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Durham University

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Dr Nikki D'souza

Contact Dr Nikki D'souza

Nikki D’Souza joined the Sociology Department as a teaching fellow in February 2020. Nikki started her professional career as a probation service officer for Northumbria Probation before qualifying as a probation officer and joining Surrey Probation. She transferred to Durham to undertake a community-based role as a probation officer and wrote the unique Citizenship Programme which continues to be used today by services. As a middle manager, she managed the Forensic Psychology Unit from its inception, the Accredited Programmes Team also from its initial development phase and the Unpaid Work Team where she was instrumental in transforming community work as a skill building and employability tool for offenders. She joined Durham Constabulary in 2009 and has enjoyed a diverse range of roles. During her time with the police, Nikki worked as intelligence analyst, youth justice police officer and staff officer manager and in police custody management. She led the introduction of the Victims Code within the force, developing pioneering ways of implementation which received national attention. Nikki was programme manager for the Local Criminal Justice Board where she brought together criminal justice partners from across the North East, planning and coordinating a number of cutting-edge multi-agency criminal justice programmes. Work was nationally recognised and attained a ‘gold star’ status for innovation. She was also the Chief Constable’s Staff Officer for the Troubled Families portfolio and represented Durham Police at the Early Intervention Foundation programme to develop best practice.

Nikki has a BA (Hons) Sociology and Psychology from Sunderland University, a Masters in Social Work (probation route) with a Distinction from Hull University, and an MSt in Criminology, Penology and Management (received an award for academic excellence) from Cambridge University. Having completed her PhD (which explored the feasibility of using restorative justice in the context of serious and organised crime) at the University of Sheffield she decided to have a career change and join the Sociology Department at Durham University to teach Criminology.

Research Interests:restorative justice, policing, serious and organised crime, probation practices

With a passion for innovation and continuous development, Nikki brings a wealth of experience and partnering relationships with criminal justice specialists and experts to her research.

Teaching Areas: Qualitative Methods in Social Science

Nikki enjoys bringing her vast criminal justice experience to teaching.


D’Souza, N. and L’Hoiry, X. (2019) An area of untapped potential? The use of restorative justice in the fight against serious and organized crime: A perception study Criminology & Criminal Justice (online on 21/6/19)

D’Souza, N. (2019) Applying a Restorative Approach within a serious and organised crime context: can it be done safely in practice? A Case Study available at:

D’Souza, N. and L’Hoiry, X. (2017) The Feasibility of Undertaking Restorative Approaches with Serious and Organised Crime Offending available at

D’Souza, N. and L’Hoiry, X. (2017) Could talking help tackle organised crime? The Conversation, available at

L’Hoiry, X. and D’Souza, N. (2016) Restorative Approaches and Organised Crime, N8PRP, available at

D’Souza, N (2009) Seeing and Believing: Visible Unpaid Work and its implications for public confidence Probation Journal Vol 56, Issue 1 pp 68-71

Conference Papers

Nikki ran a virtual national conference in April 2020 in relation to her PhD findings, with the College of Policing, Home Office representatives, police partners and OPCVSs in attendance which has led to high-impact activities within policing.

“RJ and SOC Offending – Theory and Implications in Practice” – virtual presentation to students – University of Porto, Portugal

RJ and SOC Offending” – 7th GERN Summer School – 11-13/9/19 – University of Porto, Portugal

Restorative Approaches and SOC Offending” – N8 PRP Research Summer School – Celebrating Research and its impact on policing – 4-5/6/19 – Lancaster University

An area of untapped potential – The use of RJ in the fight against SOC” – (co-presented) Community experiences of organised crime: research and practice: a one-day knowledge mobilisation event – 29/3/19 – Stirling University

RJ and SOC Offending” – National Restorative Justice Council – 29/11/18 (presented paper and ran workshop)

The potential to use RJ within the SOC Context”: at Evidence-based research and policing – Developing the Relationship – 15/11/17 – Durham University

Restorative Approaches and Organised Crime Offending” – Crime Operations Coordination Committee (NPCC Portfolio Lead for SOC) – 11/5/17 – Merseyside Police


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