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Professor Louise Westmarland

Profile summary

Research interests

My research interests largely focus on the police and their occupational culture. This has included studies of gender and policing, homicide investigations and most recently corruption, integrity and ethics. In 2013 I completed some training to make me an accredited Home Office Domestic Homicide Investigator, which means that I can be called upon to conduct a review of the circumstances around any death involving the death of a person by a family member, partner or former partner. I'm also interested in ethnographic research methods, particularly where privileged access leads to dilemmas for researchers. In the past I have published articles on police informers and the way they are regulated and the effect of this upon rights and justice. More recently I've completed a book about research methods in criminology and a journal article about homicide detectives in the US.

Other previous research projects have included studying women bouncers and violence in the context of social control of the night time economy (ESRC Grant reference: RES-000-23-0384-A). One project was called 'Women on the Door: Female Bouncers in the New Night-time Economy' carried out with Prof Dick Hobbs. Another project that was awarded ESRC funding was about police, public services and consumer culture (ESRC Grant reference RES-143-25-0008). This was called 'Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Relationships and Identifications' and was carried out with colleagues at The Open University.

I am currently conducting an extensive survey of police officers' corrupt behaviour and beliefs about their actions and those of their colleagues and hope to obtain ESRC funding to take this forward.

I am Director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR).

Louise Westmarland (2013): 'Snitches get stitches': US homicide detectives' ethics and morals in action, Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy, DOI:10.1080/10439463.2013.784313

Westmarland, L. (2011) Researching Crime and Justice: Tales from the Field. London: Routledge.

Westmarland, Louise (2010). Dodgy customers? Can the police ever trust the public? Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 4(3), pp. 291-297.

Clarke, J, Newman,J, Smith, N, Vidler, E and Westmarland, L (2007) Creating Citizen-consumers: Changing Publics and Changing Public Services. Sage: London

Hobbs, D, O'Brien, K, and Westmarland, L. (2007) Connecting the Gendered Door: women, violence and doorwork. British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 21-38

O'Brien, K., Hobbs, D. and Westmarland, L., (2007) 'Negotiating Violence and Gender: Security and the Night Time Economy in the UK', in Body-Gendrot, S and Spierenburg, P., (eds ) Cultures of Violence in Europe: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Springer Publishing .

 Westmarland, L. (2005) Police Ethics and Integrity: Breaking the Blue Code of Silence, Policing and Society, vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 145-165

Westmarland, L. (2003) 'Policing Integrity: Britain's Thin Blue Line' in Klockars,C.B., Haberfeld,M. and Kutjnak Ivkovich, S. The Contours of Police Integrity, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage

Westmarland, L. (2002) 'Challenges of Policing London: A Conversation with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens', Police Practice and Research. An International Journal, vol.3, no.3, pp.247-260.

Westmarland, L. (2001) Gender and Policing. Sex, Power and Police Culture, Devon, Willan.

Westmarland, L. (2001) 'Blowing the whistle on police violence: ethics, research and ethnography', British Journal of Criminology, vol.41, no.2, pp.523-35.

Westmarland, L. (2000) 'Taking the flak: operational policing, fear and violence' in Lee-Treweek, G. and Linkogle, S. Danger in the Field: Risk and Ethics in Social Research, London, Routledge.

Westmarland, L. (2000) 'Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?' Ethical Human Services and Sciences, vol.2, no.3, pp.193-202.

Westmarland, L. and Yearley, S. (2000) 'Scientific selection and the CID', Police Research and Management, vol.4, no.4.

Westmarland, L. (1999) 'Women Managing in the Police', Police Research and Management, vol.3, no.3.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

Since Chairing the development, production and presentation of the Faculty's Level 3 criminology course Crime and justice (DD301) I have been involved in postgraduate and undergraduate presentations. I also supervise PhD students and take a keen interest in curriculum changes that have been taking place recently. I've had a long association with The Open University, taking courses as an undergraduate, then serving as a tutor for 7 years, including 5 years of summer schools and exam marking duties. Once I obtained a full time post as a Lecturer at The Open University, in 2002, I was involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Criminology and Social Policy including Community safety, crime prevention and social control (D863) and Crime order and social control (D315).

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences


Police ethics and integrity: Keeping the ‘blue code’ of silence (2020)
Westmarland, Louise and Conway, Steve
International Journal of Police Science & Management, 22(4) (pp. 378-392)

Police ethics and integrity: Can a new code overturn the blue code? (2018)
Westmarland, Louise and Rowe, Michael
Policing and Society, 28(7) (pp. 854-870)

Putting their Bodies on the Line: Police Culture and Gendered Physicality (2017-09-01)
Westmarland, Louise
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 11(3) (pp. 301-317)

Governance of policing and cultural codes: interpreting and responding to policy directives (2016)
Westmarland, Louise
Global Crime, 17(3-4) (pp. 352-369)

‘Snitches get stitches’: US homicide detectives' ethics and morals in action (2013)
Westmarland, Louise
Policing & Society, 23(3) (pp. 311-327)

