop on digital security for researchers, led by Cryptoparty, offering high level training on best practice in communications and data storage. Professor Shane Blackman contributed a high-level seminar on connecting data and theory in ethnographic research. Professor Maggie O’Neill gave a workshop on arts-based and participatory walking methods.
- Build networks amongst researchers. Cognisant that undertaking ethnographic research on crime and control may be ethically as well as personally challenging, we aimed to make space in which professional support could flourish. As the third Symposium in the series, participants cemented existing networks and built new ones. We have set up a JiscMail mailing list, which we intend to be used for ongoing discussion, organising future symposia, and for forming panels at conferences.
- Future Symposia. There are firm plans for future Crime and Control Ethnography Symposia.
3) Impact Summary
- Podcast to be hosted on the Centre for Urban and Community research webpage.
- Blog post for the British Society of Criminology webpages.
Dr Jennifer Fleetwood, Lecturer in Criminology, Goldsmiths College
Captured: Documenting Imprisonment
Overview of the Project: From the 4 –5th of November, Professor Azrini Wahidin, Dr Sophie Fuggle and Janna Graham, curator of Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery held a successful film festival entitled: Captured: Documenting Imprisonment. The event consisted of a series of screenings with Q&A sessions with directors (and former political prisoners, ex-offenders, activists and academic respondents) and workshops facilitated by the directors aimed at the public interested in the issues or studying film making, criminology and cognate disciplines.
The event succeeded to introduce a public audience to different approaches in the screening and representation of prisons and the experiences of prisoners from that: of political prisoners, female prisoners and other forms of incarceration. The intention here was to produce increased awareness of prison conditions as well as spark debate around the role of the purpose of imprisonment, miscarriages of justice, deaths in custody, filmmaking and the media in changing public perceptions of incarceration and its continued persistence as a response to crime in the UK, Europe and the United States. The event in its aim succeeded to raise public consciousness on salient issues. By using Nottingham Contemporary Arts we widened the reach to people across the community and, in turn, the impact of screening these films provided an open fora to discuss issues of detention and imprisonment.
The screenings shown and the live SKYPED interviews with former prisoners from Attica is much more than about bearing witness and gathering testimonies: it takes political responsibility and calls the State to account. This film festival highlights the violence of incarceration, strategies of resistance and grass roots activism that has had the cumulative effect of bringing about change.
Over the two days approximately 300 people attended the event. We also had live coverage from BBC Radio Notts.
In addition a number of papers were presented as part of the round table discussions which were in addition to the Q&A sessions.
Statement of Outcomes
- Provided a space to explore key issues in penology, miscarriages of justice, imprisonment, deaths in custody and bearing testimony to the violence of incarceration.
- Brought together former prisoners, ex-political prisoners, prison personnel, academics, directors, film makers in the field with early entrants and PGR researchers.
- Held Skype interviews with former prisoners from Attica.
- Raised the profile of the British Society of Criminology.
The resources supported building capacity of our undergraduate and post graduate students. Students were involved in the organisation and running of the event.
The event was marketed to the public with specific focus on local/regional societies and prison support and advocacy groups such as the Alliance Française, the Shamrock Society, the Black Lives Matter Nottingham, Loughborough Irish Literary Group etc.
The event included the launch of Professor Wahidin’s book: Ex-Combatants, Gender and Peace in Northern Ireland – Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience: Palgrave Press. The drinks reception was sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, School of Social Sciences.
Outcomes of Event: The intention was to build on the success of this year’s film festival and develop the event into a citywide film festival, screening films and hosting workshops and talks on prison films and documentaries with involvement sought from cinemas such as the Broadway, Cornerhouse and Savoy and funding applications made to the BFI festival fund and the Arts Council.
Beneficiaries: Beneficiates of the event include Early Career and Postgraduate researchers, ex-offenders, established academics in the areas of criminology and criminal justice as well as users/stakeholders from beyond the academy. The event has attracted contributions from outside academia – NGOs, HMP Nottingham, Nottingham Women’s Centre, to name a few.
- The organisers have recently submitted a proposal for a special edition which has been accepted.
- Digital recordings of the event were made. Other social media platforms have been utilised such as Twitter and the local media. This has raised the profile of the BSC.
- We are in discussion to host an annual film festival working with Nottingham Contemporary.
