Dr. Sara Grace

School of Health and Society

Photo of Dr. Sara Grace

Contact Details

Allerton L510

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Google Scholar

Current positions

Lecturer in Criminology


Sara joined the University of Salford in 2014, having previously held lecturing posts at the University of Bradford and the University of Sheffield. Her PhD research examined the use and impact of penalty notices for disorder, with a particular focus on officers’ use of this power to control disorder in the night-time economy (NTE). Sara’s research interests are focused on out of court disposals, police discretion and police legitimacy. Her work has explored the factors which affect police decision making and why people do/do not comply with the police. Her work draws on the motivational posturing theory of regulation and procedural justice theory. She has written on these issues with regards to the policing of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. More recently, Sara has embarked on research exploring police ethics and misconduct, with regards to the 'Blue Code of Silence' and officers' willingness to report on their colleagues' wrongdoing.

In 2015/16 Sara was awarded a £2,000 Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship to develop her research agenda on procedural fairness in policing. In 2018/19 she was awarded £1,000 by the University of Salford Early Career Research Support Fund with matched funding of £792 by the University's Internal Research Support Fund to undertake research on police ethics and the 'Blue Code of Silence'.

Areas of research

Police Decision Making, Out of Court Disposals, Stop and Search, Police Legitimacy, Procedural Justice, Distributive Justice, Motivational Posturing Theory, Blue Code of Silence



  • Becoming a Social Scientist (Module Leader)
  • Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Module Leader)
  • Crime, Conflict and Society
  • Policing and Social Control


  • Processing Criminal Justice

Teaching interests:

  • Criminal justice
  • Policing
  • Research methods

Research Interests

  • Police Decision Making
  • Out of Court Disposals
  • Stop and Search
  • Police Legitimacy
  • Procedural Justice
  • Distributive Justice
  • Motivational Posturing Theory
  • the Blue Code of Silence

Qualifications and Memberships


  • 2006: BA (Hons) Law and Criminology (University of Sheffield)
  • 2009: International Criminology (University of Sheffield)
  • 2014: PhD Criminology (University of Sheffield)
  • 2016: Postgraduate Teaching Certificate (University of Salford)
  • PGCert Academic Practice, University of Salford, 2016


  • Member of the British Society of Criminology (BSC)
  • Member of the BSC Policing Network Steering Committee

Postgraduate Research

  • Policing
  • Summary Justice
  • Anti-social behaviour