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An introduction to crime and criminology
An introduction to crime and criminology

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3.2 What do criminologists do?

In Video 2, OU criminologist, Professor Steve Tombs, talks about the Grenfell Tower fire which happened in Kensington London on 14 June 2017.

Video 2 Grenfell: the avoidable tragedy
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Tombs is an internationally recognised expert in the field of health and safety. At first, the issues of ‘health and safety’ might not strike you as being relevant to criminology. However, researchers in criminology explore a wide range of different subject areas associated with not just conventional crime and criminal justice, but also ‘social harm’ and different forms of justice.

Some of the topic areas criminologists concern themselves with, which you might not have thought about, include:

  • eco-crime or what is known as ‘green criminology’
  • human trafficking
  • deaths in custody
  • prison studies and prison abolitionism
  • immigration detention
  • social housing and homelessness
  • expressions of crime and ‘the criminal’ in popular culture.

In the next section you will explore some of the areas in which some of the criminologists who work at The Open University specialise in.