Upskirting: A Systematic Literature Review

Upskirting’ – the non-consensual taking and/or dissemination of intimate images taken surreptitiously up a skirt – is a relatively new addition to the repertoire of men’s violence against women and girls. Recently, it has received considerable media and public attention in many countries and some academic scrutiny. This systematic review explicates how scholars construct upskirting as a matter for academic inquiry and a social problem that requires remedy. Four research sub-questions address how scholarship constructs: the problem of upskirting; perpetrators of upskirting; victims of upskirting, and remedies. Five bibliographical databases were searched, yielding 26 sources that met the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies (16) and most of the earlier work are from the discipline of Law. Other studies come from a combination of Criminology, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and Computing. The predominance of legal scholarship has created a framing of upskirting which constructs it as an individual sexual act, for purposes of sexual gratification, as gender-neutral, as the act of aberrant individuals, and scrutinises the act of taking the photograph. By contrast, scholarship from other disciplines is more likely to locate upskirting as highly gendered behaviour in the context of gendered relations of power, and of violence against women and girls, and to consider both the act of taking the photograph and its dissemination online. We argue that future research ought to: approach upskirting as a form of violence against women and girls; be empirical and intersectional, and engage with victims and perpetrators.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Ruth Lewis, Northumbria University, Department of Social Sciences

Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences


An Overview of research Groups and Centres in the School of Psychology

The presentation will begin with an overview of the diverse domains of expertise and specialism in the School of Psychology by showcasing our principal research groups (Cognitive Psychology Research Group; Development and Behaviour Research Group; Forensic and Crime Research Group; Psychological Health & Wellbeing (PheW); Social Psychology Research Group) and research centres (Autism Research Innovation Centre and Lincoln Sleep Research Centre). It will then showcase three different areas within our groups to give examples of research underpinning some impact case studies. The School of Psychology scored highly on impact in the recent REF. The first example will showcase work on the conservation of the Barbary Macaque, which has led to changes in international trade laws, an updated assessment of conservation status and greater public awareness with regard to eco-tourism. The second will showcase OnlinePROTECT which aims to improve practitioner approaches to online child sexual exploitation. The work has been integrated into staff training within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services, which has been rolled out across England and Wales Probation Services. The final example will document some of the negative consequences and harms experienced by disordered gamblers, specifically work that was carried out to investigate the relationship between gambling and violence in nationally and internationally representative samples. This research was cited in Parliamentary briefing papers and influenced the introduction of gambling harm minimisation measures, including the introduction of an amendment to gaming machine legislation to limit fixed odds betting terminal stake size.

Prof Amanda Roberts, Professor of Psychology and Director of Research

Dr Hannah Merdian, Deputy Head of School

Prof Bonaventura Majolo, Professor of Social Evolution


An exploration of the wellbeing of prison governors and senior managers in England, Wales and Scotland.

In 2021, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Lincoln were commissionsed by the Prison Governors Association to evaluate the state of their members’ health and wellbeing, with this being particulary pertinent following the immense pressure experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on semi-structured interviews with 63 prison governors and senior managers, two members of the team will discuss our findings and talk about the next steps in terms of how we hope these will impact on policy and practice. Key themes of our research include not feeling valued, impact on mental and physical health, frustration over lack of autonomy and fears for the future. Our recommendations for a more
positive way forward will also be included.

Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln
Prof Karen Harrison, Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln
Dr Lauren Hall, School of Social and Policitical Sciences, University of Lincoln
Ms Rachael Mason, School of Health & Social Care, University of Lincoln
Dr Gary Saunders, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Lincoln
Dr Helen Nichols, School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing, University of Hull

Breaking the silence on femicide: How women challenge epistemic injustice and male violence

Digital space has provided an important platform for women by enabling them to defy religious and patriarchal values while rendering their demands more visible in the public sphere. By analyzing the stories of 3349 murdered women, consulting 57 activist-published materials, studying 37 protest-focused videos, and using digital ethnography, this article explores Turkish women’s struggles against femicide. I propose the emancipatory and democratizing counterpublics as an analytical concept to demonstrate how women challenge epistemic injustice and male violence. To this end, I investigate the struggles of women by studying their use of digital space as a means of breaking the silence on femicide, creating data, disseminating knowledge, and seeking justice. This article highlights the essential role of new media technologies in empowering vulnerable groups through the generation of new forms of knowledge, the formation of collective memory, and the elimination of epistemic injustice in opposition to the ruling authorities. The present study contributes to our knowledge of the sociology of epistemic injustice by demonstrating how digital space plays a limited but critical role in the efforts of activists living under authoritarian regimes to defend their fundamental rights to survive and prevent femicide, which has a devastating impact on the lives of millions of women.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Baris Cayli Messina, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Doing the right thing? value conflicts and community policing

