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Organised Crime Research Network


A UCL-based research network on preventing and controlling organised crime



Dr Paul Gill is a senior lecturer in Security and Crime Science. Pevious to joining UCL, Dr. Gill was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Pennsylvania State University. He has conducted research funded by the Office for Naval Research, the Department of Homeland Security, DSTL, the European Union, and the National Institute of Justice. These projects focused upon various aspects of terrorist behavior including the IED development, creativity, terrorist network structures, and lone-actor terrorism.

His doctoral research focused on the underlying individual and organizational motivations behind suicide bombing. This piece of research won the Jean Blondel Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in Political Science in Europe for 2010. He has published in leading psychology, criminology and political science journals.

Dr. Gill holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, an M.A. in International Relations, and a BSocSc(Int) from the School of Politics and International Relations in University College Dublin, Ireland.

Patricio R. Estévez-Soto holds a BA in Communication Science, an MRes in Security Science, and a Master in Public Policy. Before joining University College London, Patricio worked in Mexico’s Ministry of the Interior, where he was part of a government-led effort to promote scientific research on security. Later, he became a policy advisor to the Ministry’s Head of Strategic Planning. His research interests include: situational crime prevention, organised crime, quantitative criminology, and victimisation surveys. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Security and Crime Science at UCL, where his research is focused on the situational prevention of organised crimes, with particular attention to extortion against businesses in Mexico.

Florian J. Hetzel holds a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Comparative Politics, and an MRes in Security Science. Before joining University College London (UCL), Florian was involved in analysing language patterns in party manifestos at the University of Bamberg, Germany. His main research interests are money laundering, organised crime, situational crime prevention, and terrorism financing. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Security Science at the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science on the empirical analysis of the relationship between type of crime and money laundering methods. Furthermore, he is working as a research assistant in Dr Paul Gill’s project on terrorist decision making.

David Pérez Esparza holds a BA in International Relations from Monterrey Tech. He also holds a Master degree in Political Economy and Conflict Resolution from Essex University, a Master in Security from UCL, and a Master in Public Policy from EGAP School of Governance. Previously to join UCL, David worked as Consultant and Researcher for different police forces and security organisations in Mexico and Latin America. His research interests include: corruption and police reform, situational crime prevention, and illicit trafficking. He currently pursues a PhD in Security and Crime Sciences at UCL, where he researches crime prediction and the mitigation of gun-related violence.

Sanaz Zolghadriha is currently a final year PhD at the Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL. Ms Zolghadriha holds a BSc in Psychology, form the University of Manchester, as well as an MSc in Forensic Psychology from the University of Leicester, and an MRes in Security Science from University College London. Prior to joining UCL, Ms Zolghadriha worked in the field of forensic and clinical psychology, where she worked both clinically and academically. Ms Zolghadriha has completed research for the Department of Health, and for HM Prison Services in UK. Ms Zolghadriha’s PhD is focused on understanding transnational organised crime networks; their resilience and the intelligence needed to disrupt them. Her PhD has led her to present at conferences, hold workshops for law enforcement, and consult practitioners on issues of transnational organised crime.

Helden De Paz Mancera holds a BA in International Relations from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico City Campus. During her undergraduate studies, she took part in a Conflict Resolution Course at University College Dublin, Ireland and studied one semester abroad at the Cracow University of Economics, Poland. Prior to joining UCL, she worked in the public sector, first in the International Cooperation Department at the Mexico’s Attorney General Office and later in the Special Affairs Department at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was selected as Chevening Scholar 2015/2016. Her research interests are transnational organised crime and cybersecurity. She is a candidate for an MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism at UCL.