Staff profile

Dr David Patton

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

A lecture sat in a conference




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Criminology and Social Sciences

Research centre

Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre, Better Society




Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and have been lecturing since 1998. I am also Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Criminology and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 


Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the BSc Criminology programme and a number of MSc programmes across the Department of Social Sciences as well as supervising both postgraduate and undergraduate dissertations.

I have been nominated for numerous teaching awards by my students at all three universities I have worked for, including Exceptional Contribution to Education Award, Lecturer of the Year award, and Inspirational teaching award among others.

I possess two postgraduate teaching certificates.

Research interests

I am a quantitative and qualitative researcher and have worked for clients such as Cambridge University and the Home Office. I have published work and delivered conference papers on the topics of emotionally intelligent justice, illegal drugs, the external validity of self-report when reporting illegal behavior and 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 among arrestees.  

I have recently published research exploring drug prevalence rates of university students.

I am currently exploring research ideas in the area of Positive Criminology - the study of positive influences that lead to a reduced risk of criminal behaviour - (not to be confused with positivistic criminology, which assumes criminals are born, not made) and non-violent forms of justice and working with offenders.

Membership of professional bodies


I am also an accredited interpersonal conflict mediator, an MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) consultant, a Belbin Team Roles consultant and a life coach.

Recent conferences

Patton, D (2018) ‘Rethinking Criminal Justice Approaches: Moving beyond traditional Models and paradigms of Justice’ Redesigning Justice International Conference Howard League of Penal Reform; Oxford University

Secured British society of Criminology funding to host a BSC Learning & Teaching Conference at University of Derby (Sept 2017)

Patton, D (2017) ‘Reversing the criminal spin: the role of emotions in criminality’; British Criminology Conference; Sheffield Hallam University.

Patton, D (2017) ‘Race and Justice’; British Institute of Human Rights Conference.

Patton, D (2016) ‘The need for new emotionally intelligent criminal justice & criminological approaches to help end the ‘War on Terror’; International Relations Conference of Diplomacy & Terror; University of Derby.

Patton, D (2014) ‘Study Natural: the normalisation of drug use amongst University Students in the UK’, paper presented at the 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 Drugs Education Project based at Sheffield Youth Offending Team, aimed at drug prevention, reduction, crime reduction and harm minimisation among young offenders and school children. The project received £30,000 of Communities Against Drugs funding.

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 me to deliver life coaching sessions to high-risk young offenders on a ten-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.

Recent publications