Dr Abigail Dymond

Research Interests

My current research interests and impact work focus, predominantly, on issues around police, policing and places of detention, and in particular the use of force and less lethal weapons in such environments.  This work is inherently interdisciplinary and mixed method in scope and, as such,  I am particularly interested in logistic regression models, mixed methods approaches, the advantages and limitations of statistical analysis in policing research, and the data collection and reporting methods that might best capture police use of force, and deployment of less lethal technologies.I have also developed a keen interest in theories concerned with the role of different technologies, and how best to conceptualise and capture their impact - a line of enquiry that has led me to focus on the contributions that can be made by Actor-Network Theory and social constructionist approaches. 

Between 2017 - 2020 my ESRC Future Research Leader's Award on 'Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement' allows me to develop many of these themes in a set of inter-connected research programmes focusing on a number of areas, including:

  • The production of a monograph on police use of force, including Taser;
  • Working on the police Use of Force Reporting Review in England and Wales, and with colleagues in the College of Policing and UCL, to analyse the data collected as a result of this review (please see the impact and engagement page for further details).
  • Working alongside the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture on the production of a Practical Manual for detention monitors to assist them in monitoring the use weapons and restraints in places of detention.

I am also interested  in policing technologies more generally, and together with Professor Matthew Hickman, I am currently Co-Editing a Special Edition of the Oxford Journal of Policing looking at the role of Body Worn Camera (forthcoming in 2018).

Drawing on my prior research I continue to be interested in issues affecting vulnerable groups, both in the UK--where, together with Professor Dave Cowan and colleagues, I have been working on issues around homelessness and local authority homelessness reviews--and internationally, building on my primary research with survivors of sexual and gender based violence in the Eastern Democractic Republic of Congo, and with communities affected by copper mining in Zambia. 

Grants Awarded.

I have been lucky enough to receive a range of funding for my research, including:

2017 - 2020: ESRC Future Research Leaders' Award (part-time).

2015 - 2016: £6, 800 (ESRC/SWDTC grant) for research placement with the National Police Chief's Council (part-time June 2015 - June 2016).

2013 - 2016: £52,347 (ESRC/SWDTC grant) for PhD fees and living expenses.

2013 - 2016: Bid Co-ordinator for a  £1 million award from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights for the Omega Research Foundation’s research and engagement work, 2013 - 2016.

2014 - 2015: £5, 000 (ESRC/SWDTC award) for the Taser Experts Meeting detailed above.

2002 - 2005: £3, 000 (University of Wales, Aberystwyth) Entrance Scholarship and Merit Award for undergraduate study.