Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Susan McVie, OBE FRSE

Personal Chair of Quantitive Criminology

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Quantitative criminology; youth crime and justice; violence and homicide; developmental criminology and criminal careers; police stop and search; crime trends and patterns;

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseCrime trends and patterns, violence and homicide, youth crime, youth justice systems, criminal justice systems, police stop and search, convictions and reconvictions

Biography

Susan is Professor of Quantitative Criminology within the School of Law. She has three major research roles within the School. She is Director of the 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 to build a better future. Susan 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 has responsibility for strategic management of the research programme and plays a key role in advancing statistical analysis of the data and publishing the results of the research. And she is a member of the Management Committee for the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, another collaborative initiative involving Stirling, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Edinburgh Universities in partnership with the other Scottish HEIs.

Susan has a broad range of substantive interests, and her recent work includes research into:  crime patterns and trends 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; and stop and search in Scotland. She is also 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.

Susan is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Capability Committee and has a strategic role in advising on the development of doctorial training and advanced quantitative methods training at the UK level.   She is also a member of several Scottish Government committees, including the Independent Advisory Group on Stop and Search chaired by John Scott QC, the Building Safer Communities Programme Board (for which she is Performance Champion), and the Board of Official Statistics in Scotland.  She has recently joined the Board of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.  Susan is consulted broadly on a range of crime and justice related issues by central and local governments, third sector organisations and private sector bodies.  She regularly reviews articles for various journals, and is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology, Youth Justice, and Criminology and Criminal Justice. Prior to working for the University, she was a government researcher in Scotland with responsiblity for the development of Government research on crime surveys, various aspects of the criminal justice system and substance use.

 

Along with her colleague Professor Lesley McAra, Susan was awarded the Howard League for Penal Reform Research Medal in 2013 and the Chancellor's Award for Impact in 2016.  She was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.  She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for 2016. 

Websites

Research outputs

  1. Constructions of crime data and criminal statistics: A critical reflection

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. Developmental and life-course criminology: Innovations, impacts and applications

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Research activities & awards

  1. International Conference on Crime Prevention and Resocialization of Children in Contact with the Criminal Justice System

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  2. Studying crime and justice in Scotland.

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

  3. Meeting of the Justice Network Leaders group; advising senior criminal justice policy makers on the issue of inequality and crime.

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachWork on advisory panels for social community and cultural engagement

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