Professor / Director Crime and Security Research Institute, Cardiff University.

Professor Martin Innes is Director of the Crime and Security Research Institute, and Universities’ Police Science Institute at Cardiff University. His research has been highly influential across policy, practitioner and academic communities, both nationally and internationally.

He is author of the books: ‘Signal Crimes’ (2014, OUP) ‘Investigating Murder’ (2003, OUP) and ‘Understanding Social Control (2003, Open University Press), as well as numerous scholarly articles. Between 2004-13 Innes was Editor of the journal ‘Policing and Society’, and he has written for Prospect Magazine, and The Guardian newspaper.

Innes has achieved particular renown for his research and policy development work on: reassurance and Neighbourhood Policing; ‘Prevent’ counter-terrorism; and the conduct of major crime investigations. He has acted in an advisory capacity to policing and security agencies, and governments in the USA, Canada, Australia and Holland.

Personal webpage

Recent Publications

  • Innes, M. 2020. Techniques of disinformation: Constructing and communicating ‘soft facts’ after terrorismBritish Journal of Sociology (10.1111/1468-4446.12735)
  • Innes, M. (2014) Signal Crimes: Social Reactions to Crime, Disorder and Control. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Innes, M., Roberts, C., Preece, A. and Rogers, D. (2016) “Ten Rs of social reaction: Using social media to measure the post-event impacts of the murder of Lee Rigby”, Terrorism and Political Violence.
  • Innes, M., Roberts, C. and Lowe, T. (2017) “A disruptive influence: Prevent-ing problems and countering violent extremism policy in practice”, Law and Society Review, 51/2

More from Martin...



Prophets and Loss: How “Soft Facts” on Social Media Influenced the Brexit Campaign and Social Reactions to the Murder of Jo Cox MP

This article examines “soft facts” about security issues in the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign. Soft facts arise when information provenance is uncertain, and are forms of malleable and contingent knowledge, such as rumors, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. There is a growing appreciation that digital communications environments are especially conducive to the dissemination of these kinds of information. Informed by empirical data comprising forty-five thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven data points collected by monitoring social media before and after the UK Brexit referendum campaign (June 16–October 12, 2016), the analysis examines how and why a series of soft facts concerning Brexit were mobilized. By developing the concept of “digital prophecy,” the article explores how influence is exerted by online prophets who were connecting current events to past grievances, to advance negative predictions about the future. This starts to capture the tradecraft of digital influencing, in ways that move beyond the structural topologies of communication networks. In policy terms, the analysis reminds us of the need to attend not just to how influence is achieved through fake news (e.g., using social media bots to amplify a message), but also why influence is sought in the first place.

(From the journal abstract)

Dobreva, D., Grinnell, D., & Innes, M. (2020). Prophets and Loss: How “Soft Facts” on Social Media Influenced the Brexit Campaign and Social Reactions to the Murder of Jo Cox MP. Policy & Internet, 12(2), 144–164.

Authors: Diyana Dobreva, Daniel Grinnell, Martin Innes

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