British Society of Criminology sees around 400 delegates attend the University’s Preston campus
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)’s Preston Campus is busier than usual today (Thursday 29 June), as the British Society of Criminology’s conference is underway.
The conference has welcomed around 400 delegates gather over three main days, with an earlier post-graduate day held on Tuesday.
An annual event, the venue for the conference is selected through a competitive process each year; and this time, UCLan’s hosting bid was successful.
The theme of this year’s conference, chosen by UCLan, is ‘Sustainable future: remaking criminology in an age of global injustice’. It means that the conference organisers – including academics from UCLan’s School of Justice Dr Charlotte Barlow and Dr Laura Kelly-Corless - have embedded sustainability into every element of the gathering; from minimising plastic; going paperless (delegates can use an app instead to access all the information they need); and using locally sourced produce for meals.
"It’s amazing to have so many experts in the criminology field here, to discuss the latest research and new developments in the field; particularly through the lens of injustice, which is a key part our theme this year."— Conference organiser Dr Charlotte Barlow, Reader in Criminal Justice and Policing at UCLan
Delegates attend the conference from all over the world – some in person, some remotely - with several of this year’s keynote and panel speakers hailing from Virginia and Florida in the USA and Aotearoa in New Zealand.
Panel keynotes looked at ‘Systems of oppression and abolitionist perspectives’ and ‘Reflections on the sustainability of Criminology.’ Delegates were also treated to a performance by Certain Curtain Company, a professional touring theatre company that is renowned for tackling sensitive and controversial subjects with dynamic originality and has been at the forefront of domestic abuse drama since 1995.
That the conference was held at UCLan this year was especially significant, given UCLan's own Dr Charlotte Barlow was formally welcomed as the Vice President of the Society. Charlotte joined UCLan in 2021, as a Reader in Criminal Justice and Policing, and her work focuses on violence against women and girls, in particular sexual and domestic violence.
"Another thing we’ve really focused on this year is bringing practitioners in and encouraging their involvement in the conference. Real-world learning is such a big part of what UCLan is all about for our students ..."— Conference organiser Dr Charlotte Barlow, Reader in Criminal Justice and Policing at UCLa
Commenting on the conference, Charlotte said: “Hosting this prestigious conference is a fantastic opportunity for UCLan. It’s amazing to have so many experts in the criminology field here, to discuss the latest research and new developments in the field; particularly through the lens of injustice, which is a key part our theme this year.
Charlotte continued: “Another thing we’ve really focused on this year is bringing practitioners in and encouraging their involvement in the conference. Real-world learning is such a big part of what UCLan is all about for our students, and so it’s great to have those with lived experience here and contributing to the discussions.
“It is also a very special conference for me – to be taking over as Vice President, and to be able to host the conference at my own university – that’s a great moment.“
Growing from an organisation formed in 1931, and known as the Association for the Scientific Treatment of Criminals’, today’s Society has members based both in the UK and around the world. It aims to further the interests and knowledge of both academic and professional people who are engaged in any aspect of work or teaching, research or public education about crime, criminal behaviour and the criminal justice systems in the United Kingdom.