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Prof Richard Wortley

Security & Crime Science

020 3108 3112 (Ext.53112)


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Richard Wortley’s Biography

I have a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in psychology. I began my career in 1976 as a practising psychologist in the New South Wales (Australia) prison system. I stayed in that role for ten years, working in maximum and minimal security prisons and male and female prisons. I am a former national chair of the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Forensic Psychologists. I have been a university academic since 1985, working in psychology and criminology departments in Australia (most recently Griffith University) before joining University College London in August 2010 as Director of the Jill Dando Institute and the Head of the Department of Security and Crime Science.


Research Summary

My research interests centre on the role that immediate environments play in behaviour, especially in criminal, corrupt, and antisocial acts. I have been involved in numerous funded projects in areas including violence in licensed premises, official misconduct in prison, whistleblowing in the public sector, child sexual abuse, the occupational health effects for investigators of Internet child exploitation, Australian Aboriginal imprisonment, and intimate partner homicide. I have contributed to theoretical developments of situational crime prevention, especially the development of the concept of ‘crime precipitators’.  With my colleague Professor Stephen Smallbone, I pioneered the application of situational crime prevention strategies to problem of child sexual abuse and the related problem of Internet child pornography.

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