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Personal profile

Research interests

Katy was appointed Professor of Criminology at the University of South Wales, in July 2013. Previously, Katy worked as a data analyst in the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge after completing her PhD there in 2000. In 2002, Katy moved to Wales to take up a Research Fellowship at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) and in 2008 she became a Reader in Criminology and a permanent member of the Criminology team. During the course of her academic career, Katy’s research has focused on substance use. She has conducted studies that have investigated a wide range of substance-related issues including: drug use among arrestees, the causal connection between drug use and crime among prisoners, the effectiveness of drug treatment, the use of Take-Home Naloxone among people who use opiates, the implementation of the Welsh Substance Misuse Strategy, the characteristics of opiate overdose events, substance use and misuse among university students, and the misuse and diversion of over-the-counter and prescription medication.

More recently, Katy has been involved in research investigating the impact of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales.  She has also worked closely with substance misuse services across Wales on a collaborative project investigating what lessons can be learned from lockdown moving forward into a post-COVID world. The philosophy of harm reduction underpins Katy’s research and she is a member of the Welsh Government's National Implementation Board for Drug Poisoning Prevention and Executive Board member of the Dyfodol, IRIS, Gwent and Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service consortium of substance misuse treatment providers. In September 2022, she was appointed as Chair of the Kaleidoscope Sub-group for Research, Development and Innovation and helped them to develop a Foundation for Research, Development and Innovation.

She is currently working on a Welsh Government funded national evaluation of Buvidal (a novel depot form of opioid substitution therapy) and on an evaluation of the organisational impact of Substance Use Officers for Welsh Probation Service.  In addition to her research activities, Katy is working with colleagues across USW to develop and support initiatives that seek to reduce substance related harm among university students. This includes the introduction of a peer/student-led drug and alcohol information, advice and support service called the Hi House, and the roll-out of the Staying Safe Programme (an online course for students).  

Teaching interests

Katy is module leader for the MSc module 'Drug Interventions' and she contributes to modules at BSc level as a guest speaker. She also supervises BSc, MSc and PhD research students with their projects and dissertations. Katy has a particular interest in research methods and for many years enjoyed teaching second year students how to use SPSS and NVivo to analyse and interpret data.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Criminology, PhD, Mental Health Review Tribunals: The Release of Restricted Patients, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 7 Jul 2000

Criminology, MPhil, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jul 1994

External positions

ADVANCE-D Trial Steering Committee, King's College London

5 Jan 2024 → …

Steering Group member - Substance Use Officers Project, HM Prison & Probation Services (HMPPS), Wales

1 Aug 2023 → …

Chair of the Kaleidoscope Research, Development and Innovation Foundation

22 Sept 202230 Aug 2023

Commission Member, Western Bay Drugs Commission

1 Sept 2022 → …

Member of Advisory Board - Ripping up the Rulebook (Wellcome funded project), Goldsmiths, University of London

1 May 2022 → …

Steering Group Member for a Scottish Government funded project: Naloxone in Police Scotland , Edinburgh, Napier University

1 May 202131 Dec 2021

Academic research advisor, Barod and Kaleidoscope

1 May 2020 → …

National Implementation Board of Drug Poisoning Prevention, Substance Misuse, Welsh Government

1 May 2018 → …

Dyfodol, IRIS, Gwent and Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service consortium of substance misuse treatment providers, Barod and Kaleidoscope

1 Mar 2015 → …


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • substance use and misuse
  • illegal drugs
  • harm reduction
  • drug-crime connections


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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