Dr Tammy Ayres

Tammy Ayres

Associate Professor in Criminology

Contact details

Personal details

Tammy is an interdisciplinary scholar that works in the area of drugs and terrorism.

I graduated from the University of Leicester with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and went on to complete an MSc in Criminology (with distinction) here at the School of Criminology, before obtaining a Postgraduate degree in Law from Nottingham Law School and finally a PhD in the Drug-Crime Relationship from the School of Psychology. I am also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Over the years I have been contracted to undertake research for HM Prison and Probation Service on drug supply, substance detoxification, self-harm and suicide as well as evaluations commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, the NHS and the Police Crime Commissioner. I have been undertaking research in the area of drugs for the last 17 years and have extensive experience of undertaking research with vulnerable populations, particularly problematic drug users, prisoners, people with mental ill-health and trauma both in the community and in prisons. This research has helped to shape policy-making and professional practice both at a local and national level. I have also organised a number of conferences and knowledge exchange activities as part of my work in this area.

I am co-chair for the British Society of Criminology's Critical Criminology Network and sit on the steering group for the Prison Research Network here at the University of Leicester. I am also a member of the Deviant Leisure Research Group and the Extreme Anthropology Network.


  • Drugs and Crime (Undergraduate)

  • Dissertations (Postgraduate)

  • Understanding Terrorism (Postgraduate core module)

Administrative responsibilities

  • MSc Co-Course Convenor
  • MSc Personal Tutor (Semester 1)
  • Member of the Criminology Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee


  • The link between drugs and crime
  • Drug policy, legislation and drug treatment
  • Drugs and drug treatment in prison
  • Novel psychoactive substances
  • Terrorism, human rights and narcoterrorism

I am currently working on the following projects:

  • A multi-disciplinary UK-Guyana research project looking at ‘MNS disorders in Guyana’s jails, 1825 to the present day’ that has been funded by the ESRC’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The project has two aims: to model a new interdisciplinary way of working and to produce policy-relevant materials on mental health, cognitive impairment and addiction among prisoners and prison officers. For more information visit the project website and read our project blogs.
  • A Process Evaluation of the Drug Recovery Prison (Ministry of Justice) with colleagues from the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology & Behaviour Dr Ruth Hatcher and Dr Emma Palmer.
  • Improving mental health outcomes for LGBT people in Nottingham (NHS) alongside colleagues in the School of Criminology (Dr Rebecca Barnes and Dr Clare Gunby)

I have just finished working on two projects. One was an ESRC Seminar Series on New Drugs, while the other was an evaluation of a new domestic violence intervention for female medium risk, repeat victims of domestic abuse. This project was undertaken alongside other colleagues from the School of Criminology (Dr Rebecca Barnes and Dr Clare Gunby) and in collaboration with Nottingham-based domestic violence agency Equation. To download the report click here.


  • Drugs, including drug use in prison
  • Trauma and coping
  • Terrorism and Narcoterrorism


Taylor, S., Ayres, T.C. and Jones, E. (2020) Enlightened hedonism? Independent drug checking amongst a group of ecstasy users. International Journal of Drug Policy, Online First. Doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102869

Ayres, T.C. and Ancrum, C. (2020) PPE and contactless delivery: drug dealers reveal how they are adapting to coronavirus. The Conversation, 21st May.

Suhomlinova, O., Ayres, T.C., O’Shea, S., O'Reilly, M. and Tonkin, M. (2020) Trans and in prison during a pandemic: a rare glimpse behind bars. The Conversation, 15th June.

Ayres, T.C. (2020) Childhood Trauma, Problematic Drug use and Coping. Deviant Behavior. Online First. Doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2020.1746132

Ayres, T.C. (2020). The War on Drugs and Its Invisible Collateral Damage: Environmental Harm and Climate Change. In A. Brisman and N. South (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology. London: Routledge.

Ayres T.C. and Taylor, S. (2020). Media and Intoxication: Media Representations of the Intoxicated. In F. Hutton (Ed.), Cultures of Intoxication: Key Issues and Debates (pp239-261). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Ayres, T.C. (2020). Substances: The luxurious, the sublime and the harmful. In S. Hall, T. Kuldova & M. Horsley (Eds.), Crime, Harm and Consumerism (pp108-122). London: Routledge.

