Dr Kath Murray is a Research Fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) based at the University of Edinburgh.
Earlier this year Dr Murray won the Outstanding Early Career Impact award in our Celebrating Impact Prize 2016.
This is the second blog in a series which looks into the research behind the five successful awards, whilst touching on how the winning academics will spend their £10,000 prize.
In January 2014, police use of stop and search in Scotland hit the headlines. The publication of key findings from my ESRC/Scottish Government funded PhD revealed for the first time, the extraordinary scale of stop and search in Scotland, the fact that most searches lacked legal authority or reasonable suspicion, and fell disproportionately on young people. As a rough guide to the size of the matter, police records showed that in 2012/13, officers recorded more stop searches and seizures on 16 to 19 year olds than the population of 16 to 19 year olds in Scotland.
Between 2013 and 2015, the ESRC funded a seminar series examining the changing relationship between Scotland and the North East of England. While the series highlighted the many challenges facing the North East’s economic fortunes in the context of an even more powerful neighbour north of the border, it also explored the opportunities provided by the Scottish independence campaign – and the aftermath of the 2014 referendum – to forge new, creative, cross-border collaborations between two ‘close friends’ united by common bonds and shared traditions.
Here Professor Keith Shaw of Northumbria University, who led the seminar series, writes about the effect on the relationship between Scotland and the North East of England and forthcoming potential outcomes following Brexit.
One of the collaborative opportunities identified – and subsequently taken up – in the ESRC seminar series ‘Close Friends’? Assessing the impact of greater Scottish autonomy on the North of England was for the five local authorities adjacent to the Scotland border to promote greater cross-border economic collaboration and ensure that a stronger voice for the borderlands area is developed.
Jennifer Thomson is an ESRC (1+3) PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She is based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH). Jennifer’s research examines the links between woodlands, health and health inequalities. For her MSc dissertation she explored the use of woodlands in urban areas of Scotland.
We at CRESH are continuing to explore the ways in which public green spaces – such as woods and parks – are good for our mental and physical health. Our previous work has shown that those living near green space tend to have better health and less likely to die from heart or lung disease than those living in more built up areas. We’ve also found that green spaces may have a role in reducing the health gap between richer and poorer neighbourhoods. Other researchers have emphasised the health-promoting qualities of woodlands in particular, and how they may be important places for reducing stress and increasing physical activity among those living in towns and cities where access to nature is often limited.