Staff profile

Professor Stephen Farrall

Research Professor in Criminology


Criminology, History, Political Sciences, Research, Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Better Society, Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



As a Research Professor in Criminology, I devote most of his time to my own research interests (which include studying the impact of Thatcherism on crime and the criminal justice system, why people stop offending and the fear of crime), and helping colleagues develop their own research plans and careers. I have held a number of grants from funders such as the Economic and Social Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Ministry of Justice and the EU. I joined the College from the University of Sheffield in January 2019.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach research methods as part of my duties, focusing mainly on quatitative analysis techniques. 

Professional interests

I am a sociologist with an interest in processes of change, both at the individual level, and the societal level. At the individual level, I have explored how people recover from spoiled identifies (in this case, a criminal conviction or series of convictions) over a 15-year period. I have more recently explored processes of political, social and economic change at the national level, using the government led by Margaret Thatcher as an example of how ideological changes produce more tangible changes in ‘real lives’ many years later.

Research interests

  • Politics and crime
  • Why people stop offending
  • Criminal careers
  • Historical explanations of crime
  • The fear of crime
  • The crimes of the law-abidding 

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the British Society of Criminology. 

I am also a member of the ORCID research community.


  • BSc (2:1) Applied Sociology - University of Surrey, Guildford, England, October 1989-July 1993
  • MSc in Social Research Methods - University of Surrey, Guildford, England, October 1993-September 1994
  • DPhil in Probation, Social Context and Desistance From Crime - St Catherine’s College, Oxford University, October 1998-March 2001

Recent conferences

“Engagement in Crime, Economic Change and Politics: Drawing the Strands Together”, Societies Under Stress Conference, 30 November-1 December 2018, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA [Invitation].

“Housing Tenure, Homelessness and Contact with the Criminal Justice System”, American Society of Criminology Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 17 November 2018.

“The 1980s Austerity in Social Security and involvement in Crime in the UK”, American Society of Criminology Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 15 November 2018.

“Exploring the Long Term Effects of ‘Thatcherite’ Social and Economic Policies for  Crime”, University of Essex, Dept of Sociology, Annual Undergraduate Lecture, 26 October 2018. [Invitation].

“Exploring the Long Term Effects of ‘Thatcherite’ Social and Economic Policies for Crime”, New College of the Humanities, London, 25 October 2018. [Invitation].

“Housing and Crime: How and why has the relationship changed for two cohorts of young people growing up in the UK?” Pint of Science 2018, Sheffield.

International experience

Much of my recent work has involved an international dimension. This includes a study of minor crimes in the market place which compared England and Wales with Germany, work designing survey questions for the European Social Survey on crime in the market place and trust in the criminal justice system.

Additional interests and activities

I enjoy walking and cycling. 

Recent publications

Gray, E., Grasso, M., Farrall, S., Jennings, W. and Hay, C. (forthcoming) Political Socialization, Worry about Crime and Antisocial Behaviour: An Analysis of Age, Period and Cohort Effects, British Journal of Criminology.

Grasso, M., Farrall, S., Gray, E., Hay, C. and Jennings, W. (forthcoming) The Aging Protect Generation: Generational Replacement and the Decline of Political Participation in Britain, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

Jennings, W., Farrall, S., Gray, E, and Hay, C. (forthcoming) Moral Panics and Punctuated Equilibrium in Public Policy: an analysis of the criminal justice policy agenda in Britain, Policy Studies Journal.

Professor Stephen Farrall, Research Professor in Criminology at the University of Derby, examines the legacy of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 40 years after she won the 1979 General Election.