Executive Committee

The Executive Committee has overall responsibility for ensuring that the Institute meets its key objectives in relation to research, knowledge transfer, capacity building and long term sustainability.

Profiles of the members of the Executive Committee are presented below.


Director of SIPR

Dr Liz Aston, School of Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Liz Aston succeeded the Founding Director of SIPR, Professor Nick Fyfe, in June 2018. Liz has been an active member of the SIPR research community since its establishment and is part of the Police-Community Relations Brokering Team. She has an outstanding record of collaborative research on policing both in Scotland and in Europe, including involvement in major international projects on community policing and stop and search. She is also highly experienced in knowledge exchange and in building strong research-practitioner relationships. She is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and was, until her appointment, Head of Social Sciences at Edinburgh Napier.


Associate Directors

Police-Community Relations Network:


Dr Megan O'Neill, University of Dundee
Megan O'Neill is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee and has an extensive background of policing research with a focus on issues of social interaction in policing, both within the organisation and with the public and partners. Her work has included studies of football policing, Black Police Associations, community policing, partnership working and Police Community Support Officers. She is part of the Unity Project, funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme, to study community policing and its adaptation to the new challenges of policing neighbourhoods across the EU. She was appointed as the SIPR Associate Director for the Police-Community Relations Network in August 2018.


Evidence & Investigation Network:

Dr Penny Woolnough, Abertay University
Penny Woolnough is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Abertay University in Scotland. A Fellow of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology and a Registered Forensic Psychologist she acts as an Expert Advisor to the UK National Crime Agency and to Police Scotland in relation to missing persons. Her research interests focus on the policing of vulnerable persons and she is currently engaged in projects relating to missing persons, suicide, and public protection. She was appointed as the SIPR Associate Director for the Evidence & Investigation Network in February 2016.


Education and Leadership Network:

Dr Denise Martin, University of the West of Scotland
Denise Martin is currently a Reader in Criminology and Criminal Justice at UWS. She has been conducting research in the field of policing for over 15 years. Following the completion of her Masters she worked as a police research analyst before completing her PhD on New Public Management and organisational reform in police. Other research includes research into the policing of protest, policing and school violence reduction, prevent strategies and emergency service collaboration. Denise has been working closely with Police Scotland on their policing pathways project since 2014. She has a keen interest in workforce development and professionalization of policing particularly in light of existing challenges. She became Associate Director for the Education and Leadership in October 2016.


Public Protection Network:

Professor Lesley McMillan, Glasgow Caledonian University
Lesley McMillan is Professor of Criminology and Sociology at GCU, and was appointed SIPR Associate Director for the Public Protection Network in 2015. Her research interests surround gender inequality and crime and justice. In particular she is interested in gendered and sexual violence and the statutory and non-statutory response to it. Currently she is supervising 6 PhD students on a variety of topics relating to crime and justice, including: policing rape; stalking; criminal justice policy transfer in relation to violence; police initiatives to tackle youth crime; the legal defences available to women who kill violent partners; and rape as a war crime.


Police Service of Scotland representatives

Iain Livingstone QPM, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland

Iain Livingstone was appointed as designated deputy to the Chief Constable with overall responsibility for operational policing in Scotland in May 2016. On the establishment of Police Scotland in 2013, Iain led the creation of and thereafter headed national specialist policing capabilities as Deputy Chief Constable Crime and Operations. Iain has studied in New York City as a Fulbright Scholar and undertaken external attachments to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland as a senior investigator and to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Working across the justice sector, he currently sits on the Scottish Sentencing Council and was a member of Lord Bonomy's review of corroboration.

David Page, Deputy Chief Officer, Police Scotland

David Page joined Police Scotland in 2016. He is responsible for Corporate Services, Strategy and Change. He began his career in the British Army serving in Military Intelligence for ten years before leaving to join the Financial Services sector in Scotland. He has held senior Director, Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer roles across a number of businesses including The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life.

Tom Nelson, Scottish Police Authority

Tom Nelson has been a Forensic Scientist for 25 years. Fifteen of those years were spent with the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory. He started work in chemistry but later developed an expertise in fire investigation. He has also worked extensively in the paint, glass and general chemistry departments. He has been heavily involved in shaping the new forensic service over the past few years. Tom previously held the post of head of Lothian Borders Police Forensic Science Support Department and has recently been appointed Director of the new Scottish Forensic Science Service.


Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research representative:

Dr Sarah Armstrong, University of Glasgow

Sarah Armstrong is Senior Research Fellow based at Glasgow University. Her research interests revolve around prisons and punishment: policy processes that shape and sustain them; language practices that inform and construct them; market and governance forces that expand and contain them.


Business and Knowledge Transfer Manager, SIPR:

Tim Heilbronn, School of the Social Sciences, University of Dundee

Tim has a background in Life Sciences, and more than 30 years experience working in a high quality research environment, 11 of which were as the first point of contact as Deputy Head of Scientific Liaison and Information Services at the Scottish Crop Research Institute. 

He joined SIPR as its first employee in 2007, and has embraced the change from "Crops to Cops!"