Professor Ross Coomber
Co-Investigator, Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre
University of Liverpool
Ross Coomber is Professor of Criminology and Sociology at the University of Liverpool and has more than 30 years’ research experience in the drug and alcohol field. He has written extensively and broadly in this area – particularly on the machinations of illicit drug markets nationally and internationally and across different cultural and environmental spaces. His research is strongly interdisciplinary and boasts ongoing collaborations with forensic scientists, medics, researchers and public health practitioners as well as people working in disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.
Ross has been working on aspects of vulnerability and how it intersects with drug markets for many years. He will contribute to the Centre’s work to develop an appropriate, nuanced, conceptual understanding of vulnerability that contributes to the policing of vulnerability in policy and practice. Ross will also contribute strongly to Early Career Researcher mentoring and development.
Ross is the primary project lead on the County lines policing and vulnerability project. In the project, the team will initially conduct a survey with all UK police forces to explore existing policing structures and approaches to the policing of vulnerable people caught up in County Lines drug supply. It will also look at the challenges involved in policing vulnerability locally and nationally as well as where promising practice enables policing to respond in more effective and appropriate ways. Following the survey, the team will focus on three to four specially identified force areas. In this work they will interview key people (such as vulnerable county lines involved victims; local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in providing support; those involved with multi-agency responses to vulnerable persons as well as the police) to provide in-depth understanding about promising interventions being employed locally.