Celebrating three decades of quantitative criminology at Manchester

Conference celebrates the legacy of quantitative criminological scholarship in Manchester.

On Wednesday, 20 March 2024, The University of Manchester’s Department of Criminology , in collaboration with the Department of Economics and the UoM Bicentennial Team, organised a landmark event commemorating 30 years of ground-breaking quantitative criminology research at Manchester.

This event not only celebrated the rich history of quantitative criminological scholarship in Manchester but also showcased the vibrant future of this field. Professor Rosemary Broad , Head of Criminology, opened the event, underlining the department’s pivotal role in shaping the study of criminology.

The late 20th century saw the formation of the Manchester Quantitative Criminology Group, a team that revolutionised the study of crime through the innovative use of British Crime Survey data combined with Census information. Their pioneering work laid the foundations for understanding crime distribution and the phenomenon of multiple victimisations within and across communities.

The Manchester Quantitative Criminology Group published groundbreaking work between the early 1990s and early 2000s. The event paid homage to the original members of this group, including Professors Ken Pease, Denise Osborn, Andromachi Tseloni, Graham Farrell, and Doctors Tim Hope and Rob Elder, whose groundbreaking research set a new course for criminological studies.

Professor Juanjo Medina provided a captivating overview of the evolution of quantitative criminology at the University of Manchester from the early 2000s through to the 2020s, highlighting significant advancements in the analysis of gang dynamics, use of drugs and other substances, domestic abuse, and the spatial distribution of crime.

This period marked an expansion in the scope and sophistication of quantitative methods in criminology, reflecting the University’s ongoing commitment to innovation. The event also featured talks from Professors Jon Bannister and Chris Birkbeck, who illustrated developments in quantitative criminology at other universities in Greater Manchester.

Dr David Buil-Gil, Dr Thiago Oliveira, and Dr Reka Solymosi as three representatives of this new generation In the dawn of the 2020s, a new wave of criminologists launched the Reading Sessions in Quantitative Criminology, further pushing the boundaries of the field. Dr David Buil-Gil , Dr Thiago Oliveira , and Dr Reka Solymosi , as three representatives of this new generation, demonstrated the potential of modern quantitative methods to uncover insights into crime and deviance.

Their work, along with that of other University of Manchester researchers like Dr George Wood, Dr Joanna Hill, Dr Nico Trajtenberg and Dr Tomas Diviak , and PhD students Nicola Fox, Benjamin Palfreeman-Watt and Ezra Lampesberger, who served as chairs, discussants and organisers in the event, illustrates the vibrant academic community fostered in Manchester.

The event featured thought-provoking presentations from each era of Manchester’s quantitative criminology scholars, sparking discussions that bridged past, present, and future research directions.

In a testament to the event’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of researchers, the Department of Criminology offered two ’Alan Trickett bursaries’ for Early Career Researchers.

Alan Trickett, who sadly passed away in 2011, was one of the founding members of the Manchester Quantitative Criminology Group. Pablo Ezquerra from Cardiff University and Giovanni Nicolazzo from UniversitÓ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, currently visiting Lancaster University, were the recipients of the bursaries.

This celebration not only reflected on three decades of scholarly achievements but also looked forward to the future, embodying the spirit of innovation and collaboration that has always characterised The University of Manchester.