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Our seminar 'Legal Professional Privilege and the Investigation of Corporate Crime' took place on 13 December 2018. 

During which Professor Michael Stockdale, Head of Law, Northumbria University and Rebecca Mitchell, Director of LLM Programmes, Northumbria University discussed legal professional privilege attached to communications and how it enables the person entitled to claim privilege to refuse to produce privileged documents or to answer questions about their content. There are two forms of legal professional privilege. 

This seminar considered the two areas that arise in the context of corporate criminal investigations relating to claims of legal professional privilege. It explored the difficulty of identifying the client for the purposes of legal advice privilege and the extent to which litigation privilege may attach to communications.

Our seminar 'Using Research and Design to Rethink Stubborn Policing Problems' took place on 20 November 2018.

During the session Professor Mike Rowe and Sarah Soppitt (Social Sciences) and Nick Spencer (School of Design) explored the importance of adopting a design-led approach to police problem-solving, taking into consideration the organisational culture and the wider context in which police operate. It is argued that problem-solving is most effective when considered as a strategic approach rather than an applied work plan.

Our seminar 'Policing Domestic Violence' took place on 20th September 2017. 

During the session Professor Mike Rowe, Dr Ruth Lewis and Professor Pamela Davies examined research projects, analysing the efforts to improve police responses to gendered violence. Focusing on a cultural change within the police and other criminal justice agencies, this lecture explored how changes to policy and practice can improve service and highlighted potential limitations and areas for development.

To view the slides from the seminar please click here

Our seminar on 'International Criminal Justice Cooperation and the Implications for Cross Border Policing' took place on Wednesday 11 October 2017. 

During the session Adam Jackson, Professor Tim Wilson, Dr Mohamed Badar, Gemma Davies from Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (NCECJS), Northumbria Law School, drew on the research of NCECJS members to identify the key mechanisms of international criminal justice cooperation, that assist with the policing of cross border crime and will try to identify future challenges and potential solutions. 

To view the slides from the seminar place click here

Our seminar 'Expert Evidence' took place on 15th November 2017. 

During the session Sophie Carr considered the provision of expert opinion evidence, using forensic science to illustrate areas where greater critical scrutiny should be applied. The seminar reflected on the role forensic science plays in society, discussing the expectations and inferred assumptions that often go unsaid. Are all disciplines within forensic science created equal and should they be treat as such? To what extent are the different evidence types, such as DNA and fingerprints, able to satisfy the legal requirements for admissibility in any given case? We assert that the criminal justice system, and the actors within it, appear to afford a level of critical trust to the provision of expert opinion evidence. However, to uphold such trust, those submitting to it must fully understand the frameworks that underpin it and when greater critical scrutiny should be applied. 

To view the slides from the seminar please click here



Presenter: Martin Evison (Applied Sciences)

The number of digital facial images forming evidence in criminal investigations is growing rapidly due to the ubiquity of sources from mobile devices, surveillance cameras, and social media. This presentation will introduce the development of forensic facial image analysis, which has antecedents in early police photography, and go on to introduce the most common approaches to facial image identification of suspects in current use.

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Presenter: Adam Jackson (School of Law) and Philip Anderson (Computer and Information Sciences)

Adam Jackson and Philip Anderson will explore the operation of darknet marketplaces and consider the technical and procedural challenges of investigating, identifying and prosecuting criminal activity enabled by, and taking place within, darknet environments. Consideration will be given to whether and to what extent the traditional approaches of the criminal justice system are fit for purpose in this context.

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Presenter: Tanya Wyatt (Social Sciences)

This seminar will highlight how wildlife crime and trafficking are policed by a complicated multi-agency approach that includes constabularies, the UK Border Force, and the third sector. Professor Wyatt will explore the improvements required for the policing of wildlife crimes within the UK and discuss the need to hold wildlife criminals responsible, in such a way that the punishment fits the crime.

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Presenter: Tim Wilson (School of Law)

Cyber-enabled or -enhanced crime, especially when facilitated by anonymised communication networks have created new problems for the police and other criminal justice professionals. The seminar will discuss how changes in offending have coincided with exceptional pressures on policing because of digital technology, fiscal austerity and uncertainties about international cooperation as a result of Brexit.

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Our seminar 'Policing criminal assets: Where does the evidence lead us?' took place on 17 January 2018. 

