Dr David Patton

David Patton

Position: Senior Lecturer in Criminology

College: College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences

Department: Criminology

Subject area: Criminology

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I am a member of the College for LHSS  Senior Leadership Team.  

In addition, I am Department Lead for Learning, Teaching & Quality for Law, Criminology & Social & Political Sciences.  I am also Department lead for Marketing and Recruitment and oversee applicant and open days for Law, Criminology & Social & Political Sciences.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently teach on the BSc Criminology programme and am module leader for:

  • Study Skills and Criminological Research,
  • Crime Justice & Society.

I am also dissertation supervisor for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Research interests

I am a quantitative and qualitative researcher and has worked for clients such as Cambridge University, Home Office, Manchester University. He has published work and delivered conference papers on the topics of illegal drugs, the external validity of self-report when reporting illegal behavior, the policy implications of normalised drug prevalence rates in the UK, as well as the science behind surveillance techniques in the criminal justice field such as urinalysis.

My research for the Home Office influenced part of the creation of the Drugs Act 2005, which specifically gave the police the power to conduct a drug test for any arrestee who was arrested for an acquisitive type crime.  All positive test results ensured that arrestees were offered drug treatment and thus that they entered a rehabilitation track sooner.  It also provided evidence for the first time in the UK about the drugs and crime connection amongst arrestees.  

I have recently completed a research project exploring drug prevalence rates of university students. To read some of the findings see: http://slidesha.re/1tqHTE7

I am currently exploring research ideas in the area of positive criminology (not to be confused with positivistic criminology) and non-violent forms of justice and working with offenders.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Member of the American Society of Criminology
  • Member of the Howard League for Penal Reform


  • BA (Hons) Criminology degree (First Class), Teesside University, 1997
  • PGCHE/ Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Sheffield University, 2001
  • PhD, University of Sheffield, 2002.

I am also an accredited mediator in interpersonal conflict, an MBTI consultant, A Belbin Team roles consultant and a Life Coach.

Recent publications

  • Patton, D (Under Review) 'Drug Consumption amongst a sample of University students'; Internet Journal of Criminology
  • Patton, D (2004) ‘Normalizing the Deviant?: Arrestees and the Normalization of Drug Use’; British Journal of Community Justice; Vol 2 (3)
  • Patton, D (2004) ‘An Exploration of the External Validity of Self-Report amongst Arrestees’, Surveillance & Society Journal, Vol 2 (4)

Recent conferences

  • Patton, D (2015) 'Rethinking Justice', British Institute of Human Rights: University of Derby
  • Patton, D (2014) 'The Normalisation of Drug Use amongst a sample of University Students' British Society of Criminology
  • Lynch, R., McCoy, S., Patton, D., Senior, P. (2007) Creating Scholarship in the Criminology Curriculum: From Professional to ‘Peer’ Student Inquiry. Paper to International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) conference, Sydney 2-5 July
  • Patton, D (2006 - 4) ‘The Criminal & Deviant World’, AimHigher
  • Patton, D., Lynch, R, McCoy, S. and Dhimar, R. (2005) The criminology student landscape. Poster for the Sheffield Hallam University LTA conference. 

Experience in industry

I have been involved in various projects aimed at young people and/or drugs, for example, I was Director of a (Communities Against Drugs funded) Drugs Education Project based at Sheffield Youth Offending Team, aimed at drug prevention, reduction, crime reduction and harm minimisation amongst young offenders and school children. 

I have trained Community Panel Members to administer restorative justice sentences to young offenders who had received a Referral Order by the Youth Court. 

The Youth Justice Service recently commissioned David to deliver Life Coaching sessions to high risk young offenders on a 10 week alternative to custody programme to help them consider their progression into further education, training and employment as well as reduce the frequency and gravity of their offending.

I was also heavily involved as a regular speaker for AimHigher encouraging students from wider participation backgrounds to enter Higher Education.

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