- Attended by members of the wider community and NGO’s.
Azrini Wahidin, Nottingham Trent University
Retail crime: International evidence and crime prevention
Overview of the Project: The seminar Retail crime: International evidence and crime prevention took place in Stockholm, 15 September 2016, and presenters ranged from practitioners from Walmart and Swedish retailers to researchers from the UK, the US, Australia, Italy, Brazil and Israel, including a Criminology prize winner). Our goal with this international seminar was to characterize the dynamics of crimes typical in retail and shopping centers. The motivation is that Swedish stores are targeted by 2 million shoplifting cases each year, for a value of SEK 4.6 billion; only 2 percent of these crimes are reported to the police. This pattern is also evident in the UK. According to the British Retail Consortium’s crime survey, the annual bill for retail crime in the UK broke through £600m in 2014, electrical goods, designer clothes, power tools, alcohol and cosmetics constitute the most common types of stolen products (The Guardian, 2015).
The organizer of this seminar was Dr. Vania Ceccato, she was appointed in 2015 as BSC International Ambassador. She is an Associate Professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. This seminar was the 5th that Ceccato organized at KTH, and the first jointly sponsored by British Society of Criminology and The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council.
Statement of Outcomes: The seminar attracted more than 70 participants, academics, safety experts, business, retail, police officers, researchers and students. The seminar facilitated discussion of various topics in retail in a relaxed atmosphere with mingling during lunch time with a few poster presentations. This forum provided both theoretical and practical perspectives on current crime prevention activities directed to crimes that most affect stores, retailers, shopping malls and commercial conglomerations. As such, this event appealed for both academics and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
- An edited book by Palgrave “Retail crime: International evidence and crime prevention, edited by the seminar organizer Vania Ceccato and Prof Rachel Armitage, submission September 2017. One of the speakers, Dr Emmeline Taylor, will contribute with a chapter.
- The event was covered by the Department and Campus newsletter (see the article here) and refereed in Stockholm media before and after the event took place. Vania Ceccato was also interviewed by several specialized newspapers and Swedish radio about her research and the seminar.
Vania Ceccato, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Future Directions in Victimology
Overview of the Project: In January 2015, Lincoln Law School was pleased to host the first research conference of the British Society of Criminology’s Victims Network. Entitled ‘Future Directions in Victimology’ the conference brought together established experts in victimological research with new entrants to the field (including PGRs and ECRs) to foster collaborative outputs which will help drive the development of contemporary victimology in the UK and further afield. The event also attracted a number of external agencies from the restorative justice and policy spheres. The day began with a thought-provoking keynote address from Prof. Antony Pemberton: Stories of injustice and justice: narrative as a paradigm in victimology. Professor Pemberton argued that that victimology has much to gain from the incorporation and application of recent research into narratives and constructs and theory developed by researchers in this and adjacent fields: themes which would inform a great number of the discussion throughout the day. Other key areas of discussion included victims’ role in transitional and restorative justice systems; psychological approaches and the role of ‘trauma’ in victimisation, as well as victims of crime in UK government policy. The conference also focused attention on the gaps ion our knowledge concerning less widely researched areas of victimisation including sexual violence perpetrated against older people and victims of genocide.
The day was an enormous success for the Network, and we are particularly gratefully to the British Society of Criminology for its assistance in funding the event. Outputs from the day look set to include an edited collection of papers presented as well as strengthening still further research links around victimology in the UK and further afield. Several delegates representing NGOs (including Victims Support and the Restorative Justice Council) have also expressed interest following the event of feeding back what they took from the day to their colleagues to see what they can learn for their own practice.
Statement of Outcomes
- We have approached Palgrave to produce an edited collection from the event. The proposal is presently being considered by reviewers
- Video recordings of the event have been placed online.
- From the event we have developed/contributed to several proposed victimology panels at the Upcoming European Society of Criminology Annual Conference.
- Increased links with the European Society of Criminology Victims Working Group.
- Several NGOs and other non-academic bodies were represented including Victim Support, Rape Crisis, Youth Offending Teams and the Restorative Justice Council. A number of these contacts have been included as partners in a subsequent ESRC Strategic Network bid to examine the use of restorative justice in cases of environmental victimisation.
Matthew Hall, University of Lincoln