Research areas

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

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 illegal drugs. She has conducted studies that have investigated a wide range of drug-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 opiate users, the implementation of the Welsh Substance Misuse Strategy, the characteristics of opiate overdose events, substance 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 potential unintended consequences of introducing minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales.  She is currently working on a Welsh Government funded evaluation of MPA over a 5-year period and working 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.

Teaching interests

Katy is involved in the delivery of modules at BSc and MSc levels including 'Contemporary Issues in Substance Misuse', 'Contemporary Crime' and 'Drug Interventions'.  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.

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