Dodgy customers? Can the police ever trust the public? (2010-07)
Westmarland, Louise
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 4(3) (pp. 291-297)

The antagonisms of choice: New Labour and the reform of public services (2008)
Clarke, John; Newman, Janet and Westmarland, Louise
Social Policy and Society, 7(2) (pp. 245-253)

Connecting the gendered door: women, violence and doorwork (2007-03)
Hobbs, Dick; O'Brien, Kate and Westmarland, Louise
British Journal of Sociology, 58(1) (pp. 21-38)

Police ethics and integrity: breaking the blue code of silence (2005-06)
Westmarland, Louise
Policing and Society, 15(2) (pp. 145-165)

Challenges of policing London: a conversation with the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir John Stevens (2002)
Westmarland, Louise
Police Practice and Research, 3(3) (pp. 240-260)

Blowing the whistle on police violence. Gender, ethnography and ethics (2001-07)
Westmarland, Louise
British Journal of Criminology, 41(3) (pp. 523-535)

Researching crime and justice: tales from the field (2011-04-12)
Westmarland, Louise
ISBN : 9781843923169 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Creating citizen-consumers: Changing Publics and changing public services (2007-02)
Clarke, John; Newman, Janet; Smith, Nick; Vidler, Elizabeth and Westmarland, Louise
ISBN : 9781412921343 | Publisher : Sage Publications | Published : London, UK

Gender and policing: sex, power and police culture (2001)
Westmarland, Louise
ISBN : 1903240700 | Publisher : Willan Publishing | Published : Cullompton, UK

'Snitches get stitches?': telling tales on homicide detectives (2016-07-04)
Westmarland, Louise
In: Hviid Jacobsen, Michael and Walklate, Sandra eds. Liquid Criminology; Doing imaginative criminological research (pp. 49-64)
ISBN : 9781472455239 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Oxford

Outsiders inside: ethnography and police culture (2015-11-26)
Westmarland, Louise
In: Brunger, Mark; Tong, Stephen and Martin, Denise eds. Introduction to Policing Research: Taking Lessons from Practice (pp. 163-174)
ISBN : 9780415750400 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Getting behind the blue curtain: managing police integrity (2015-08-06)
Rowe, Michael; Westmarland, Louise and Hougham, Courtney
In: Lister, Stuart and Rowe, Michael eds. Accountability of Policing. Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice (pp. 69-85)
ISBN : 978-0-415-71533-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Justice, globalisation and human rights (2009-11)
Mehigan, James; Walters, Reece and Westmarland, Louise
In: Drake, Deborah; Muncie, John and Westmarland, Louise eds. Criminal justice: Local and global
ISBN : 978-1-84392-513-2 | Publisher : Willan Publishing | Published : Cullompton

Gender abuse and people trafficking (2009-08-01)
Westmarland, Louise
In: Muncie, John; Talbot, Deborah and Walters, Reece eds. Crime: Local and Global (pp. 105-136)
ISBN : 978-1-84392-515-6 | Publisher : Willan/The Open University | Published : Devon, UK

Awkward customers? Policing in a consumer age (2009)
Westmarland, Louise and Clarke, John
In: Barnes, Marian and Prior, David eds. Subversive Citizens: Power, Agency and Resistance in Public Services (pp. 171-188)
ISBN : 978 1 84742 207 1 | Publisher : The Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Interrogating criminal justice (2009)
Drake, Deborah; Muncie, John and Westmarland, Louise
In: Drake, Deborah; Muncie, John and Westmarland, Louise eds. Criminal Justice: Local and Global (pp. 1-35)
ISBN : 9781843925132 | Publisher : Willan | Published : Cullompton

Police cultures (2008)
Westmarland, Louise
In: Newburn, Tim ed. Handbook of Policing (2nd ed.) (pp. 253-280)
ISBN : 978-1-84392-500-2 | Publisher : Willan Publishing | Published : Cullompton, Devon

Creating citizen-consumers? Public service reform and (un)willing selves (2007)
Clarke, John; Newman, Janet and Westmarland, Louise
In: Maasen, Sabine and Sutter, Barbara eds. On Willing Selves: Neoliberal Politics and the Challenge of Neuroscience (pp. 125-145)
ISBN : 0-230-01343-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke

Policing integrity: Britain's thin blue line (2004-09-02)
Westmarland, Louise
In: Klockars, Carl B.; Ivkovic, Sanja Kutnjak and Haberfeld, Maria eds. The Contours of police integrity (pp. 75-95)
ISBN : 761925864 | Publisher : Sage Publications, Inc.

Criminal Justice: Local and Global (2009)
Drake, Deborah; Muncie, John and Westmarland, Louise eds.
ISBN : 9781843925132 | Publisher : Willan Publishing in association with the Open University | Published : Cullompton

Public and police perceptions of policing ethics (2018-03-01)
Pike, Graham; Westmarland, Louise; Conway, Steve and Rowe, Michael
In : 2018 Conference of the Society of Evidence Based Policing (1-2 Mar 2018)