Dr Laura Pajón

Dr Laura Pajón

Senior Lecturer
Liverpool John Moores University

Tell us about yourself

I am a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. My research focuses on law enforcement and multi-agency responses to serious and organised criminality, in particular human trafficking and modern slavery crimes. I collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies and numerous stakeholders, including local authorities, businesses, and non-governmental organisations such as Unseen, Stop the Traffik, Barnardo’s, the British Red Cross, and Justice and Care.

My research on police responses to human trafficking crimes led to the establishment of an anti-slavery partnership, which I led and coordinated from its formation in 2018 until 2021. The group secured integrated local responses to human trafficking with a view of safeguarding victims of trafficking and disrupting criminality.

Tell us about your Early Career Researcher (ECR) Development Fund project, funded by the Centre

My project Social Media–Facilitated Trafficking of Children and Young People aims to understand how trafficking and exploitation of children and young people develops online. The research project will create a set of evidence-based recommendations that will inform collaborative responses to address social media-facilitated trafficking of children and young people, helping to minimise vulnerabilities of at-risk groups.

How does your research connect to the Centre’s mission and values?

My research mainly focuses on policing and multi-agency responses to organised crime, specifically human trafficking crimes and modern slavery. I have led research projects on human trafficking crimes, exploring the complexities and the factors that influence investigation performance and the impact of multi-agency responses to tackle human trafficking. My research on modern slavery also involves the study of vulnerability and risk of exploitation within the garment, agri-food and construction sectors. Other research areas I work on that relate to policing and vulnerability include missing children, child victimisation, and investigative interviewing practices.

What interests you in the connections between policing and vulnerability?

I am particularly interested in generating evidence-based and outcome-orientated research that can help improve strategic policy and police practices to reduce vulnerability.