During the session Professor Jackie Harvey and Dr Peter Sproat, focused on how in the UK and elsewhere over recent years there has been a series of measures introduced to recover assets from convicted criminals. The implications that this has had in practice, in terms of those targeted and assets recovered, are considered in the paper and the extent to which police and other regulators are well-placed to act in this area are considered.

Our seminar 'The influence of occupational psychology within policing' took place on 21 February 2018. 

During the session Laura Longstaff showcased the influence that Occupational Psychology can have within policing, specifically the work carried out with Northumbria Police Force, reviewing and implementing changes to recruitment process of Police Officers in line with best practice guidance. Research plans regarding evaluating the outcomes of the changes to the recruitment process and tracking the health and well-being of new recruits over time were also discussed. 

To view the slides from the seminar please click here.

Our seminar, The Special Constable: Exploring the contemporary role and experience of Police volunteers took place on Wednesday 16 May 2018.

During the session Dr Pauline Ramshaw discussed her findings from a research project that considers the motivations and situated occupational experiences of Special Constables, and their bearing upon satisfaction and commitment to the role. Despite efforts to increase the recruitment of Special Constables such endeavours are being hampered by consistent attrition, with 24.4% of Special Constables leaving during 2015-16 (Home Office, 2016). Survey research by Gaston and Alexander (2001) and Whittle (2014) draws attention to long standing issues affecting the retention of Special Constables, including the fact that many leave to make the transition to Police Officer.

The paper expands upon these issues by drawing on early findings generated from a small scale pilot study that considers the motivations and situated occupational experiences of Special Constables, and their bearing upon satisfaction and commitment to the role. Retaining a focus on the northeast of England, the research generated new empirical data from semi-structured interviews with Special Constables. The intention is to help inform understanding of the experiences, motivations, and challenges faced by Special Constables, to gain greater insight into workplace issues that may contribute towards Special Constables’ decision to resign.


Our seminar 'Maximising Forensic DNA Utility: Local, Regional and Global Challenges' took place on 21 March 2018.

During the session Dr Carole McCartney, explains since emergence of forensic DNA profiling and the corollary creation of DNA databases, efforts to maximise the efficiency and utility of DNA technology have intensified. Developments on a local, regional and global scale may challenge ‘accepted’ use of DNA, yet such efforts are expedient given the imperative that expenditure on DNA should be cost-effective and the benefits demonstrable. To this end, regimes governing forensic DNA have often been adjusted to better target those from whom DNA will prove most ‘profitable’, and to expand the uses of retained DNA. Yet the European Court of Human Rights in 2008 clearly articulated the need for a ‘balance’ between police powers to retain the DNA of citizens, and privacy concerns, human rights and public interest.

The Court left unsaid what this balance should be, leaving such calibrations to domestic legislators. The Court was likewise silent on whether there ought to be limitations on the uses of retained DNA.

In delivering a unanimous but terse ruling, the Court left States wide discretion, and while scientific and technological advances continue to attract the eye of ethicists and sociologists, (particularly around developments such as phenotyping and familial searching), the governance and legal regimes of DNA databases garner far less critical attention. In some instances, a ‘balance’ originally struck may have been destabilised by subsequent legal reforms, or changes in practice, and regimes are in need of re-calibration. Thus forensic DNA databases continue to raise questions of legitimacy and acceptability, particularly when accounting for ongoing efforts to maximise DNA efficiency and utility.

To view the slides from the seminar please click here.

Our seminar 'Digital Forensics: Principles and Procedures' took place on 18 April 2018.

During the session Philip Anderson, Computer Forensics discussed how digital evidence plays an integral role in all aspects of our modern day lives. Although strongly related to the field of cyber security, digital forensics concerns itself with the collection of evidence after a crime has taken place as opposed to the prevention of a crime.

As most criminals now leave a digital trail, digital evidence prominently features in many investigations. Digital forensics is a rapidly evolving field and as such the seminar provided an overview on the extraction, preservation and analysis of digital evidence obtained from different electronic devices in a legally acceptable manner.

Presenter: Philip Anderson (Department of Computer and Information Sciences)

In the current climate of digital privacy users as well as criminals are using ‘security’ apps on mobile phones to protect their personal data and communications. The presentation discussed the functionality of these apps as well as the impact and the potential issues this might have on the identification and recovery of digital evidence on mobile phones.

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