Professor of Quantitative Criminology
University of Edinburgh

Susan is Professor of Quantitative Criminology within the School of Law.

Susan has four major research roles within the School. She is Director of the ESRC-funded Understanding Inequalities project which aims to explore the causes, consequences and policy implications of various different forms of social inequality and to analyse the multi-spatial nature of these inequalities.  She is Co-Director of the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime, a prospective longitudinal study of youth offending based at the University of Edinburgh since 1998. She is the Research Leader for the Crime and Justice Work Strand within the Administrative Data Research Centre for Scotland. And she is a member of the Management Committee for the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, a collaborative initiative involving a number of Scottish Universities.

Between 2009 and 2017, she was the Director of Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) in Scotland, a research centre developing dynamic and pioneering projects to improve our understanding of current social issues in the UK and provide policy makers and practitioners with robust, independent, research-based evidence. She continues to be a Co-Director of AQMeN as it develops a new programme of work around training for industry and business. 

Susan has a broad range of substantive interests, and her recent work includes research into: crime patterns, trends and inequalities in the context of the crime drop in Scotland; youth anti-social behaviour and offending; criminal careers through the life-course; systems of justice, including transitions from juvenile to adult criminal justice systems; neighbourhood effects on offending; patterns of violence and homicide; youth gangs and knife crime; policing and crime reduction; stop and search; and police use of biometric data.

She is interested in the use of advanced methods in quantitative criminology, and her current work involves developing longitudinal methods for understanding the factors associated with trends in crime over time; modelling trajectories of offending and linking this to criminal histories; using multi-level modelling to establish the impact of neighbourhood-level effects and dynamics over and above individual-level effects on individual delinquency; and using quasi-experimental methods to investigate the impact of early youth justice intervention on later behaviour, life chances and criminal conviction trajectories.