Thematic Networks

Network 4: Public Protection

The aims of this new thematic network, established in 2015, are: to both promote, and provide a focus for, independent research on policing and public protection; to collaborate with Police Scotland and other community stakeholders to produce quality research on all relevant areas of public protection; to ensure that independent academic research on public protection is made accessible to police forces, practitioners and policy makers; and to ensure research results impact on police policy, practice and procedure.

'Public protection' is broadly defined and includes areas such as:

  • rape and sexual violence
  • stalking and harassment
  • child abuse
  • child sexual exploitation
  • domestic abuse
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence
  • children and young people
  • gangs and youth violence
  • hate crime
  • homicide
  • missing persons
  • human trafficking
  • mental health
  • vulnerable adults
  • the intervention, treatment and management of sexual and violent offenders

Significant features of the Network include:

In support of these aims, the network will draw upon expertise from a range of academic disciplines including: sociology; criminology; geography; psychology; social policy; law; social work; economics; and health.

It is anticipated the network will inform and liaise with Police Scotland specialist services such as the National Rape Task Force, the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit (NCAIU), the Specialist Crime Division for Public Protection; and Safer Communities.

It is also anticipated that the network would build useful working alliances and connections with existing groups such as: the Centre for Research in Families and Relationships (CRFR); the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland; the Child Protection Research Centre; the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ); WithScotland; and the proposed Centre of Excellence for a Child's Wellbeing in Scotland (CECWS).

In Scotland there are a number of consortia and groups focusing on public protection issues, however none focus specifically on policing and public protection and this remit will be met by this new SIPR thematic network.

Network Steering Group

Associate Director and Chair:

Professor Lesley McMillan
Professor of Criminology and Sociology
Glasgow Caledonian University


Academic Members:



Police Liaison:

ACC Malcolm Graham,
Police Scotland.