Dr David Hicks BA MA PhD, Senior Lecturer in Criminology

David is a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Derby, Head of Research for Postgraduate Criminology, and Programme Leader for the MSc Criminal Investigation.

He has 20 years of academic and professional service experience, and is a specialist in:

  • financial/economic crime
  • financial investigation
  • organised crime
  • criminal/financial intelligence and crime prevention.

Academic experience

David is an experienced academic with previous service as a lecturer in criminology at Cardiff University where he also completed postgraduate teaching certification as well as accreditation with the UK Higher Education Academy. He also served as a lecturer in criminology and sociology at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

He holds a PhD from Cardiff University for his thesis 'Thinking about the prevention of organised crime', which addressed the linkages and layers between traditional crimes and organised crimes — in the context of the phenomenon of home invasion robbery and the cannabis industry in Canada. It also explored the responses to such problems, including the role and (potential) impact of financial intelligence on the organisation of crime.

Following the completion of two undergraduate degrees in sociology and criminology, David studied for a masters degree in criminology at the University of Ottawa.

His MA’s dissertation examined the relationship between cannabis policy and the evidence of harm from the turn of the 20th century to its close.

The impetus for his interest in organised crime arose during his undergraduate and masters studies, and the parallels with his contract research with Health Canada (the lead federal department on illicit drugs policy).

Research interests

David’s research interests in organised crime, financial crime, and intelligence emerged during his work as a project officer with the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC), a Montréal-based affiliate of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI).

The ICPC’s mandate is to encourage the worldwide exchange of crime prevention and community safety ideas and knowledge, which tends to focus on local crime prevention.

In what would become the theme for his doctoral research, David drafted a journal article: 'Thinking about organised crime prevention' which highlighted the need for local, regional, and international co-ordination in response to the multi-layered problems of crime, organised crime and financial crime.

Operational experience

Whilst working towards the completion of his doctoral research, David was appointed as Head of Strategic Research with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

During this period he acquired direct policy and operational experience in the fields of financial crime, financial investigation, and criminal/financial intelligence. His work with FINTRAC involved various classified projects that focused on money laundering, the financing of terrorism and national security threats.  

His role at the Institute 

Now, as part of the Institute, David serves as Programme Leader for the MSc Criminal Investigation, which provides theory, research and investigative practice education to UK masters level accreditation standards.

The programme and its component modules appeal to traditional graduate students as well as serving criminal justice professionals and it attracts participants from various countries: Cyprus, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. 

In collaboration with specialist doctoral students and professionals in the field, David leads two specialist MSc optional modules: Financial Investigation Models, and Financial Intelligence and Financial Crime Detection. These modules teach participants the principles and practice of lawful and effective financial investigation and its application in support of justice across a diversity of investigations and types of offending and victimisation.

This is of significant interest to participants of those law enforcement agencies with statutory or parallel responsibilities in financial investigation. It also has considerable interest to the corporate sector, which is increasingly involved in private investigations and prosecutions to address economically-motivated problems and business crimes, together with industrial vulnerability to money laundering and meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

Views on the Institute 

David sees the Institute as having significant potential to become an international centre of thought and practice leadership. Its success will be linked to establishing and maintaining a clearly defined purpose that generates added value for its stakeholders.

It is inevitable that the Institute will embrace the UK model and system of policing and justice, which has a deserved reputation as one of the most systematic and fair systems in the world.

One of the major challenges for the Institute is to foster and promote the parameters for a truly international model of policing and justice that is widely applicable and culturally relevant to jurisdictions around the world. 

Put simply, David feels that you should begin with humility: there is so much to teach, but there is so much to learn from the diversity of partners with shared interests in driving the domestic and international professionalisation of policing and justice. 

The Institute will draw on the combined experience of highly qualified academics as well as those with professional backgrounds, who will also be encouraged to study for PhDs. It is the combination of rigorous academic research and practitioner experience that will continue to advance the professionalisation of policing in this country and abroad.

Dr David Hicks, Senior Lecturer in Criminology Whilst working towards the completion of his doctoral research, David was appointed as Head of Strategic Research with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). During this period he acquired direct policy and operational experience in the fields of financial crime, financial investigation, and criminal/financial intelligence.