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Research Fellow who studied the lives of drug dealers in Yorkshire to join Leeds Beckett


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A criminology lecturer who has spent 10 years shadowing young Muslim drug dealers in Yorkshire has joined Leeds Beckett as a Visiting Research Fellow.

Research Fellow who studied the lives of drug dealers in Yorkshire to join Leeds Beckett

Dr Mohammed Qasim, who previously worked at Swansea University, has observed drug dealers for a decade and watched offenders as they earned money, fought turf wars and drifted in and out of jail.

He will now be joining Leeds Beckett as a co-investigator alongside Professor Colin Webster, Programme Director for the Centre of Applied Social Research, for an ongoing project looking at the effect of poverty and prison on the identity of Pakistani career criminals.

Dr Qasim, who is originally from Bradford, said: “I feel honoured to be working closely with staff from Leeds Beckett, and particularly Prof Webster, on this research project.

“As part of my visit, I will be delivering a number of visiting lectures on our findings from the project, starting in 2018.

“I look forward to working with the students at the university and to sharing my experiences, as I delve into the challenges academics may face when spending considerable time with offenders for their research.”

Dr Qasim, who is due to publish a book in January called Young, Muslim and Criminal on his research into the topic, will work alongside Prof Webster and the School of Social Sciences to look at how the ethnic and religious aspects of identity may encourage or discourage crime. The research project is expected to last for three years.

Colin Webster

Prof Webster added: “Dr Qasim’s immersion in his research subject’s lives and the subject of criminal careers provides rare insight about a population few studies are able to access and understand at such close quarters.

“Our planned new study, while continuing his previous study, extends and deepens our interest in criminal careers to younger and older groups who offend allowing insight across the life span.”

Prof Webster has been a Professor in Criminology since 2011. His current research involves looking into how poverty impacts crime, and on youth crime and justice within the School of Social Sciences.

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