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An exploration of the prevalence of lifestyle factors including alcohol, drugs and mental health amongst young people who commit hate crimes

Project Description

Hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group or race. 94,000 hate crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales which is an increase of 17% on the previous year and more than double the number five years ago. A spike in hate crime was found in the UK at the time of the EU referendum with religiously aggravated offences 44% higher in the month following the referendum compared to the same month in the previous year.

The aim of this PhD is to use a mixed methods approach to examine the prevalence of lifestyle factors including alcohol, drugs and mental health amongst young people who commit health crimes. The objectives are:

1. To carry out a systematic review of the international literature in order to investigate prevalence of mental health, alcohol and drug use amongst young people in the criminal justice system and the links with different crimes (including hate crime).
2. Investigating national UK criminal justice quantitative data to look at the levels of mental health and other variables (including trauma, drugs and alcohol) and whether these are different or similar for those that commit hate crime. This will also include looking at the services that young people are referred to.
3. To carry out interviews with young people who have committed hate crimes and examine their lifestyle factors as well as their views on health issues to ascertain their views on the reasons they commit hate crimes.
4. To triangulate the results and develop some recommendations for practice and early intervention.

Application Web Page

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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