Institute for Social Renewal

Race, crime & justice

North East Race, Crime & Justice network


On these pages, you can find out more about how this network supports and carries out research concerning race equality, crime and social justice.

The ‘Race’, Crime and Justice Regional Research Network (RCJRRN) is a grouping of researchers from academic, research and policy backgrounds on which all five North East region Universities are represented (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside). The group undertakes independent and commissioned research, and analyses and comments on policy and practice issues in relation to the experience of ethnic minorities in the region of the criminal justice system, broadly defined. It publishes reports on relevant issues and is available to speak at conferences around these and related issues.

RCJRRN supports the work of the North East Race Equality Forum (NEREF).  NEREF was formally launched in December 2014 and provides a voice for all community based organisations, policy makers, institutions and academics involved in promoting and ensuring Race Equality throughout the region.  NEREF met in May 2015 to develop core organisation priorities for the group. 

To contact NEREF please email:

To contact the North East Regional Race Crime and Justice Network please email:

Use the tabs above for:

  • Research briefings
  • Information briefings
  • Events
  • Contacts
  • Publications
Lady justice figure


Research briefings and information briefings can be found below

Research Briefings

NEREF Research Briefing No. 1: The Chinese population in the North East Region

NEREF Research Briefing No. 2: Local Ethnic Inequalities: Ethnic Differences in Education, Employment, Health and Housing in Districts of England and Wales, 2001−2011

NEREF Research Briefing No. 3: How has Britain’s integration debate developed since 2000?

NEREF Research Briefing No. 4: The North East: A warm and friendly welcome?

NEREF Research Briefing No. 5: Ethnic inequalities in admission to highly selective universities

NEREF Research Briefing No. 6: The budget’s impact on Black and Minority ethnic people

NEREF Research Briefing No. 7: Tell MAMA: the picture of anti-Muslim hatred in 2014/2015

NEREF Research Briefing No 8: Who voted for leaving the EU?

NEREF Research Briefing No. 9: Exploring third party reporting across categories of hate in Tyne and Wear

NEREF Reserach Briefing No. 10: Who is vulnerable?: adult social care and modern slavery

NEREF Research Briefing No 11: Migration in Middlesbrough Data Mapping Project, Carol Devanney


Should you wish to contribute a research briefing then please contact: Dr Louise Wattis, Teesside University, email:


Information Briefings

NEREF Information Briefing No. 1: ‘Race’, Immigration and the General Election

NEREF Information Briefing No. 2: Ethnic minorities and experience of diabetes education

NEREF Information Briefing No. 3: The economic impacts of immigration

NEREF Information Briefing No. 4: The Modern Slavery Act

NEREF Information Briefing No. 5: Who damages our economy? migrants or the banks?

NEREF Information Briefing No 6: How far have we come? Lessons from the 1965 Race Relations Act

NEREF Information Briefing No 7: 50 years of Race Relations legislation

NEREF Information Briefing No 8: Prosecuting Hate Crime

NEREF Information Briefing No 9: The Lammy Review: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in the criminal justice system

NEREF Information Briefing No. 10: Information Required for Proposed UK Bill of Rights

NEREF Information Briefing No. 11: Parliamentary Enquiry into Hate Crime

NEREF Information Briefing No. 12: Challenging Race Hate Crime: Conference Feedback

NEREF Information Briefing No 13: Sajid Javid, Racism and The State, Smina Akhtar (University of Glasgow)


Should you wish to contribute an information briefing then please contact Professor Gary Craig, email:


Download presentations from recent events and let colleagues know about your relevant event

‘Working with Young People – everyday racism and the Prevent Agenda’

Tuesday 27th March 2018, Teesside University 

This event provided an opportunity for our members to engage in a dialogue about the Prevent strategy, what it is, how it affects them and particularly how it affects their work and relationship with young people.  We were delighted to welcome Professor Paul Thomas and Paul Giannassi, OBE (Police Superintendent, Government Lead for Hate Crime) as keynote speakers and a range of workshops aimed at providing a varied discussion to produce ideas for moving forward. Many thanks to all our Workshop Leads – Marsha Garratt, All In Youth Project(Racism, colourism and skin bleaching); Claire Rodgerson, Helen Gray and James Kingett, Show Racism the Red Card (The Routes Project: Working with young people in a pre-Prevent space) and Dr Bankole Cole, Reader, Sheffield Hallam University and Dr Nadia Habashi (Policing Young People)

Professor Paul Thomas: Working with young people – everyday racism and the Prevent agenda

Paul Gianassi: The UK Approach to Hate Crime


Challenging Race Hate Crime Event

June 15th 2017

We were delighted to host the Challenging Race Hate Crime Event on Thursday June 15th.  We would like to thank the Institute for Social Renewal for supporting the event through their funding programme and also to the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioners Office for their support. We were also delighted to have the support of Chi Onwurah MP (Newcastle Central).

