How can the crime-terror nexus be minimised within prison, utilising the CONTEST strategy?

Research Institution / Organisation

Staffordshire University

Principal Researcher

Hannah Bennett

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2019

Research Context

The purpose of this study is to identify how the Government and Prison Service is minimising the networking of organised criminals and terrorists in prisons at present, and then provide recommendations as to how to lessen the networking further.

It is evident from previous research (Basra, 2016), that prisons offer an environment for networking amongst organised criminals and terrorists. Some prisoners are forming alliances, learning new tactics and gaining associations that can provide expertise and illegal goods and services. However, there is a lack of research concerning how we can lessen this networking; hence, this study will provide recommendations, utilising the 4 ‘P’ work strands, Prevent, Prepare, Protect and Pursue, in the CONTEST Strategy, on how this networking can be minimised.

Research Methodology

The thesis will include the collection of qualitative primary data through semi-structured interviews, conducted with practitioners, policy makers, prison staff, governors and prison intelligence officers (PIOs). The participants will be chosen carefully to ensure they have knowledge of the crime-terror nexus and a view of the networking inside prison. I will be contacting a variety of practitioners and policy makers through my associations in the Government and academia. Concerning frontline officers, the two prisons which will be used during this thesis are HMP Whitemoor and HMP Dovegate.

Overall, the qualitative data analysis for this interview-based study will be thematic and interpretative phenomenological. Thematic analysis will be used in order to code and create key themes from the participants' views and experiences. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) will be used to direct the data collection as it concerns the question of how the participants make sense of this topic. This is still data analysis rather than a distinctive method, but by incorporating IPA it changes the slant of the interview to the perspective of the participant and how they experience the phenomena. Hence, an analysis on their personal reflection of the issue.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

September 2022
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