Prof. Sarah Kingston

Professor of Criminal Justice and Policing

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Maudland Building, MB62

+44 (0) 1772 89 4377

Subject Areas: Criminology and Policing

Sarah is Professor of Criminal Justice and Policing within the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences. Sarah’s research interests focus on gender, sexuality, sex crimes and sex work. In particular, her research has primarily focused on prostitution policy, women clients of commercial sex, the policing of sex work, and community attitudes and responses to prostitution.

Sarah is a member of the The British Society of Criminology, The European Society of Criminology and the Sex Work Research Hub. 

Full Profile

Sarah has been awarded external funding as PI and Co-PI for five research projects from The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, The Economic and Social Research Council, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Higher Education Funding Council for England, The Sir Halley Stewart Trust, and The Wates Foundation. 

She has published three monographs (one forthcoming), one edited book, several book chapters and journals articles in leading journals such as Policing and Society and Sexualities, commissioned reports, and practitioner publications. 

Sarah has provided expert evidence to a range of parliamentary committees and independent inquiries, such as The Home Office, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution, the Liberal Democratic party work group on sex work, and Westminster City Council. She have also provided expert evidence to a number of legal proceedings that have involved alleged trafficking and brothel keeping offences. 

Sarah’s research has featured in over 100 international magazine and newspaper articles, such as The Times, The Independent, Daily Telegraph Australia, Malaysia Chronicle, Nigeria Daily News and Cosmopolitan Magazine . She has been interviewed for numerous national and international television and radio shows, such BBC Radio Thinking Aloud with Laurie Taylor, France 24 News and ITV News. 

Sarah has been an invited speaker and keynote at a range of academic and non-academic events such as the launch of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education, Leeds University; Academia Film Olomouc, International Festival of Science Documentary Films, The Czech Republic; Margins and Dialogue: Local, National and Transnational Contexts Conference, University of Pune, India. 

Sarah also regularly acts as an expert reviewer for funding bodies such as the ESRC, the Marsden Fund Council, New Zealand and the Israel Science Foundation. She regularly review articles for leading journals and book publishers, and has been invited to examine PhD’s in the UK and Australia.   


  • Ph.D. Sociology & Social Policy, The University of Leeds, 2009.
  • MA Social Research, The University of Leeds, 2005.
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, The University of Central Lancashire, 2003.
  • BA (Hons) Critical Criminology & Applied Social Science, Lancaster University, 2002.

Teaching Activities

Sarah is course leader for the Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice, and module leader for the postgraduate module Criminal Justice: An International Perspective (FZ4730).

PhD supervision

Sarah is willing to supervise PhD or ProfDoc students in the areas of policing, sex, sexuality, gender, sexual offences and in particular sex work/prostitution.


Kingston, S. Hammond, N. & Redman, S. (forthcoming) Women who buy sex: Converging Sexualities? London: Routledge.

Kingston, S. E., Elliott, A. & Thomas, T. (2019) ‘Cost’ calculations as a barrier to gaining information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from the Police in England and Wales, in Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy. 29, 7, p. 834-847.

Kingston, S. & Thomas, T. (2014) The police, sex work, and Section 14 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009, in The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice. 53, 3, p. 255-269 15 p.

Kingston, S (2013) Prostitution in the Community: Attitudes, Action and Resistance, London: Routledge.

More publications

Research Grants

  • Co-investigator on a Sir Halley Stewart Trust and Wates Foundation funded project that will evaluate the family law and prison law advice provided by the Prisoner Advice Service in four female prisons in the UK (2016-2019). 
  • Principal investigator on a HEFCE funded project that will explore whether, how and in what ways students relate criminological concepts and knowledge to their practice-related, experiential learning (2017-2018, with Dr. Mary Corcoran). 
  • Principal investigator on the Women who Buy Sex project, funded by the British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust (2015-2016, with Dr. Natalie Hammond). 

Research Grants (Cont.)

  • Co-investigator on a commissioned study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to explore the relationship between poverty and crime (2013-2014, with Prof. Colin Webster). 
  • Sarah won a competition scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council to fund her PhD at The University of Leeds (2004-2009). 
  • Sarah was involved in the N8 Policing Research Partnership, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and was lead for the Training and Learning strand of the partnership (2016). 

External Roles

  • External Roles Peer Review Assessor for the Economic and Social Research Council, Marsden Fund Council, New Zealand & Israel Science Foundation.
  • Refereed a number of pieces for the Social Forces journal, Urban Studies,  City,  Gender, Place and Culture, Social Policy and Society, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics & Politics, Qualitative Social Research, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Qualitative Social Work.
  • Reviewer of books and book proposals for Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • External Examiner at the University of Roehampton.