Dr Laura Bedford

Dr Laura BedfordDr Laura Bedford  is a Lecturer in the Criminology at Deakin University. She will be Chairing the ARC203: Crime, Victims and Justice Unit in 2020. Laura is a highly skilled, pragmatic, qualitative and quantitative researcher. Laura has a PhD in Criminology awarded by the University of Queensland. Her thesis, Randomised Controlled Trials in Policing: An Organisational Learning Perspective, focused on the challenge of translating rigorous criminological research into evidence-based policy and practice in police organisations. She has led and contributed to a range of collaborative research projects and programs of research, and written numerous research reports and scholarly papers.  She has recently worked as an embedded criminologist at the Queensland Police Service (QPS), where she was the lead researcher on a two-year randomised controlled field evaluation of the role and impact of frontline mobile technology. She also contributed to three systematic reviews related to interpersonal violent crime, the predictors of youth gang membership, and the prevention of youth gang violence in low to middle income countries.

After completing her undergraduate degree in Canada, she completed her honours dissertation (Political Science) and Master’s degree by thesis (Economic History) in South Africa.  Currently, Laura is working to advance knowledge related to green criminology, environmental crime, resistance and activism. She is particularly interested in problematising the uneasy translation of hegemonic criminological theory and criminal justice practice outside of the Anglo-West. Laura has worked for many years in complex, multisectoral contexts where she has gained a solid understanding of the challenge of engaging stakeholders to initiate and implement high quality, inclusive policy research, and translate good research into sound, implementable and effective policy. To this end, her policy research work in South Africa and Australia has involved extensive engagement and collaboration with communities, social justice advocacy professionals and activists, and criminal justice workers, including police.

Current research

Activism and resistance to state-corporate environmental crime in South Africa and Australia

Recent articles

Bedford, L., McGillivray, L., & Walters, R. (2019). Ecologically unequal exchange, transnational mining, and resistance: A political ecology contribution to green criminology. Critical Criminology.

Martin, P., Bedford, L. & Raison, G. (2017). Learning from an embedded criminologist model in an Australian police organisation. Police Science: Australia and New Zealand Journal of Evidence Based Policing, 2(1). 7-12.

Bedford, L., & Mazerolle, L. (2014). Beyond the evidence: organisational learning from RCTs in policing. Policing, 8(4), 402-416.

Recent Book Chapter

Bedford, L. & Neyroud, P. (accepted for publication). Organizational Learning from Field Research in Policing: How Police can improve Policy and Practice by implementing Randomised Controlled Trials. In J. Albrecht and G. den Heyer (Eds.). Police Service Delivery. Enhancing Police Service Delivery and Performance during Challenging Times: Global Perspectives and Contemporary Policy Implications. Springer

Recent unpublished reports and technical papers

Bedford, L. (2017). The Queensland Police Service Frontline Mobility Evaluation: a randomised controlled trial. Queensland Police Service (Unpublished report and technical appendices)

Recent unpublished conference papers

Bedford, L. (2019, September). South African environmental activist perspectives of resistance to state-corporate environmental crime. Paper presented at Eurocrim 2019: 19th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Ghent, Belgium

Bedford, L. (2019, July). Prospects, perils and processes: an exploration of South African environmental activist perceptions of their role in preventing and responding to state-corporate environmental crime. Paper presented at the Crime Justice and Social Democracy 5th Biennial Conference, Gold Coast, Australia

Bedford, L., & Walters, R. (November, 2018). Resistance and corporate mining – activism and transnational environmental crime in Southern Africa. Workshop Internacional Delito, derecho y justicia penal en el sur global, Santa Fe, Argentina

Bedford, L., McGillivray, L. & Walters, R. (September, 2018). Transnational corporate mining in South Africa—resistance, death and environmental crime. Critical Criminology and Social Justice Conference. UNSW, Sydney

Bedford, L. (November, 2016). Implementing a pre-court diversion experiment: learning in the field. How the lessons of RCTs can be embedded in the organisation. American Society of Criminology Conference, New Orleans

Bedford, L. (November, 2015). The role of a randomised controlled field trial in organisational learning and change: Police practitioners’ views. Paper presented at the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) Conference, Adelaide

Bedford, L. (July, 2015). Police reform and change: randomised controlled field trials and organisational learning. Paper presented at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) International Crime Justice and Social Democracy Conference, Brisbane.

For Laura’s Deakin University profile click here.