Ayres, T.C. (2019). Substance Use in the Night-Time Economy: Deviant Leisure?. In T. Raymen, & O. Smith (Eds.), Deviant Leisure: A Criminological Perspectives on Leisure and Harm (pp135-160). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Ayres, T.C. (2019) Fact 7: From 2007 to 2017, there were around 2.3 million deliberate fires in the UK, resulting in over 25,000 injuries and over 900 deaths. In J. Treadwell and A. Lynes (eds.) 50 Facts Everyone Should Know About Crime and Punishment in Britain (pp. 44-48). Bristol: Policy.

Ayres, T.C., Carney, P., Carrabine, E., McClanahan, B., Linnemann, T. and Schept, J. (2018). Social Justice Symposium on Meth Wars: Police, Media, Power. Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict and World Order, 45 (2/3), 163-179.

Hamilton-Hunter, A., Ayres, T.C., Moreland, N. and Cox, A.T. (2018) The Phantom Menace: Novel Psychoactive Substances and the UK Armed Forces. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 164, pp. 450-457.

Ayres, T.C. (2017) Drugs, Leisure, Consumption and Harm, BSC Newsletter (winter), pp. 20-26.

Taylor, S., Buchanan, J. and Ayres, T.C. (2016) 'Prohibition, Privilege and the Drug Apartheid: The Failure of Drug Policy Reform to Address the Underlying Fallacies of Drug Prohibition' Criminology and Criminal Justice, 16 (4), pp. 452-469.

Treadwell, J. and Ayres, T.C. (2014) ‘Talking Prada and Powder: Cocaine Use and Supply among the Football Hooligan Firm’ in J. Treadwell and M. Hopkins (eds.) Football Hooliganism, Crime and Crowd Control: Contemporary Themes in Relation to Research and Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 49-70.

Ayres, T.C. and Bond, J.W. (2012) ‘A Chemical Analysis Examining the Pharmacology of Novel Psychoactive Substances Freely Available Over the Internet and their Impact on Public (Ill)Health. Legal Highs or Illegal Highs?’ British Medical Journal Open, 2 (4), pp. 1-10.

Ayres, T.C. and Jewkes, Y. (2012) 'The Haunting Spectacle of Crystal Meth: A Media Created Mythology' Crime Media Culture, 8 (3), pp. 315-332.

Ayres, T.C. and Treadwell, J. (2012) 'Bars, Drugs and Football Thugs: Cocaine Use amongst English Football Firms' Criminology and Criminal Justice, 12 (1), pp. 83-100.

Palmer, E. J., Hatcher, R. M., McGuire, J., Bilby, C. A. L., Ayres, T. C. and Hollin, C. R. (2011) 'Evaluation of the Addressing Substance-Related Offending (ASRO) Program for Substance-Using Offenders in the Community' Substance Use and Misuse, 46 (8), pp. 1072-1080.

Unpublished Research Reports

Barnes, R., Gunby, C., Johnson, K. and Ayres, T. (2021) Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT+ populations: final report. Leicester: University of Leicester and RMIT University: Melbourne.

Barnes, R., Gunby, C., Johnson, K. and Ayres, T. (2021) Improving the mental health outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT+ populations: executive summary. Leicester: University of Leicester and RMIT University: Melbourne.

Ayres, T.C., Barnes, R., Gunby, C. and Johnson, K. (2019) Improving the Mental Health Outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT Populations: Quantitative analysis of existing national and regional statistics concerning the mental health needs and healthcare experiences of LGBT people (Available to Download here).

Semlyen, J., Johnson, K., Barnes, R., Gunby, C. and Ayres, T.C. (2018) Improving the Mental Health Outcomes of Nottingham’s LGBT populations: a rapid evidence assessment, Leicester: University of Leicester (Available to download here).

Barnes, R., Gunby, C. E., Shelton, N., Hodgkinson, S. and Ayres, T.C. (2016). Protect, support and respond to repeat female victims of medium risk domestic abuse. (Available to Download).

Palmer, E. and Ayres, T.C. (2008) Alcohol and Drug Use among Older Prisoners (Report Prepared for Nottinghamshire County Council).


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