Dr Xavier L'Hoiry (he/him)

Law LLB, MA Criminology, PhD Criminology

Department of Sociological Studies

Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy

Director of Student Recruitment and Marketing

Dr Xavier L'Hoiry
Profile picture of Dr Xavier L'Hoiry
+44 114 222 6404

Full contact details

Dr Xavier L'Hoiry
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Xavier joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2015, having previously worked as a research associate at the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield. He completed an LLB in Law at Durham University before undertaking an MA in Criminology at the University of Leeds. He subsequently completed a PhD in Criminology at Teesside University. Xavier's doctoral thesis was an ethnographic exploration of illicit entrepreneurship, focusing on tobacco smuggling and policing responses to this phenomenon.

Research interests

A central theme of Xavier’s research is working alongside practitioners, with a view towards co-producing research outputs to ensure impact and value for research end-users. Xavier’s research interests lie predominantly in organised crime and illicit markets, but his research activities have encompassed several aspects of police practice.

Since 2015, Xavier has completed a series of research projects which have involved working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other actors in the criminal justice system. These projects have included topics such as:

  • The feasibility of applying restorative approaches to organised crime offending (Findings).
  • Community policing in South Yorkshire (on behalf of South Yorkshire Police).
  • Cross-force collaborations in policing (on behalf of North East Transformation, Innovation and Collaboration).
  • The deployment of Body-Worn Cameras in Humberside (on behalf of Humberside Police).
  • The use of Adult Sexual Services websites to facilitate human trafficking and sexual exploitation (working alongside several police forces in England and Wales).
  • The experiences of young magistrates (under 40 years old) in England and Wales.

More recently, Xavier has developed research interests in the activities of Watch Groups, citizen-led groups which carry out surveillance and policing functions in various settings. 

Xavier also has an ongoing interest in the experiences of under-researched practitioners in the criminal justice system. His most recent project on this theme explored the experiences of young magistrates in England and Wales.

Xavier is currently engaged in several projects in the fields of policing, organised crime and surveillance (see Grants sections below for further details). He welcomes research-related enquiries in these areas with a view to building greater partnerships with key stakeholders and research end-users and developing future research.


Edited books

Journal articles



  • D’Souza N & L'Hoiry XD (2017) The Feasibility of Undertaking Restorative Approaches with Serious and Organised Crime Offending RIS download Bibtex download
  • Crawford A & L'Hoiry XD (2015) Partnerships in the Delivery of Policing and Safeguarding Children. An Exploratory Knowledge Platform for Policing: Exploiting Knowledge Assets, Utilising Data and Piloting Research Co-production RIS download Bibtex download
  • Norris C & L'Hoiry XD (2014) Exercising democratic rights under surveillance regimes RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Norris C & L'Hoiry XD (2014) The data retention bill means we have no privacy rights at all. RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • L'Hoiry X (2013) Donald Cressey. In Encyclopedia of White-Collar and Corporate Crime SAGE Publications. RIS download Bibtex download
  • L'Hoiry X Tobacco Industry SAGE Publications, Inc.. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Xavier is the co-chair of the Sheffield University Policing Research Group (SUPRG). The SUPRG brings together academics and practitioners in ongoing dialogue concerning mutual interests in policing practice and research. If you would like to hear more about SUPRG events or would like to be added to the group’s mailing list, please contact Xavier.

Xavier is a member of the Social Inequalities and Social Ordering research theme in the Department of Sociological Studies. This research theme is concerned with the nature and extent of class, age, place, gender, ethnic, and generation-based inequalities and the ways in which these are managed through formal and informal processes of social ordering. 

Xavier is also a member of the European Society of Criminology’s Working Group on Organized Crime and Criminal Network.

Postgraduate Supervision

Xavier currently supervises doctoral theses on care leavers’ experience of Child Criminal Exploitation, and migrants’ experiences of organised crime. 

Xavier encourages enquiries for postgraduate supervision in any area of criminology but particularly projects concerning organised crime, illicit entrepreneurship, surveillance and policing.

