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Verity Smith


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Member of the Department of Sociology  


I am a second year PhD student in the Department of Sociology. I joined the department after completing the MA International Criminology, and LLB Law (International & European), both at the University of Sheffield. My doctoral research is funded by the N8 Policing Research Partnership and Durham University. 

I am part of the Trangressive Leisure research group.

Follow me on Twitter: @veritymasmith

Field of Study

The policing and regulation of illegal drugs at music festivals in the UK: exploring the tensions between trangression, control and harm reduction in commercialised 'liminal space'.

My doctoral research takes an ethnographic and inductive approach to explore the ways in which drugs are policed at a number of UK festivals. With an emphasis on context, I examine the tensions and challenges of multi-agency partnership work, the drug-related decision making processes in the festival, and the negotiation of policy between stakeholders. 

Research interests

  • Drug Policy
  • Drug Law Enforcement
  • Drug Harm Reduction
  • Policing Dance Space & The NTE
  • Ethnography
  • Multi-Agency Partnerships

Esteem Indicators

  • Anthony Bottoms Prize for MA International Criminology, University of Sheffield: Highest overall mark in cohort


Conference Paper

  • Smith, V (2019), Behind the Scenes: reflections on researching policing and security in a multi-sited festival ethnography, Policing Ethnography. Northumbria University.