Research on police legitimacy and public confidence underlines the importance of the police demonstrating moral alignment with the communities they serve. However, less attention is given to conflict between values, either within communities or between communities and the police. This study explores value conflicts in community or neighbourhood policing from a perspective of political realism, which suggests that such conflicts are inevitable and can only be resolved in temporary and contingent ways. It does so through a case study of neighbourhood policing, seen through local ward panel meetings, in one London borough. In total, 33 semi-structured interviews with 43 participants were undertaken, and seven hours of observations. This paper identifies four value-based conflicts that emerged through the meetings, and shows how neighbourhood police officers were able to provisionally resolve them, thus supporting confidence and legitimacy. However, it also shows how austerity has put this capacity at risk, both operationally, and through a receding of confidence as an organisational priority, with potential long-term consequences for public confidence in the police. With global protests such as Black Lives Matters, and anti-lockdown demonstrations, underlining the importance of public confidence and legitimacy to police organisations across the world, this paper adds to the evidence on the capacity of community policing to support this, offers a new perspective to understand the role of values in policing, and discusses the policy implications.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Carina O’Reilly, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science


Restoring public confidence through the delivery of improved community policing in Rackhamshire

Neighbourhood policing is central to supporting public confidence in England and Wales. However, the delivery of neighbourhood policing models is increasingly fragmented and under pressure from austerity measures and from changes to demand and priorities. This research aims to understand the current state of neighbourhood policing in the county of “Rackhamshire” and its ability to support public confidence.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research
Carina O’Reilly, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences.
Winifred Agnew-Pauley, Anglia Ruskin University, Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER)
Sam Lundrigan, Anglia Ruskin University, Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER)


Justice capital: A model for reconciling structural and agentic determinants of desistance

The emerging literature on desistance (and recovery from addictions) has focused on key life-course transitions that can be characterised as the need for jobs (meaningful activities), friends (transitioning to pro-social) and houses (a home free from threat). The term ‘recovery capital’ is used to characterise personal, social and community resources an individual can draw upon to support their recovery, partly bridging agentic (personal) and structural (community) factors. The development of the concept of ‘justice capital’ furthers this reconciliation, by focusing on resources an individual can access and the resources that an institution can provide. We build on this by outlining the concept of institutional justice capital (IJC) to examine the role of criminal justice institutions in supporting or suppressing justice capital, particularly for marginalised groups. We use a case study approach, drawing on recent studies in prisons in Australia and the United Kingdom to develop a model of justice capital at an institutional level and discuss how this can shape reform of prisons and can be matched to the needs of offenders. The paper concludes with a discussion of future directions in implementing an IJC model, to deliver a strengths-based approach to promoting desistance and creating a metric for assessing the rehabilitative activities of institutions.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

David Best, University of Derby

Sharynne Hamilton, University of Western Australia

Lauren Hall, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Lorana Bartels, Australian National University


Strain theory, resilience, and far-right extremism: the impact of gender, life experiences and the internet

There has been a notable increase in support for far-right ideologies across the West. The seriousness of this threat has been acknowledged by the UK government which has banned certain far-right groups using terrorism legislation. While criminological theories have been useful in explaining general criminality, they have been under-utilised in explaining extremism and terrorism. Agnew’s General Strain Theory, which hypothesises that negative life events increase the chance of a turn to criminality, is explored in this article alongside Control Theory. Based on a survey (N 1,138) conducted on Facebook in late 2019, we explore how strain and resilience based on participants’ gender, economic situations, life events and their use of the internet impacts individuals’ far-right extremist attitudes and behaviours. We use regression analysis to investigate the impact that strain and resilience, individuals’ gender, economic situations, individual life experiences, and their use of the internet have on their propensity to associate, engage, and support far-right ideologies and linked violence. While strain is not found to be significant, resilience, gender and the use of the internet are.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Joshua Skoczylis, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Sam Andrews, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences


The Burglary Cognitive Distortions Scale: its association with burglary proclivity and other key variables

Cognitive distortions play a key role in offending but have not been researched in relation to burglary. Using the literature on offence-related cognition as a guide (which is primarily focused on sexual offending), the present two studies aimed to develop and validate the Burglary Cognitive Distortions Scale (BCDS). Drawing upon the burglary literature, an initial pool of 36-items was produced. Two online studies using community-based participants were then conducted. Each study involved administering the BCDS, along with measures of burglary proclivity, general criminal beliefs, empathy, and human needs. In Study 1 (N1= 306), an exploratory factor analysis of the BCDS produced two factors: (1) Acquisitive Entitlement, and (2) Survive by any Means. In Study 2 (N2 = 266), confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the two-factor structure and helped refine the item pool. In each study, the 24-item CFA version of the BCDS was found to be associated with general criminal beliefs and burglary proclivity. Factor 1 of the BCDS, as well as general criminal beliefs, independently predicted proclivity scores. Future research should now aim to validate the BCDS using a sample of people who have committed burglary, as it holds promise for use in forensic settings and research.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Matthew King-Parker, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Ross Bartels, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Tochukwu Onwuegbusi, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Adrian Parke, University of the West of Scotland, School of Education and Social Sciences