BSC Vulnerability Research Network

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Hosted by the Centre for Criminology at the University of South Wales, the VRN has its own website:

Co-chair: Prof Harriet Pierpoint, University of South Wales
Co-chair: Dr Roxanna Dehaghani, Cardiff University

Steering group
Prof Emeritus Gisli H Gudjonsson
Chris Bath (National Appropriate Adult Network)
Dr. Sam Weston (Membership officer)
Dr Jayne Price (Chester) (Media officer)
Dr Lindsey Rice (University of Sheffield) (Prizes co-ordinator)

Theme Leads
Policing and Vulnerability: Dr Sam Weston, University of Birmingham, and Laura Briody, Keele University
Online Vulnerabilities: Dr Chloe Hawkins, University of Portsmouth
Vulnerable Victims: Dr Kirsty Bennett, Leeds Trinity University, and Dr Laura Riley, Birmingham City University 
The Vulnerable Accused: Dr Samantha Fairclough, University of Birmingham, and Dr John Taggart, Queen’s University Belfast 

The Chair will be responsible for the smooth running of the Network, and will normally serve for a term of three years. The Chair will appoint a Steering Group from amongst members to assist with the running of the Network. Approximately six months prior to the expiration of the Chair’s term, all members of the Network will be contacted, inviting those who are eligible to stand for the position. If more than one candidate comes forward, a vote of all Network members will be held. If no candidate comes forward, the existing Chair may serve for an additional 12 months.

Forthcoming Events

Future events will be announced in the bi-monthly bulletin.

Past Events

Vulnerability Flash Talks
Online, July 13, 2021
The British Society of Criminology Vulnerability Research Network offers a means for discussion, critical analysis, and knowledge sharing among diverse and dispersed members of the British Society of Criminology and others. The network seeks to advance understandings and stimulate debate on vulnerability across the spheres of research, policy and practice and foster opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

This event comprised flash talks for people interested in sharing their interests/ideas and keen to collaborate. Members/followers gave a 3 minute lightening talk and took part in discussions.

BSC Vulnerability Network Launch Event
Tuesday 20th October 2020 16:30-19:00
The British Society of Criminology Vulnerabilities Research Network was pleased to be holding its launch event at the University of South Wales.

The use of the term ‘vulnerability’ is increasing in public, political and academic discourse and has become a key concern of criminologists and criminal justice practitioners internationally.

This network provides a forum for discussion on the complexities inherent to researching vulnerability within the context of crime and justice. To this end, it intends to bring academics, practitioners, and policy makers together to establish a ‘state of the art’ criminal justice vulnerabilities research agenda, paying particular attention to:

  • Identifying needs and gaps in the research capacity of academics, practitioners, and policymakers;
  • The range and adequacy of theoretical and methodological tools used in criminal vulnerabilities research, and the ethics of such research;
  • relationships between statutory and non-statutory agencies in responding to vulnerabilities crime;
  • The factors that shape these criminal justice responses to vulnerabilities crimes.

The launch event was co-chaired by Associate Prof Harriet Pierpoint (University of South Wales) and Dr Roxanna Dehaghani (Cardiff University) (Co-Chairs of the VRN) with a keynote speech by Professor Emeritus Gisli Gudjonsson CBE entitled, ‘What does it mean to be vulnerable and what are the challenges?’.

The principal focus of this event was to promote the network with a view to garnering membership at all levels.

Joining and staying in touch

Tenure for the chairs is 3 years, although renewable under the following arrangements. Re-electing the chair/co-chair will involve asking members for expressions of interest or nomination with an election if there is more than one candidate.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the field of vulnerability.

You can subscribe to our mailing list here:

In this clip Prof Harriet Pierpoint, University of South Wales, draws on data collected for an evaluation of homelessness services for young people leaving custody and highlights specifically the challenges of including vulnerable young people’s voices in research, suggested solutions for overcoming these challenges and the importance of including young people’s voices.

Contact the Network

If you would like to know more about the Network, please contact via email:

Twitter: @bsc_vrn

Websites of Interest