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Nikki D’Souza is a Senior Lecturer in Policing and Organisation and Practice within the LHRM Department, teaching on the PCDA and DHEP programmes (qualifying routes to become a police officer) and the BSc in Professional Policing.  Nikki started her professional career as a probation service officer for Northumbria Probation before qualifying as a probation officer and joining Surrey Probation.  She transferred to Durham to undertake a community-based role as a probation officer and wrote the unique Citizenship Programme which continues to be used today by services.  As a middle manager, she managed the Forensic Psychology Unit from its inception, the Accredited Programmes Team also from its initial development phase and the Unpaid Work Team where she was instrumental in transforming community work as a skill building and employability tool for offenders. 

She joined Durham Constabulary in 2009 and has enjoyed a diverse range of roles.  During her time with the police, Nikki worked as intelligence analyst and a youth justice manager (overseeing the work of the police officers and police staff) and in police custody management.   She led the introduction of the Victims Code within the force, developing pioneering ways of implementation which received national attention. Nikki was the programme manager for the Local Criminal Justice Board where she brought together criminal justice partners from across the North East, planning and coordinating a number of cutting-edge multi-agency criminal justice programmes.  Work was nationally recognised and attained a ‘gold star’ status for innovation.  She was also the Chief Constable’s Staff Officer for the Troubled Families portfolio and represented Durham Police at the Early Intervention Foundation programme to develop best practice.

Having completed her PhD (which explored the feasibility of using restorative justice in the context of serious and organised crime) at the University of Sheffield she decided to have a career change and join the Sociology Department at Durham University to teach Criminology before joining Northumbria in September 2021.

Research interests

Research interests include restorative justice, restorative just cultures, policing, serious and organised crime, honour-based abuse, victimology, probation practices, inequalities and disproportionality (including decolonisation).

With a passion for innovation and continuous development, Nikki brings a wealth of experience and partnering relationships with criminal justice specialists and experts to her research.  She co-founded the North East Policing Research Network in 2022, consisting of the five local universities and their corresponding police forces and Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioners to pursue an evidence-based policing research agenda on a co-production basis.  Nikki enjoys bringing her vast criminal justice experience to teaching.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Philosophy, PhD

10 Jun 202031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 10 Jun 2020

Criminology, MSt, University of Cambridge

Social Work, MSc, University of Hull

Combined/General Arts, BA (Hons), University of Sunderland


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