Andrew Wooff

Andrew Wooff

Dr Andrew Wooff

Associate Professor


I am an Associate Professor of Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University and the Head of Social Sciences and former Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminology.

I am currently working on 2 externally funded COVID-19 focused pieces of research: the first (PI, SFC funded, £44k) is examining the pluralised policing responses to the pandemic in Scotland. The second (Co-I, ESRC funded, £36k) explores local authority partnership responses to the pandemic.

I have published on a number of topics, including police custody, rural policing, vulnerability and volunteering in the police. I have recently published in the Journal of Rural Studies, Policing Journal, Policing and Society, Punishment and Society, European Journal of Criminology and Policing: A journal of policy and practice .

In the past 5 years, I have completed 3 externally funded projects as PI (totalling £33,000), the most recent of which examined the Special Constabulary in Scotland. I have also been Co-I on a further 3 projects (totalling £308,800). As a result of my research and publications, I have been invited to sit on the Home Office Custody Review Design Board, the editorial board for two book series and the international advisory panel for a research project at the University of Sheffield. I am also the co-lead for the Education and Leadership network within the Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR) and I am a member of the British Society of Criminology. I currently supervise 4 PhD students, on who has just completed his corrections.

My research interests are varied and interdisciplinary, informed by extending theoretical developments in criminology, geography and rural sociology. I am interested in how the police use their power in different ways and on different populations, particularly in relation to rural policing, police custody, and the use of police volunteers.

Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier University in 2015, I completed my PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Professor Nick Fyfe at the University of Dundee. This focused on anti-social behaviour in rural Scotland. During my PhD I was seconded into the Police Reform team where I completed research on partnership working. I subsequently completed a Post-Doc at the Centre for Criminological Research at the University of Sheffield, funded by the ESRC, which explored police custody in England and Wales.

Research Areas


Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • International Research Advisory Group: Good Police Custody Implementation Board, meets quarterly
  • Appointed to the British Society of Criminology Policing Network as National Lead for the ‘Policing Research into Teaching’ portfolio
  • Invited to give evidence to Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs Select Committee, 06/03/2018
  • Academic advisor to the Home Office National Police Custody Design Board, meets quarterly
  • Independent Assurance Group for Police Scotland Custody
  • Invited expert on rural crime, Scottish Government Cross Party Group on rural Policy, 24/02/2016


Conference Organising Activity

  • Invited to be panel chair: American Society of Criminology annual conference, 11/2019
  • Invited Panel member: Law Enforcement Public Health Conference
  • Panel organiser and Chair at ESC: Conditions of Police Custody in England and Wales
  • Police education and professionalisation: Critical international perspectives
  • Invited speaker: Canterbury Christchurch University annual conference
  • Panel member: EUPST II conference
  • Invited presentation to Scandinavian delegation: Professionalising the police: The Scottish experience
  • Panel Chair: European Society of Criminology: Police custody in rural Scotland
  • Carceral geographies conference: The role of space, place and emotions in police custody
  • Invited discussant: Outsourcing in custody: Preliminary reflections on the good police custody study – Presented at the ESRC Markets in Policing Seminar Series, University of York, 09/06/15
  • Panel Chair: The role of emotion, space and place in Police Custody, The European Society of Criminology, 01/09/15


Editorial Activity

  • Editorial board: Palgrave Critical studies in policing book series
  • Editorial Board: Bristol University Press 'Rural Crime book series'


External Examining/Validations

  • External Examiner, University of Chester
  • Invited External Examiner: Canterbury Christchurch University


Fellowships and Awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Grant Reviewer

  • Review for the 2019 COALESCE Irish Research Council call


Invited Speaker

  • George Mason University: Police Education in Scotland
  • Invited talk to Scandinavian delegation: Police professionalisation in Scotland
  • SIPR annual conference: The Conditions of Police Custody and the importance of 'good' design
  • Invited participant: Knowledge exchange and police professionalisation
  • Invited presentation to the National Custody Forum
  • Invited presentation: Treading the front line: Tartanization and police academic partnerships
  • Fully paid invitation to speak in Stockholm at Rural Studies Conference after publishing my paper in the Journal of Rural Studies, 09/2014
  • Discretion in Police Custody – Presented at the British Society of Criminology conference, 11/07/14
  • The policing of insecurity: Policing places, policing people– Co-convener of session at RGS-IBG annual conference, Edinburgh, 31/08/12
  • Relationships and Responses: Policing ASB in rural Scotland – Presented at Symposium on Rural Crime in Sockholm, Sweden, 17/09/14
  • A snapshot of ASB in Scotland – Presentation to Chinese Police Officer Delegation, Edinburgh, 22/05/12
  • Policing vulnerability? The impact and implication of No Cold Calling Zones in Angus – Presentation for Trading Standards, Angus, 06/09/2010
  • Beyond the thin blue line: The everyday impacts of ASB – Presented at RGS-IBG conference, 28/08/13
  • Policing territoriality in rural Scotland: Applying a normative approach to understanding some of the challenges of rural policing – RGS-IBG annual conference, Edinburgh, 31/08/12
  • Policing anti-social behaviour in rural Scotland – Space, Society Research Group, School of the Environment, Dundee, Scotland, 16/12/2011
  • Police custody in the 21st Century: Is it ‘good’ or ‘good enough’? – Presented to the National Custody Forum, Police Federation, Stoke on Trent, 23/09/14
  • Partnership working within Police Scotland – Presented to Senior Management Team, Police Scotland, 12/12/12
  • Chair: Lothian and Borders Criminal Justice Authority on Electronic Monitoring, 17/02/16
  • Invited talk: Policing ASB in rural Scotland: The importance of context – Presented at the International Policing Conference, Tulliallan, 20/10/14
  • Invited talk: Preliminary findings on police custody delivery in England and Wales in the 21st century: Is it ‘good’ enough? – Presented at the Dundee Policing and Criminal Justice seminar group, 30/1/14


Media Activity

  • Various media outlet coverage of Special Constable training programme (The Metro/ Edinburgh Evening News) on 29/04/20
  • Invited participant: French national radio discussion on artificial intelligence, 10/07/2018
  • Invited participant: BBC Scotland John Beattie Show, 18/05/2018
  • Wired Magazine Interview: Uk police are using AI to make custodial decisions, 01/03/2018
  • Interviewed for "Quality Magazine", 02/10/2018
  • Edinburgh Evening Telegraph interviews (various)
  • Scotsman article: Country cops could teach city cops a lesson, 29/06/2017


Membership of Professional Body

  • British Society of Criminology
  • Deputy Chair, Sheffield University Policing Research Group
  • Associate member: Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
  • Interim co-Lead, Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) Education and Leadership network
  • Scottish Institute of Policing Research


Public/Community Engagement

  • Law Enforcement Public Health Stakeholder Engagement event
  • Lothians Criminal Justice Forum: Chair
  • Invited presentation to stakeholders: College of Policing 'Market of Ideas'


Research Degree External Examining

  • External Examiner: Canterbury Christchurch University



  • Peer Reviewer for multiple journals (British Journal of Criminology, Theoretical Criminology, Policing and Society, Policing: A journal of policy and practice, European journal of Criminology, Punishment and Society, Policing: An international journal of strategies and management


Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Deputy Chair: Sheffield University Policing Research Group
  • ESRC PhD Funding: Space, Place and the Policing of Anti-social Behaviour in Scotland

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • PhD supervisor to Andy Tatnell at University of West of Scotland: The role of higher education and police professionalisation