I joined the School of Criminology in 2016 having previously worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Birmingham City University. Prior to this I worked as a Research Assistant in the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Unit based within Rampton High Secure Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. My academic qualifications include a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Forensic Psychology and a PhD (on crime linkage) from the University of Leicester.
My research focuses on two main areas:
1) Investigative psychology, serial offending and supporting the detection and prosecution of serial offenders- much of my research is focused on understanding the crime scene behaviour of serial offenders including techniques that use that information to enhance the detection and prosecution of these offenders (e.g. crime linkage offender and geographical profiling). For example I am a founding member of the Crime Linkage International Network (C-LINK) (see: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/c-link/index.aspx)
2) Prisons and forensic psychiatric hospitals- I also have expertise on prisons and forensic hospitals, including how to create a custodial environment conducive to offender rehabilitation. For example I have developed the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) which measures the social climate in prisons and forensic hospitals (see: https://www.hogrefe.com/uk/shop/the-essen-climate-evaluation-schema-essences-71103.html)
I have received funding from a wide range of sources including the ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Scottish Government and British Psychological Society.
Recent Selected Publications
Suhomlinova, O., Ayres, T. C., Tonkin, M. J., O'Reilly, M., Wertans, E., & O'Shea, S. C. (2021). Locked up while locked down: Prisoners' experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Criminology, 62, 279-298.
Tonkin, M., & Weeks, M. J. (2021). Crime linkage practice in New Zealand. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 7, 63-76.
Burrell, A., & Tonkin, M. (2020). Property crime: Criminological and psychological perspectives. London: Routledge.
Palmer, E. J., Hatcher, R. M., & Tonkin, M. J. (2020). Evaluation of digital technology in prisons. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, Ministry of Justice, London, UK.
Tonkin, M., Lemeire, J., Santtila, P., & Winter, J. M. (2019). Linking property crime using offender crime scene behaviour: A comparison of methods. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 16, 75-90.
Woodhams, J., Tonkin, M., Burrell, A., Imre, H., Winter, J. M., Lam, E. K. M. ... & Santtila, P. (2019). Linking serial sex offences: Moving towards an ecologically valid test of the principles of crime linkage. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 24, 123-140.
Tonkin, M., Pakkanen, T., Siren, J., Bennell, C., Woodhams, J., Burrell, A. ... & Santtila, P. (2017). Using offender crime scene behavior to link stranger sexual assaults: A comparison of three statistical approaches. Journal of Criminal Justice, 50, 19-28.
Tonkin, M., & Woodhams, J. (2017). The feasibility of using crime scene behaviour to detect versatile serial offenders: An empirical test of behavioural consistency, distinctiveness and discrimination accuracy. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 22, 99-115.
Schalast, N., & Tonkin, M. (2016). Essen Climate Evaluation Schema EssenCES: A manual and more. Gottingen: Hogrefe Publishing.
Tonkin, M. (2016). A review of questionnaire measures for assessing the social climate in prisons and forensic psychiatric hospital settings. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 60, 1376-1405.
I am happy to accept applications to supervise PhDs on topics relating to:
2) Offender crime scene behaviour
3) Investigative psychology
4) Police decision-making and crime analysis (particularly offender profiling, behavioural investigative advice, geographical profiling and crime linkage)
5) Prisons and forensic psychiatric hospitals
6) Offender rehabilitation and treatment readiness
I teach a range of topics across investigative and forensic psychology as well as research methods on our suite of BSc Criminology and BSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology programmes.
Press and media
I am happy to be contacted by journalists in relation to the following topics:
1) Investigative psychology (e.g. crime linkage offender and geographical profiling)
2) Prisons, forensic psychiatric hospitals and offender rehabilitation
- Founding member of the Crime Linkage International Network (C-LINK) (see: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/c-link/index.aspx)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Member of the Cabinet Office What Works Trial Advice Panel
- Associate Editor of the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Recent Conference Presentations:
Tonkin, M. & Weeks, M. (2021). Exploring crime linkage practice in New Zealand. Paper presented at the 30th conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, online.
Tonkin, M., Lemeire, J., & Weeks, M. (2021). Developing and testing crime linkage algorithms with residential burglaries in New Zealand. Paper presented at the 30th conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, online.
Tonkin, M. (2018). The Crime Linkage International NetworK (C-LINK): Findings. Paper presented at the 28th conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, Turku, Finland.
Tonkin, M., Lemeire, J., Santtila, P., & Winter, J. (2017). Linking property crime using offender crime scene behaviour. Paper presented at the 27th conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, Mechelen, Belgium.
Tonkin, M. & Woodhams, J. (2016). Detecting versatile offenders through crime scene behaviour. Paper presented at the British Academy conference, Using Behavioural Science to Target Prolific Criminals, London, UK.
Lemeire, J. & Tonkin, M. (2016). Multivariate statistics and their application to crime linkage. Paper presented at the British Academy conference, Using Behavioural Science to Target Prolific Criminals, London, UK.
Tonkin, M., Bennell, C., Pakkanen, T., Salfati, G., Winter, J., & van der Kemp, J. (2016). The C-LINK research projects and findings. Paper presented at the 17th conference of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology, New York, US.