Title: Awarding body: Dates: Amount:

Watch Groups: Citizen-led Policing, Digital Surveillance & Vulnerable Groups (PI)

Leverhulme Trust 2023-2026 £227,418
Understanding criminality in the private rented sector and co-producing solutions (CI) ESRC 2023-2026 £995,493
Conceptualising and evaluating the impact of policing drug markets (CI) N8 Policing Research Partnership 2023-2024 £19,531
Developing a risk assessment tool for human trafficking mediated online (CI) National Police Chief's Council 2022-2023 £59,999
Tackling Commercial Sexual Exploitation Online (PI) ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2022-2023 £6,745
Evaluation of Prison? Me? No Way! Crime Safety Awareness Days (PI) No Way Trust 2022-2023 £20,000
Courting Young Magistrates (PI) BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant 2020-2022 £6,682
Tackling the Developing World of Organised Crime Groups in a Multi-Agency Strategy (CI) N8 Policing Research Partnerships Small Grants 2020-2021 £23,902
Identifying Sexual Trafficking Online (PI) N8 Policing Research Partnerships Small Grants 2019-2020 £24,315
Evaluating Body-Worn Video in Humberside Police (CI) N8 Policing Research Partnership Knowledge Exchange 2018-2020 £5,000
Investigating Cross-force Police Collaborations North East Transformation Innovation and Collaboration 2017-2017 £3,000
Restorative Approaches in Serious and Organised Crime N8 Policing Research Partnership Knowledge Exchange 2016-2017  
Teaching interests

Xavier's approach to teaching focuses and enquiry-based learning and is shaped by his own experiences of academic and non-academic research and teaching.

He seeks to encourage students to engage with materials in critical ways to challenge popular (mis)understandings of criminological issues and enable students to form their own thoughts on key questions in contemporary criminology and social policy.

Xavier’s approach to teaching and learning also seeks to develop key employability skills of students to serve them beyond their undergraduate studies whether in academic or non-academic pursuits. With that in mind, he delivers teaching in a manner which develops teamwork, presentational skills, critical analytical processes and innovative approaches to research.

Teaching activities

Xavier currently convenes the following modules:

  • SCS3038 Organised Crime and Illicit Markets
  • SCS2021 Crime, Justice and Social Policy
Professional activities and memberships
  • Member of Editorial Board for Trends in Organized Crime.
  • Member of Editorial Board for Urban Crime.
  • Member of the N8 Policing Research Partnership.
  • Co-chair of the Sheffield University Policing Research Group.
  • Academic representative of the South Yorkshire Organised Crime Partnership Board.
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology.
  • Member of the European Society of Criminology.
Partnerships, engagement and impact

Xavier’s research is inherently collaborative. He has worked with a range of law enforcement practitioners and third sector organisations to ensure that his work delivers impact on policy and practice, particularly at the frontline of policing. Current and recent collaborations include:

Tackling commercial sexual exploitation

Beginning with a pilot study conducted alongside South Yorkshire Police, Xavier has led colleagues in creating a risk assessment and decision support tool to help practitioners identify risks of commercial sexual exploitation taking place online. Several police forces in the UK and a number of law enforcement agencies abroad are currently using this tool in their investigatory practices. Xavier regularly delivers training and presents to practitioners on the use of this tool.

Understanding the experiences of young magistrates

Working alongside the Magistrates Association in England and Wales, Xavier has led a study designed to better understand the experiences of magistrates under 40 years of age. As part of this work, Xavier has made policy and practice recommendations to key stakeholders, designed to improve the experiences of currently serving magistrates as well as increase opportunities for recruitment of young people into the magistracy. These recommendations have been co-produced alongside currently serving young magistrates with the support of the Magistrates Association.

Understanding criminality in the Private Rented Sector

Xavier is currently engaged in a cross-institutional study with universities in York and Newcastle as well as a housing charity based in West Yorkshire. The study seeks to better understand the nature of criminality taking place in the private rented sector as well as the experiences of individuals who have been victimised in this space. The study involves extensive co-production activities with victimised tenants, and planned outputs from the study have a strong policy and practice focus.