Introducing: Professor Andromachi Tseloni, Data First Academic Lead

I am excited to have joined the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Data First team in my role as Academic Lead (part-time) for the programme. The Data First programme is an MoJ-led investment, funded by ADR UK on behalf of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), aiming to generate evidence across justice and beyond.

I consider this a once in a lifetime opportunity to facilitate urgently needed research evidence on a broad range of justice related topics. My personal take on the role is to:

  • pose “academic” questions to the Data First team – including data scientists undertaking the anonymisation and linking of the various administrative data – from the outset, in order to maximise data access and usage once deposited with an accredited data processor;
  • publicise Data First to academics and researchers via online publications, academic quarterly seminars, post-graduate (PG) research training workshops at key institutions, and for learned societies’ PG sections, as well as research seminars and regional conferences of learned societies;
  • gauge research ideas and questions in order to form a view of current and future data linking priorities and potential data enhancing;
  • link researchers with similar research objectives; assist researchers in safely accessing existing anonymised data; and inform the future direction of the data programme based on published studies and investigators’ experience emerging from Data First. 

It is my ambition that research from Data First will be driven by expert academics in their respective fields of knowledge. As project investigators, PG research supervisors, and critical friends to the Data First programme, academic experts can ensure independence, theoretical context, and rigour of evidence and its policy implications.

The Data First programme speaks to academic disciplines ranging from law and socio-legal studies to criminology and criminal justice; psychology, education, social work, public health and policy to economics, statistics and data engineering, to name but a few.

As well as the role of Academic Lead, an Academic Advisory Group of experts from diverse fields, and an External Champion and Advisor, Professor Betsy Stanko, will provide further support to researchers interested in unlocking the rich potential of Data First.

My background

Current position

As Professor of Quantitative Criminology, I lead the Quantitative and Spatial Criminology (QSC) research group at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), which undertakes research that directly informs crime prevention and community policing. My research interests revolve around five broad themes: criminal victimisation inequalities; the crime drop; crime perceptions; social capital and cross-national comparisons. I am also a member of the British Society of Criminology Executive, and Social Statistics Section Committee of the Royal Statistical Society.

Career history

I studied Economics (BA Hons. and MA) at the Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece. After working for a few years as a government statistician at the National Accounts Division of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, I came to the UK to undertake a PhD at the University of Manchester, with funding from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation. For my thesis, I analysed data from the first three sweeps (1982, 1984 and 1988) of the British Crime Survey (BCS) and modelled the likelihood and (for the very first time in the field of criminology) the count of threats in England and Wales in order to identify risk and protective factors that would inform prevention. Since then I have examined volume crime types and related issues, and analysed multiple crime (and other social) survey, Census and administrative data from the UK and cross-nationally.

ONS Research Excellence Award 2019

The research findings of my collaborative study on “Which burglary security devices work for whom and in what context?” have informed household burglary prevention advice and policy initiatives by the Home Office, College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council, Neighbourhood Watch, Nottinghamshire Police and other individual police forces. The study (with funding from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative) analysed 20 years of Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, formerly BCS) datasets linked to Census data. For this research I was awarded the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Research Excellence Award 2019 at the ONS Data Capability 2019 conference – where I also learnt about the wide-reaching scope and ambition of ADR UK.

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