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Charlotte Coleman

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Dr Charlotte Coleman MSc, PhD, FHEA

Deputy Head of Psychology, Sociology and Politics


I have extensive experience in working with the police and other agencies, undertaking activity related to violence and youth crime/behaviour. For example, I sit on the Evidence Based Policing panel for South Yorkshire Police and I am involved in ongoing research with police forces and Violence Reduction Units around anti-knife crime messaging, the impact of Covid 19 on policing domestic abuse, youth organisations around crime and reducing exploitation risk and recidivism, and working with schools to evaluate interventions designed to prevent offending behaviour. I am also developing a knife crime attitudes measure for young people. This is the first psychological research of its kind and aims to help measure knife crime attitudinal shifts that will assist in evaluating anti-knife crime interventions. This work has attracted interest from police forces and other relevant organisations nationally.

I completed my PhD in Children’s Eyewitness Testimony and therefore I have theoretical and practical experience of generating reliable information from children and young people in interviews and working with vulnerable children. I also have expertise and experience in research methods and analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, and draw upon both academic and professional experience of analysing and working with data.


• Youth Endowment Fund funded evaluation of the Leicester Violence Reduction Network’s Schools Navigator programme (YEF funded, 2021)
• Youth Futures Foundation funded evaluation of PLIAS Resettlement’s Step-Up programme (YFF funded, 2021)
• N8 Policing Research Partnership funded research into the sensitising effects of knife crime imagery and police informational messaging on young people. Working with South Yorkshire and Thames Valley Violence Reduction Units (N8 PRP funded, 2020).
• N8 Policing Research Partnership funded research into the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on how South and West Yorkshire police forces have supported people reporting domestic violence (N8 PRP funded, 2020).
• Knife crime and young people - exploring promising strategy, interventions and casework in Youth Offending Teams in England and Wales (HMI funded, 2020).
• Process and impact evaluation of the effectiveness of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in preventing and reducing violent crime in South Yorkshire (Home Office funded, 2020).
• Process and impact evaluation of the effectiveness of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) (Home Office funded, 2020).
• Development of guidance for First Responders of child victims: Project GRACE (Europol funded, 2020)
• Development of RCT testing and evaluation framework for Virtual Reality trials testing for the Ministry of Defence (2020)
• Evaluation of SYP’s Guns and Knives Take Lives programme and the Knife Crime Prevention Home Office Lesson Plan for the KS3 PHSE curriculum (2018-2020)
• Evaluation of the Pol-Ed (Police and Education) programme with West Yorks Police (2019-2020)

Children’s development, particularly cognitive development, developmental research methods, forensic psychology and children's ability to give 'temporal testimony.


I am an experienced lecturer having taught Psychology to students in Higher Education at all levels in many settings from large lectures to one-to-one tuition.
I have a great interest in bringing the real world into the classroom and helping students developing applied skills that will benefit themselves and the organisations that they work with.
I am also a keen Academic Advisor, taking my role in supporting students very seriously. Academic Advising is the teaching I enjoy the most, giving me great satisfaction to see my students grow and achieve.


My primary area of expertise is in Child Eyewitness Testimony and forensic interviews with children.
I also have much experience in applied research, particularly with South Yorkshire Police, for whom I have explored perceptions of policing and engagement with young people, reducing RTC's around primary schools, evaluating change in the workplace, and interventions to reduce knife crime.
I am currently working on several funded projects e.g. evaluating Youth Offending Teams, Violence Reduction Units, and exploring the effects of knife crime imagery on young people. Further, I am working to develop a measure of attitudinal shift in relation knife crime which can be used to better establish the effects of interventions aimed at preventing young people from becoming involved in knife crime.


Journal articles

Gurung, J., Turner, J., Freeman, E., Coleman, C., Iacovou, S., & Hemingway, S. (2023). An evaluation of MINDFIT—A student therapeutic running group as a multi-layered intervention in the United Kingdom. Nursing Reports, 13 (1), 456-469.

Cogan, N., Chin-Van Chau, Y., Russell, K., Linden, W., Swinson, N., Eckler, P., ... Hunter, S.C. (2022). Are images of seized knives an effective crime deterrent? A comparative thematic analysis of young people’s views within the Scottish context. Journal of Youth Studies.

Davis, A.M.B., Coleman, C., & Kramer, R.S.S. (2021). Parenting styles and types: Breastfeeding attitudes in a large sample of mothers. Midwifery, 103.

Malone, C., Coleman, C., Freeman, E., & Jamison-Powell, S. (2020). Embedding Academic Literacies through Growing Student and Staff Communities. Journal of Academic Writing, 10 (1), 98-112.

Metcalfe, C. (2020). Academic Advising at a distance; exploring the provision of support on placement. Rapport: The International Journal for Recording Achievement, Planning, and Portfolios, (5), 41-47.


Newberry, M., Ashton-Wigman, S., Coleman, C., & Mottram, B. (2014). Abusive relationships : an exploration of the experiences of individuals referred to the Domestic Violence Unit at Rotherham Police Station. South Yorkshire Police.

Other activities

I chair the Sheffield Military Education Committee which serves to provide and develop formal and informal links between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, and the University Service Units in which students of the two Universities are eligible to serve

Postgraduate supervision

I currently supervise five PhD students in the area of youth crime and interventions, and also into the experience of student stress in post-compulsory education.


I am experienced in working with legal and crime organisations both in a research and consultancy capacity, for example as an expert witness. I am currently working on cutting edge research into knife crime that should have national impact on policy and decision making.

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