Professor Zoë James

Professor Zoë James

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Criminology and Criminal Justice

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Zoë can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Criminal justice
  • Discrimination
  • Criminology
  • Policing
  • Diversity issues
  • Hate crime
  • Prejudice
  • Gypsies, Travellers and Roma


Zoë James is Professor of Criminology. 


Zoë attained her BSc (Hons) in Applied Sociology from the University of Surrey. She then went on to work for the Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate in the 1990s where she worked on a broad range of research studies on criminal justice issues. Subsequently Zoë completed her PhD at the University of Surrey on the policing of New Travellers. Zoë joined the University of Plymouth in 1999 where she progressed her research with Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, specifically exploring their experiences of policing and victimisation. Zoë has held various roles within the University, including as Associate Head of School for Criminology and Postgraduate Research Coordinator for Law, Criminology and Government. 

Professional membership

Member, British Society of Criminology
Chair, British Society of Criminology South West Branch
Co-Director International Network for Hate Studies

Steering Group Member, British Society of Criminology Race Matters Network



Teaching interests

Zoë James teaches on the Criminology undergraduate degree at Plymouth. She also teaches on the MSc Criminology, including modules on Criminology Theory and Criminology Research. Zoë is a research supervisor and personal tutor for undergraduate and postgraduate students and supervises a number of PhD students who are exploring issues in criminology. Applications for PhD study are welcomed.

Staff serving as external examiners

Zoë is an External Examiner for the University of Portsmouth postgraduate criminology provision. Zoë has Externally Examined a number of PhDs.



Research interests

Zoë James key research interests lie in examining hate from a critical perspective with a particular focus on the harms experienced by Gypsies, Travellers and Roma. Zoë's research has explored how mobility, accommodation, policing and planning have impacted on the lived experience of Gypsies, Travellers and Roma. She has published and presented her work nationally and internationally. Zoë is Chair of the South West branch of the British Society of Criminology and is Co-Director of the International Network for Hate Studies.

Research groups

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Katie McBride, 'Trans* Communities Lived Experiences of Harm'. 2019
Lisa Deblasio, 'A socio-legal study of birth mothers' experience of adoption law'. 2018
Gareth Addidle, 'Community Planning in Scotland'. 2016
Sharon Beckett, 'Women and the Violent Workplace'. 2014 
Magdalini Pipini, ‘Public attitudes towards crime and punishment and the factors underlying their construction’. 2013
Patsy Staddon, 'Women's Alcohol Use: Perceptions and 'Treatment''. 2009

Grants & contracts

Economic and Social Research Council (2020) Gypsies and Travellers Experiences of Crime and Justice Since the 1960s: A Mixed Methods Study. £993,355. (with Coretta Phillips, LSE and Becky Taylor, UEA)

European Commission : Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (2019) Network of Excellence for Training on Hate (NETHATE) £3m (as participant in European Network of 14 Universities)

Southampton City Council (2019) developing an Evaluation Framework. £8,340 (with Southern Horizons (UK) Ltd)

Cornwall Council. (2015) Cornwall Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment. £11,358 (with Southern Horizons (UK) Ltd)

Plymouth City Council. (2013) Plymouth Families Project Evaluation. £5,000

Plymouth City Council. (2012) Plymouth Families Project Evaluation and Longitudinal Research Study. £5,000

Department for Communities and Local Government. (2010) Mapping Hate Crime in the South West. £20,000 (with Equality South West and Lesley Simmonds)

Plymouth Anti-Social Behaviour Unit. (2010) Plymouth Family Intervention Project Evaluation. £4,000

Plymouth Anti-Social Behaviour Unit. (2009) Plymouth Families Project: Evaluation. £3,200 (with Daniel Gilling)

Home Office. (2009) Evaluating the Impact of Local and National Information Dissemination Strategies on Public Confidence, Utilising National Tackling Drugs Week (NTDW) as a Case Study. £77,350 (with Daniel Gilling)

Devonport Regeneration Company. (2008) An Evaluation of Project 709: Addressing anti-social behaviour in Devonport. £5,625 (with Daniel Gilling)

Plymouth Anti-Social Behaviour Unit. (2008) Plymouth Families Project: An Evaluation. £1,600

Vice-Chancellors Community Research Award. (2008) Legal Advice for Gypsies and Travellers £4,022 (with CAB and Lesley Simmonds)

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. (2007) Plymouth Head Camera Project: Public Relations Evaluation. £1,250 (with SERIO) 

Plymouth City Council. (2007) Devon-wide Gypsy and Traveller Housing Needs Assessment: Plymouth Analysis. £1,000 (with SRRU)

Devon-wide Local Authorities. (2006) Devon-wide Gypsy and Traveller Housing Needs Assessment. £70,000 (with SRRU)

British Academy Small Grant. (2005) Policing the Margins: an analysis of the management of New Travellers. £3,773.



Conferences organised

  • International Network for Hate Studies Bienniel Conference: Hate, Democracy and Human Rights. 2020, University of Plymouth and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
  • British Society of Criminology Conference: 'Criminology: Voyages of Critical Discovery'. 2015, Plymouth University.
  • Making an Impact on Equality Conference, 2012, Plymouth University in collaboration woith Equality South West.
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies Symposium, The Criminological Enterprise: Maximising Impact. 2009, University of Plymouth.
  • Holocaust Memorial Day Event, 2009: 'The Pride, The Prejudice' film showing and panel discussion. University of Plymouth, with Devon Racial Equality Council and Equality South West.
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies Research and Teaching Symposium, 2007, University of Plymouth.