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These include: growth of transnational crime, fraud and the illicit economy, poverty, inequalities, drug and alcohol misuse, protest, violence, extremism, radicalisation, and hate.

Our work with a range of partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries reaches beyond academia to civil society, government and international policing and legal systems. We draw on Teesside University’s diverse historical, cultural, economic, social, technological and scientific expertise. Our work has included tackling the online trade of fake medicines, in partnership with Interpol; the development of alcohol screening and interventions targeted at high risk young people with Public Health England; high profile research into the issues of radicalism, radicalisation and hate; and urban design and connected technologies to promote sustainable living and improve quality of life for communities.


Diverse research questions explored

Examples of some of the diverse research questions explored within this Grand Challenge theme are:

  • How can we effectively and humanely respond to the global migration and refugee crisis, in a way that works for all?
  • How can we challenge the rise of extremist and radical politics and fundamentalism?
  • How can we break the links between poverty and long term life chances, to create a fairer society?
  • How can we employ design and technology to reduce risk and improve the quality of life and security of our citizens whilst maintaining personal freedom and privacy?
  • How can we increase trust in and the effectiveness of our policing and criminal justice systems?


Our work in this challenge theme draws on and is informed by work and expertise across all parts of the University, which includes amongst others:

Criminology, public health, policing, social policy, social science, forensic science, urban design, digital & cyber security, social networking, psychology, radicalisation & political extremism, engineering resilience, organised crime, the illicit economy and financing of crime, development of crime detection tools & technologies.


Research leads

Dr Tom Gibbons

Dr Tom Gibbons

Dr Tom Gibbons has been Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside since 2007. Tom previously worked as a researcher at Teesside (2004-2005) and St Martin's College, Lancaster (2005-2007). Tom's main areas of research and teaching expertise are the sociology and history of sport.

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Professor Natasha Vall

Professor Natasha Vall

Natasha Vall is a Professor of urban and cultural history and the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law at Teesside University. She leads all aspects of research in the School including REF, Research Centre and Research Group Management.

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