Photo of Emeritus Prof Ross Coomber

Emeritus Prof Ross Coomber BA (Hons); MSc; PhD, FAcSS

Professor of Criminology and Sociology Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Research Interests

I have research interests in the following broad areas:

• Drug/substance markets/supply (laws / policy / CJS approaches / macro-micro analyses of illicit drug markets and drug suppliers / conceptual development of / cross-cultural comparisons / policing of)
• Drug/substance use (policy / initiation / cultures / to crime and violence / transitions / meaning / effects / history / cross-cultural comparisons). Includes drug use in sport and/or in public gyms.
• Drug/substance use treatment (policy / ’recovery’ / approaches to / evaluations /history of)
• Harm reduction interventions - particularly in relation to the use of steroids and other image and performance enhancing drugs
• Harm reduction interventions - particularly in relation to policing vulnerability in drug markets
• Cultural change and social problems
• Social, Cultural and Criminological Theory
• How globalisation is affecting change around notions of ‘civility’ and the so-called civilising process; international relations of
• Conceptualising deviance, fear and the ‘other’
• Research methods (innovation/mixed/qualitative)
• Interdisciplinary research (forensic science; health; public health)
• The theoretical interconnections of risk and fear
• Transgression, culture and history (spitting and other maligned behaviours)
• Agency/structure and socio-legal understanding of crime

Grants 2010-Present

• Awarded May 2022 - April 2027 - Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) - Centre of Excellence Award - Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre. PI's Prof Adam Crawford (York & Leeds Universities) and Charlie Lloyd (York University). Prof Ross Coomber is Lead CI on the Policing Vulnerability in County lines Drug Markets project, one of the 6 major policing vulnerability projects to be carried out by the Centre. A further 25 CIs are connected to the Centre and its programme of activities. £10m.

• Awarded Oct 2021 - Alcohol Change (New Horizons funding scheme) - Understanding the association between mental health and alcohol use in Black, Asian and Minority ethnic groups. Lead PI – Dr Laura Goodwin (University of Liverpool); CI’s: Dr Jayati Das-Munshi (Kings College, University of London); Prof Ross Coomber (University of Liverpool); Dr Juliana Onwumere (Kings College, University of London); Dr Suzanne H. Gage (University of Liverpool); Ms Jo-Anne Puddephatt (University of Liverpool). £62,840.63

• Awarded Dec 2016 - Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NIMHC) - Drugs on the darknet: Assessing the global health risks of a rapidly expanding market. Lead/CIA - Dr Monica Barratt (UNSW); CIB - Dr James Martin (Macquarie); CIC -Prof Ross Coomber (Griffith University); CID - Prof Alison Ritter (UNSW); CIE - Assoc Prof Aili Malm (California State); CIF - Dr David Décary-Hétu (Montreal); CIG - Prof Judith Aldridge (Manchester) A$399,692

• Awarded Dec 2016 - Australian Institute of Criminology - The nature of illicit drug supply/suppliers and the appropriateness of current Australian criminal justice responses: 'social supply' and sentencing. Lead PI. Also with Assoc Prof Melissa Bull (Griffith). A$52,432

• Awarded Dec 2016 - Australian Institute of Criminology - Darknet drug traders: a qualitative exploration of the career trajectories, activities and perceptions of risk and reward of online drug traders. Lead PI: Dr James Martin (Macquarie); Co-PIs: Dr Monica Barratt (University of New South Wales); Prof Ross Coomber (Griffith University); A/Prof Jakob Demant (University of Copenhagen); Dr Rasmus Munksgaard (University of Copenhagen) A$24,303

• Awarded July 2016 - Australia-China Council - Drug Crime/Dependency Debates in China: What Australian Universities can Contribute. Jointly held with Sue Trevaskes and Melissa Bull (Griffith University) A$35,000

• Awarded Aug 2014 – May 2015 - Devon & Cornwall Police - Legal-High/NPS use by persistent and prolific offenders engaged with IOMS/TurnAround Teams in Devon and Cornwall. £15,000

• Awarded July 2014 – Oct 2014 - Torbay Public Health, Torbay Council - DMRAS (Drug Market Rapid Appraisal Service) Research/analysis of the Torbay Area illicit drug markets £15,000

• Awarded Apr 2013 – Mar 2016 - Plymouth Drug and Alcohol Team / Plymouth City Council - New/Novel Psychoactive Substance (‘legal high’) use and their relation to effective drug service delivery in Plymouth £54,500

• Awarded Jan 2014 – May 2015 - Joint Commissioning & Adult Social Care Plymouth City Council - Alcohol Peer Support Pilot Evaluation. Jointly held with Allice Hocking/SERIO (Plymouth University) £8,000

• Awarded Dec 2011 - Aug 2012 - Plymouth Alcohol Champions Group and Plymouth University An exploration of the university as a risk environment for student drinking ) Jointly held with Adrian Barton - Plymouth University) £7,500

• Awarded June 2012- Dec 2012 - Plymouth Drug & Alcohol Action Team / Devon & Cornwall Constabulary - DMRAS (Drug Market Rapid Appraisal Service) Research/analysis of the City of Plymouth’s illicit drug markets £15,000

• Awarded Oct 2011 – Sept 2012 - Southend Drug and Alcohol Action Team Development and implementation of an Early Warning Drug Trend Monitoring System for Southend £12,000

• Awarded Oct 2011 – Sept 2012 - Southend Drug and Alcohol Action Team - DMRAS (Drug Market Rapid Appraisal Service) Research/analysis of Southend-on-Sea’s local drug markets £18,000

• Awarded Oct 2010 – March 2011 - Southend Drug and Alcohol Action Team - PIRAS (Public Injecting Rapid Appraisal Service). An evaluation of public injecting environments in Southend DAAT area £24,000

Grants 2000 - 2010

• Awarded June 2010 – June 2012 Cornwall Drug & Alcohol Action Team/Plymouth PCT - Independent Evaluation of Boswyns Drug and Alcohol Detoxification Unit £85,000

• Awarded April 2010 – July 2010 - Barking & Dagenham Drug & Alcohol Action Team - PIRAS (Public Injecting Rapid Appraisal Service). An evaluation of public injecting environments in Barking & Dagenham DAAT area £21,000

• Awarded April 2007 – June 2007 - Plymouth Drug & Alcohol Action Team - A mapping of public injecting environments in the City of Plymouth £3,000

• Awarded Feb 2006 – July 2007 - Joseph Rowntree Foundation - Supplying Cannabis to Young people (Joint bid made with Paul Turnbull of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, King’s College, London £100,016

• Awarded Apr 2005 – Jun 2005 - National Treatment Agency (now part of Public Health England) - A qualitative investigation of the barriers to access of needle exchange programmes in Plymouth £20,300

• Awarded Aug 2003 - Jul 2004 British Academy ’Child Doping' in 21st Century England: an exploration of how and why over the counter medications are being used to calm or quieten infants and children. £2,628

• Awarded Sept 2001-Sept 2002 - Home Office - Estimating rates and causes of drug-related mortality amongst recently released offenders (co-applicant with National Addiction Centre and Office for National Statistics – PI Nicola Singleton) £100,000

• Awarded Mar 2001-Sept 2002 - Wellcome Trust - Helping the media represent issues around neuroscientific and other knowledge of illicit drug use and addiction in a way that reflects scientific evidence, not sensation or myth £49,776

• Awarded - Jan 2000-Jan 2001 - British Academy - An investigation into the average length of time of progression from first use of heroin through regular use and then to addicted patterns of use in a context of comparatively high purity’ £3,300