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Research interests

Peter Squires is a Professor of Criminology and Public Policy and leads the Criminology Research and Enterprise Group. 

A central focus of his work has involved exploring 'criminalisation', inequality and social control - the deployment of the power to criminalise. His core areas of research and teaching interest have involved policing and police use of force, gun crime and firearms control, youth crime, gangs and anti-social behaviour.

Questions of power and inequality and political activism underpin Peter's work. This is so whether the topic is policing and the use of force, criminalisation, anti-social behaviour or gun crime. It is always important to remember that the flip side to the criminologist's concern with crime is justice. So when we are exploring questions of social control, criminalisation or punishment, it is important to ensure that the cause of justice is advanced. And when we find this is not the case, it seems that the socially responsible thing for critical criminology to do is speak out, try to challenge or educate.

Research interests

Having worked at Brighton for a number of years, Peter makes contributions to the curriculum in a range of areas, including an interest in comparative and 'cross-cultural' criminology. As an active researcher Professor Squires is regularly contacted by national and international news media organisations (TV, radio, online and print journalism) to comment on current issues of law and order in the news. His academic expert work was profiled in The Guardian where he was billed as 'the media's favourite expert on teenage gang crime and the culture of violence'.

He was co-opted as an adviser to a police national advisory group on the criminal use of firearms and in 2015 was elected as the President of the British Society for Criminology. He has always argued that crime and violence has always both appalled and fascinated people and this explains the popularity of 'cop shows' and crime dramas on TV and the reason so many people are drawn to criminology to help make greater sense of the world around them. He likes to make use of film and TV in his teaching and explore contemporary criminological dilemmas through media examples.

Peter undertook his first degree and PhD both at Bristol University, receiving his PhD in 1985. He has worked at Bristol Polytechnic (now UWE); Roehampton University, and the Open University. He started at Brighton, initially mainly teaching social policy, in April 1986. His first book, Anti-Social Policy (Harvester Press) based upon his thesis was published in 1990 and was chiefly concerned with the 'criminalisation of poverty'. Criminalisation has remained a core interest, especially as the university has developed our criminology curriculum. Peter was promoted to professor in 2005. In total he has written, co-written or edited 12 books.

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social behavior Social Sciences
offense Social Sciences
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community Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences
criminalization Social Sciences

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Research Output 1998 2018

Semi-Automatics for the People? The Marketing of a New Kind of Man

Squires, P., 29 Nov 2018, Gun Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics, Policy and Practice. Carlson, J., Shapira, H. & Goss, K. (eds.). 1 ed.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

Broken society, anti-social contracts, failing state: rethinking youth marginality

Squires, P. & Goldsmith, C., 28 Jun 2017, Youth marginality in Britain: contemporary studies of austerity. Rogers, R. & Blackman, S. (eds.). Bristol, p. 23-42 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Open Access
employment policy
public policy

Community Safety and Crime Prevention: A Critical Reassessment

Squires, P., 16 Mar 2017, Handbook of Community Safety and Crime Prevention. Tilley, N. & Sidebottom, A. (eds.). Abingdon, UK, p. 32-53 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Open Access
crime prevention

Guns, Technology and Crime

Squires, P., 1 Jan 2017, Routledge Handbook on Technology, Crime and Justice. Abingdon, UK, Vol. 1.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Social Relations

Hunting and Shooting: The Ambiguities of ‘Country Sports’

Squires, P., 1 Jul 2017, The International Handbook of Animal Abuse Studies. Beirne, P., Maher, J. & Pierrepoint, H. (eds.). Basingstoke, p. 289-311 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch


Activities 2019 2019

Southern Perspectives on Policing, Security and Social Order

Roxana Cavalcanti (Organiser), Peter Squires (Organiser)
27 Jun 2019

Activity: EventsEvent