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Dr Sarah Kingston

Formerly at Lancaster University

Research overview


My research interests focus on sex crimes, sexuality, sexual rights and the restrictions placed on sexual freedoms. In particular, my research has primarily focused on prostitution policy, female clients of commercial sex, the policing of prostitution and community attitudes and responses to prostitution.


I have been awarded external funding as PI and Co-PI for five research projects from The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, The Economic and Social Research Council, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Higher Education Funding Council for England, The Sir Halley Stewart Trust, and The Wates Foundation.


I have published three monographs (one forthcoming), one edited book, several book chapters and journals articles in leading journals such as Policing and Society and Sexualities, commissioned reports, and practitioner publications.


I have provided expert evidence to a range of parliamentary committees and independent inquiries, such as The Home Office, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution, the Liberal Democratic party work group on sex work, and Westminster City Council. I have also provided expert evidence to a number of legal proceedings that have involved alleged trafficking and brothel keeping offences.


My research has featured in over 100 international magazine and newspaper articles, such as The Times, The Independent, Daily Telegraph Australia, Malaysia Chronicle, Nigeria Daily News and Cosmopolitan Magazine . I have been interviewed for numerous national and international television and radio shows, such BBC Radio Thinking Aloud with Laurie Taylor, France 24 News and ITV News.


I have been invited speaker and keynote at a range of academic and non-academic events such as the launch of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education, Leeds University; Academia Film Olomouc, International Festival of Science Documentary Films, The Czech Republic; Margins and Dialogue: Local, National and Transnational Contexts Conference, University of Pune, India.


I regularly act as an expert reviewer for funding bodies such as the ESRC, the Marsden Fund Council, New Zealand and the Israel Science Foundation. I regularly review articles for leading journals and book publishers. I have been invited to examine PhD’s in the UK and Australia.


I am Director for the Centre of Crime, Law and Justice and Head of Mentoring within The Law School. I have previously acted as Lancaster Lead for the Socio-Legal pathway of the North West Doctoral Training Centre and as Lead for the Training and Learning strand of the N8 Policing Partnership funded by Hefce.


I established and led the development of three new Master’s degree programmes (with Gary Potter) and one undergraduate degree programme in Criminology at Lancaster. I am an elected member of the Law School’s Policy and Research committees. I coordinated the QAA Review of Criminology at Lancaster in 2015. I review internal grant applications, journal articles, and PhD funding applications.


Prior to coming to Lancaster I held the position of Course leader and Senior lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Beckett University. Before that I was employed as a Research Fellow on the ESRC/AHRC Youth on Religion project.


PhD supervision

Dr Kingston is willing to supervise PhD or MRes students in the areas of sex, sexuality, gender, sexual offences and in particular sex work/prostitution.


Research Grants

I have been awarded research funding from The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, The Economic and Social Research Council, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Higher Education Funding Council for England, The Sir Halley Stewart Trust, The Wates Foundation.


I am principal investigator on a HEFCE funded project that will explore whether, how and in what ways students relate criminological concepts and knowledge to their practice-related, experiential learning (2017-2018, with Dr. Mary Corcoran).


I am co-investigator on a Sir Halley Stewart Trust and Wates Foundation funded project that will evaluate the family law and prison law advice provided by the Prisoner Advice Service in four female prisons in the UK (2016-2019).


I was principal investigator on the Women who Buy Sex project, funded by the British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust (2015-2016, with Dr. Natalie Hammond).


I was co-investigator on a commissioned study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to explore the relationship between poverty and crime (2013-2014, with Prof. Colin Webster).


I won a competition scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council to fund my PhD at The University of Leeds (2004-2009).


I was involved in the N8 Policing Research Partnership, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and was lead for the Training and Learning strand of the partnership (2016).


External Roles

Peer Review Assessor for the Economic and Social Research Council, Marsden Fund Council, New Zealand & Israel Science Foundation.


Refereed a number of pieces for the Social Forces journal, Urban Studies,  City,  Gender, Place and Culture, Social Policy and Society, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics & Politics, Qualitative Social Research, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Qualitative Social Work.


Reviewer of books and book proposals for Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan.


External Examiner at the University of Roehampton.


Current Teaching

CRIM 314 – Sex Crimes and Sexual Offending

CRIM 301 – Criminology Innovation

CRIM 212 - Contemporary Issues in Policing


Career Details

Senior Lecturer in Criminology since August 2016 at Lancaster University, Lecturer in Criminology (2014-2016, Lancaster), Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Metropolitan University (2011-2014), Research Fellow (2010-2011)

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