Many thanks to all our speakers: Dame Vera Baird (Northumbria PCC), Dr Ian Fitzgerald, Reader, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle and Professor Rafal Smoczynski, Professor, Polish Academy of Sciences, Ijjou Thompson, Diverse Women’s Network, Michelle Redfern, Community Engagement Officer, Northumbria Police, Merwa Zen, Regional Refugee Forum, North East Community Safety Working Group, Dr Rick Bowler & Dr Amina Razak, Centre of Applied Social Studies, University of Sunderland.  They have allowed us to add their presentations on the website so that you can have access to them:

Merwa Zen and Georgina Fletcher, Regional Refugee Forum, North East Community Safety Working Group: Regional Refugee Forum, Action to address the distinct factors that deter Refugee and Asylum Seekers from reporting Hate

Dr Ian Fitzgerald, Reader, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University Newcastle and Professor Rafal Smoczynski, Professor, Polish Academy of Sciences: Brexit and the Polish ‘community’ in the North of England

Dr Rick Bowler & Dr Amina Razak, Centre of Applied Social Studies, University of Sunderland: Young People as Cultural Critics: Resisting Mono-Cultural Landscapes]

For more information on Hate Crime and how to report please see the following link:


Ustinov Race Crime and Justice events

These events are hosted by the Ustinov College Race Crime and Justice Scholarship students (Durham University).  The Scholarship was developed by Professor Maggie O'Neill and has been continued by Professor Glenn McGregor.  The Scholarship students continue to remain linked to the North East Race Crime and Justice Research Network developing events in this area.

Members of the Race Crime and Justice Network have been involved in speaking at these events. 

Ustinov College website - Race, Crime and Justice page

Ustinov College website - Upcoming events

Scholarship holders include:

  • 2012-2013 [year 1]. Celine Opphelder [MSc in Criminology]
  • 2013-2014 -[year 2]. Jesper Pederson [PhD School of Government and International Affairs]
  • 2014-2015 [year 3]. Valentina Amuso and Jason Haynes   [PhD  Politics/School of Government and International Affairs]
  • 2015-16 [year 4]. Vicky Meaby and Raven Bowen  [PhD in the  School of Applied Social Sciences]


NEREF and PCC Hate Crime Conference October 2015


Should you wish us to notify NEREF Members of an event then please contact: Jenny Johnstone, Newcastle University, email:



Get in touch with members of the network


We have also established a Steering Group from NEREF.  We are very grateful for the support and involvement of all our Steering Group members.

  • Nitin Shukla
  • Nadeem Ahmed
  • Pat Poinen
  • Marsha Garratt
  • Shahda Khan

We are always looking for new members so if you are interested then please contact Jenny at  

Role and Remit of NERRCJRN Steering Group



Published in association with the Group

  • Between destitution and a hard place (Fiona Cuthill, Omer Siddiq Abdalla and Khalid Bashir)
  • Written out of the picture: child poverty and refugees (Steve Crossley and Georgina Fletcher)

 All these reports are available via Gary Craig, address TBC

Responses to Consultations and Inquiries

Current Research

Research: Directory and Best Practice models

As a result of the Forum Meeting in February 2016 it was decided that we would try and develop a directory of organisations that work to promote race equality in the region.  In addition to identify models of best practice that these organisations are engaged with.  We have developed pro-formas which have been disseminated to NEREF members and they are going through the process of completing them.

To help us with this we have, with the support of Newcastle University Law School, three students working with us over the summer undertaking various tasks. They are:

  • Ewan Smith who has been responsible for undertaking a scoping study of all organisations that currently exist to promote race equality in the North East.
  • Chloe Abbott has been looking at the incidences of hate crime post Brexit in the North East and also looking at the national picture.
  • Raymond Chan has been identifying organisations which have publicly available examples of best practice in responding to race equality and hate crime – both from public agencies and voluntary sector organisations.

Ewan, Chloe and Raymond are all Graduates of Newcastle Law School in 2016 and the Research Network and Forum are grateful to them for their hard work and input which will form the basis of future events, activities and research. 

The Directory and Best Practice examples have now been finalised. Please see links to access details about the groups.