Dr James Treadwell

Dr James Treadwell

Birmingham Law School
Lecturer (Criminology)

Contact details

0121 414 7269
+44 (0) 121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr James Treadwell researches and teaches in the areas of Criminology and Criminal Justice His particular expertise is on topics of professional and organised crime, violent crime and victimisation.  He is the author of the best-selling textbook Criminology (2006) and the revised and updated Criminology: The Essentials (2012). He is perhaps best known as an ethnographic and qualitative researcher, and has published articles in a number of leading national and international ISI ranked criminology and criminal justice journals. He was the first criminologist to undertake empirical research with former military personnel in UK prisons. 


  • BA (Hon) Criminal Justice (University of Central England)
  • BA (Hon) Community Justice (University of Birmingham)
  • PgDip/MA (University of Central England)
  • PhD (Birmingham City University)


Dr James Treadwell joined Birmingham Law School as a Lecturer in January 2013, having previously worked at the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester (2008-2012) and, prior to that the centre for Criminal Justice Policy and Research at Birmingham City University (2003-2008).   Prior to becoming an academic, he worked for the crime reduction charity NACRO, and qualified as a Probation Officer in the West Midlands, working in both adult and youth settings.   He was academic advisor on the Howard League Commission into Ex-Military Personnel in Prison (advising the inquiry chair Sir John Nutting QC).  


  • Women and the Criminal Justice System
  • Youth Crime and Justice
  • Gender and Crime
  • Youth Justice

Postgraduate supervision

James is happy to supervise doctoral students in criminology and criminal justice, but is particularly keen on innovative and original projects that use some aspect of qualitative (and especially ethnographic) research method.  He is always keen to hear from prospective PhD students who are interested in a course of study that involves issues or themes of crime and/or deviance.  While his subject specialism tends to centre on crime in relation to social transformation and change and often involves the themes of masculinity, violence, entrepreneurialism and organised crime, Potential research students are always welcome to contact him to discuss their research.


Dr Treadwell's previous work is largely ethnographic, and has involved a range of projects. He undertook a long term ethnographic study of the English Defence League, and used ethnographic methods to study the August 2011 English Riots material generated during those studies  features in his latest book ‘Riots and Political Protest’ (With Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and Dan Briggs).  He has recently been looking at the cultivation of Cannabis in economically deprived areas (with Craig Ancrum) and his current research has seen him using qualitative methods to study bullying and victimisation in prison.  

Other activities

Dr Treadwell is a member of the Editorial Advisory board member on The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and the Journal of Criminal Psychology.  He regularly comments on crime related stories on local and national media.  He was employed by the courts as an academic expert during the high profile case of Oxford Academic and Human Geographer Dr. Bradley Garrett (see http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/may/22/oxford-university-academic-shard-jail-place-hacker-garrett) where it was noted that his expertise on research methods and criminal behaviour  is valued and respected by lawmakers and the legal profession.  He was a participant in the 2013 ‘Battle of Ideas’ and was the invited opening speaker at the launch of Secretary of State for Justice's Inquiry into Veterans within the Criminal Justice System (initially conducted by Rory Stewart MP) in London in April 2014.  He is an external examiner for Criminology programmes at Teesside University and Swansea University. 



  • Winlow, S, Hall, S and Treadwell, J. (Forthcoming, 2016) Rise of the Right, Bristol, Policy Press
  • Winlow, S, Hall, S Briggs, D and Treadwell, J. (2015) Riots and Political Protest, London: Routledge
  • Hopkins, M and Treadwell, J (2014) Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime: Contemporary Issues , Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Treadwell, J (2012) Criminology : The Essentials, London: Sage
  • Treadwell, J (2006) Criminology , London: Sage

