Dr Sara Grace

Sara joined the University of Salford in 2014, having previously held lecturing posts at the Universities of Bradford and Sheffield. Sara’s research interests are focused on police discretion and the factors which affect officers use of discretionary powers, particularly out of court disposals and stop and search. Sara’s research examines police legitimacy and the role of distributive and procedural fairness in citizens’ compliance (or not) with the police. She has a developing research interest in regulation and motivational posturing theory and the factors which affect citizens’ compliance with/defiance of the police.

Sara’s PhD research examined the use and impact of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs). She has published papers which explore whether PNDs achieve their intended aims – of improving efficiency, reducing crime and bringing offenders to justice – and the factors which affect officers’ decisions as to whether to issue PNDs when dealing with disorder in the night-time economy and on the impact of performance measures on officers’ use of PNDs. More recently Sara has published a paper applying her PhD findings to the policing of the pandemic, considering how to gain, and maintain, compliance with social distancing.

Sara is currently working with Stevie Swindells, of Greater Manchester Police, on a project exploring police ethics and the so-called ‘blue code of silence’ funded by the University of Salford Early Career/Internal Research Support Fund.

Sara is a member of the British Society of Criminology and a member of the Steering Committee for the Society’s Policing Network. She is also the editor for the BSC Policing Network blog: https://bscpolicingnetwork.com/pn-blog/

Postgraduate Research Supervision Interests

Topic areas of interest for supervision include:

Policing, especially:

  • Police discretion/decision-making
  • Police legitimacy, procedural justice and distributive justice
  • Policing the pandemic
  • Stop and search
  • Summary justice/out-of-court disposals
  • Police ethics/misconduct

Anti-social behaviour

Motivational Posturing Theory

Find out more about my work

Open Access: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/profile/57902

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1511-9886


Police culture, Police discretion, procedural justice, motivational posturing, Police ethics