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Prof Elizabeth Aston

SIPR People

SIPR Category:
SIPR Leadership Team
Edinburgh Napier University

Liz Aston is a Professor of Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University and has been the Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR) since 2018. Her expertise centres on local policing and her current research focuses on technology in policing, and the intersect between policing and drugs. In 2021 Liz was awarded an ESRC Open Call Grant as Principal Investigator for the INTERACT project. In addition she is a Co-Investigator on the EPSRC-funded 3PO project and on the Scottish Drug Checking project.

Liz has a strong record of collaborative research on policing both in Scotland and in Europe and is experienced in knowledge exchange and building research-practitioner relationships. In 2020 she was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to establish and Chair an Independent Advisory Group on Emerging Technologies in Policing.

Liz is the co-editor of Palgrave’s Critical Policing Studies Series and sits on a number of governance and advisory boards, including for the ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and Police Scotland’s Drug Strategy Board. Prior to her SIPR role, she was Head of Social Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University.


Liz's research interests centre on intersections between criminal justice and other policy areas such as health, e.g. policing and substance use. She has conducted research on the relationship between substance use and offending; community policing; stop and search; local policing in Scotland; and youth diversionary projects. Liz is interested in developing work on local policing, public confidence, visibility and engagement (including online) and the role of technology in policing.

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