Book Chapters and content

  • Treadwell, J and Garland, J. (Forthcoming, 2016) ‘More than violent whites? From 'Paki Bashing' to the English Defence League’, in Hobbs, D (ed.) Mischief, Morality and Mobs: Essays in Honour of Geoff Pearson, London: Routledge
  • Treadwell, J (Forthcoming, 2016) "If there is a god I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs" - Anders Behring Breivik and Religiously inspired 'Righteous Slaughter', in Sadique, K and Stanislas, P (eds.) Religion, Faith and Crime, London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Treadwell, J. (2014) ‘Labelling Perspectives’, in Taylor, P, Corteen, K and Morley, S (eds.) A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk Bristol,: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J. (2014) ‘Zemiology’, in Taylor, P, Corteen, K and Morley, S (eds.) A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk Bristol: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J (2014) ‘The lads Just playing away: An ethnography with England ‘s football hooligan fringe at the 2006 World Cup’ in Thurnell-Read, T and Casey, M (eds.) Men, Masculinities, Travel and Tourism,London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Treadwell, J (2014) “Controlling the new far right on the streets: policing the English Defence League in policy and praxis”, in Chakraborti, N and Garland, J (eds.) Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research, Bristol: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J (2014) 'Tattoos' in Atkinson, R (ed) Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm, London Routledge
  • Treadwell, J and Ayres, T (2014) 'Talking Prada and Powder: Cocaine Use and Supply Amongst the Football Hooligan Firm' in Hopkins, M and Treadwell, J (eds) Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime; Contemporary Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J. and Trent, R. (2015) ‘Preventing and Reducing Prison Bullying’, Prison Service Journal 21: 25-29
  • Treadwell, J; Briggs, D, Winlow, S and Hall, S. (2013) 'Shopocalypse Now: Consumer Culture and the English Riots of 2011', British Journal of Criminology,  Volume 53 (1); 1-17
  • Garland, J and Treadwell, J. (2012) The New Politics of Hate? An Assessment of the Appeal of the English Defence League Amongst Disadvantaged White Working- Class Communities in England, Journal of Hate Studies , 10 (1): 99-122
  • Treadwell, J. (2012) ‘From the Car Boot to Booting it Up?  eBay, online counterfeit crime and the transformation of the criminal marketplace’, Criminology and Criminal Justice: An international Journal 12(2): 175-191
  • Ayres, T and Treadwell, J. (2012) ‘Bars, Drugs and Football Thugs: Alcohol, Cocaine Use and Violence in the Night Time Economy among English Football Firms’ Criminology and Criminal Justice: An International Journal 12 (1) pp. 83-100
  • Treadwell, J. and Garland, J. (2011) 'Masculinity, Marginalisation and Violence: A Case Study of the English Defence League', British Journal of Criminology , 51 (4): 621-634
  • Garland, J and Treadwell, J. (2010) 'No Surrender to the Taliban': Football Hooliganism, Islamophobia and the Rise of the English Defence League’, Papers from the British Criminology Conference , 10(1)  19–35.
  • Treadwell, J. (2008) 'Call the (Fashion) Police: How fashion becomes criminalised', Papers from the British criminology Conference , 8(1): 117-133
  • Williams, K and Treadwell, J. (2008) 'Similarity and Difference: The Ethnographer, the Subject, and Objectivity', Methodological Innovations Online, Vol. 3(1)
  • Treadwell, J and Mantle, G. (2007) 'Probation Education, Why the Hush? A Reply to Stout and Dominey's December 2006 Counterblast' Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 46(5): 500-511
  • Treadwell, J. (2006) 'Some personal reflections on Probation Training' Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 45(1): 1-13 (Winner of Wiley Blackwell prize for best journal article).

Invited Articles

  • Treadwell, J. (2013) 'The English Defence League and Counter Jihad', Criminal Justice Matters , 93 (1); 8-9  
  • Treadwell, J. (2012) 'White Riot: the English Defence League and the 2011 English riots', Criminal Justice Matters, 87 (1): 36-37
  • Treadwell, J. (2010) 'COUNTERBLAST: More than Casualties of War?: Ex-military Personnel in the Criminal Justice System', The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 49 (1) pp. 73-77
  • Harper, C and Treadwell, J (2013) COUNTERBLAST: Punitative Payne, Justice Campaigns and Popular Punitiveness - Where Next for 'Public Criminology'?, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 52 (2): 216-222.

Reports Authored

  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J. (2015) Prison Bullying and Victimisation, Birmingham Law School, Birmingham University. IBSN: 978-0-7044-2859-1 
  • Howard League (2011) The final report of the independent inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison , London: Howard League (91 pp.) (ISBN 978-1-905994-36-6)


James has significant media experience and has offered media comment on a range of crime and criminal justice related matters, including violent crime, organised crime, youth crime, football hooliganism and military justice. 

Media experience

He has regularly appeared as a criminological expert on BBC radio 2, 4 and radio 5 Live along with numerous local radio programmes.  He has given recorded and live commentary on BBC News, BBC News 24 and BBC World News, the ITV news at 10 and Sky News, along with television factual and programmes such as (BBC 1) ‘the One show’, and BBC 2 award winning documentary ‘A History of Now: the Story of the Noughties’.  He has featured on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ He was recently featured on BBC Radio 5 Documentary ‘A Week in August’ talking about the 2011 UK Riots and has been filming with Chris Terrill for upcoming documentary series on the ex-military personnel making the transition to civilian life, specifically in relation to subsequent criminality.