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Understanding and policing knife crime

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

It is widely recognised that the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) made a major contribution to a 60% reduction in the rate of murder in Glasgow between 2005 and 2018. It is also argued that a key factor underpinning this reduction was the adoption of a ‘public health’ approach. On the one hand, this emphasises the obvious threats to health posed by knife crime and therefore the ways in which policing it would benefit from moving beyond merely a criminal justice-based response. On the other, the medical model is also used as a proxy explanation for its spread through ‘contagion’, as if like a disease. In this latter regard reference is often made to the epidemiological work of Gary Slutkin and the idea that human behaviour is formed by modelling and imitation. Thus, it is assumed that interventions should be seen as ‘treatments’ that interrupt transmission, prevent future spread, and change group norms at a local level regardless of the structural conditions and drivers.

This interdisciplinary studentship will examine the validity of the ‘contagion’ model as an adequate theoretical explanation of the dynamics through which knife crime is perpetuated and spreads. Moreover, it remains unclear, despite its evident success, if and how the approach adopted in Glasgow can and should translate to other towns and cities in the UK. Based within KPAC and working in partnership with Police forces the studentship will also examine a range of interventions designed to tackle knife crime among young people. It will explore both the effectiveness of these interventions and the dynamics through which any impact is achieved. It is also our ambition that this studentship will underpin a major grant application to further develop the research, theory and pathways to impact created through this specific project.

Please quote FNS GS 2018-19 on your application.

1 Studentship available from February 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Source of funding: School of Psychology, Keele University

Funding Notes

UK/EU level fees (2018/9 £4260 per year) Stipend RCUK rates for 3 years.
(2018/19 stipend £14,777 per annum)
First class or good upper second-class Bachelor's Degree in relevant discipline (social or behavioural sciences).
Students with Master's degree in a relevant discipline but without Bachelor's degree are also eligible to apply.
Overseas students are eligible to apply but need to pay difference between overseas tuition fees and UK/tuition fee level. (Basic overseas tuition fee in Psychology currently £15500 and UK/tuition fee currently £4260). Overseas students require IELTS (or equivalent) of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any subtest.

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