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Institute of Criminology



Sam completed his MPhil in Criminological Research at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, in 2014, for which he was awarded the Manuel Lopez-Rey Graduate Prize for best academic performance on the programme. He further holds an LLB (Hons) in Law from the University of Birmingham, where he also worked as a research assistant within the Law School’s Institute of Judicial Administration on a number of projects reviewing the nascent developments in, and implementation of, European Criminal Law.

Sam also has experience working in the arena of ‘translational criminology’, having advised policy makers and agents of the criminal justice system through his work for the Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner in how best to embed evidence-based methodologies into everyday working practices.


Sam’s current research interests centre around the domain of socio-spatial criminology, with a specific focus on what engenders communities to enforce common rules and norms within their residential environments. His current ESRC and Pembroke College funded PhD research focusses on better situating empirical findings from the testing of Collective Efficacy Theory into pragmatic policy outcomes for crime prevention. This will involve dissecting how community social process dynamics interact with both the existent built form features of neighbourhood environments along with the routine activity patterns which flow through them, assessing their potential impact on levels of neighbourhood guardianship.


Key publications: 

Cole, S.J.(2019) Social and Physical Neighbourhood Effects and Crime: Bringing Domains Together Through Collective Efficacy Theory, Social Sciences, 8 (5), 147. 

Cole, S.J. (2018) Probation Services: Reforms and Proposed Future Changes, House of Lords Library Briefing. 

Callendar, M., Cahalin, K., Cole, S.J., Hubbard, L., Britton, I. (2018) Understanding the motivations, morale, and retention of special constables: findings from a national survey, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.

Teaching and Supervisions


Paper 34 - Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System.  

MPhil Criminology and Criminological Research - Social Ecology and Theories of Social Change; Strain, Self-Control and Legitimacy.

 Sam  Cole