Paul is a strong advocate for practical address to crime problems. He believes, though, that the leading edge of research and theorising, while informed and tested by everyday practice, should not be held back or unduly shaped by practitioners’ immediate needs for working knowledge. These needs should be met by purpose-drafted guides, textbooks and toolkits set at appropriate degrees of sophistication, just as advanced medical science is communicated at different levels to inform researchers, top-level consultants, general practitioners and householders.

And oversimplification can be a false friend: supplying a set of individually simple theoretical models which variously overlap, leave gaps and use inconsistent terminology is dumping the demanding task of synthesis on to each and every practitioner.

Current work

Paul’s current work covers:

  • Development of knowledge frameworks and ontologies for general crime prevention, community safety, problem-oriented policing, cybercrime, counterterrorism and CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)
  • Innovation, design and evaluation of secure products, places, systems and communications (including lecturing to the Security Technologies module of the BSc in Crime & Security Science at UCL)
  • Evolutionary approaches to crime/security in the material world and cyberspace
  • Horizon-scanning for future crime problems and security solutions (including lecturing to the Horizon-scanning module of the Masters in Crime Science at UCL)
  • Crime, security and climate change

He is especially interested in technology and crime, crime scripts, and crime/ terrorism arms races, often drawing lessons from biological, cultural and technological evolution.


Paul read psychology and gained his PhD at UCL. As a researcher of long standing in the UK Home Office, he worked on diverse crime prevention action research projects, programme evaluations and policy issues; and horizon-scanning. For 10 years after that he was Professor of Design Against Crime at the University of the Arts London (UAL) based in the Design Against Crime Research Centre (now Design Against Crime Research Lab), Central Saint Martins. He now continues to collaborate as Professor Emeritus at UAL.

Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL, contributing to project work and lecturing at the Dawes Centre for Future Crime. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Applied Criminology and Policing Centre, University of Huddersfield, where recent work has centred on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and development of sophisticated counter-terrorism toolkits for UK and EU clients.

Paul has worked internationally with the Australian Institute of Criminology, Government of Abu Dhabi, UN and Council of Europe, the EU Crime Prevention Network, European Commission, European Forum on Urban Security, Europol and its training arm, Cepol. He is keen to maintain EU links after Brexit. In 2018 he received the Ronald V Clarke Award for Fundamental Contributions to Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis.




I’d like to thank the many researchers and other colleagues that I’ve worked with throughout my career in the UK and abroad, for providing opportunities, stimulation, and encouragement, and in some cases directly collaborating on projects, publications and presentations. Many of my Crime Frameworks would not have materialised without ideas, or challenges, from them.