Dr Michelle WrightSenior Lecturer

Dr. Michelle Wright studied at the University of Liverpool for 10 years obtaining a BSc (Hons) Psychology in 2000, MSc Investigative Psychology in 2001 and an MPhil for her thesis “Detective decision-making in homicide investigations” in 2004. Her PhD thesis “Detective Intuition: The Role of Homicide Schemas” was supervised by Professor David Canter and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Michelle has carried out consultancy work for the Home Office examining the use of serious crime analysis by the police, Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary examining how homicides are investigated, resource allocation and the development of benchmarking measures for homicide investigations.

On completion of her PhD in November 2007, Michelle went on to work as Investigative Practice Developer at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). In this role, she developed practice advice on “Responding to Gun Crime” and was part of a team which carried out operational debriefs of a number of high profile police investigations aimed at identifying good practice and lessons learned for the police service. Michelle was Assistant Secretary of the ACPO Homicide Working Group (HWG) and Editor of The Journal of Homicide and Major Incident Investigation until she left the NPIA at the end of March 2010.

Michelle left the NPIA to take up the position of Professional Practice and Information Manager at the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). In this role, Michelle was responsible for identifying and developing police practice in relation to the investigation and prevention of the criminal use of firearms and the development of legislative change proposals (eg, review of the use of investigation anonymity orders (IAOs) and introduction of a new firearms offence “possession with intent to supply”).

Research Interests

Michelle’s research is practitioner focused and draws upon her background and training in Investigative Psychology. Her research interests include:

- Homicide and its investigation;

- Police decision-making;

- Criminal use of firearms;

- Behavioural linking of serial crimes;

- Offender spatial behaviour - Geographical profiling;

- The development of the provision and use of behavioural investigative advice in serious crime investigations.

Research Outputs

National Police Reports
NPIA (2011). Strategic Debrief Operation Anagram: Investigative Analysis of a Serial Killer. London: NPIA.

ACPO Criminal Use of Firearms (2010). Operational Debrief Olympic .380 BBM Programme of Activity. Birmingham: NABIS.

ACPO Criminal Use of Firearms (2010). Briefing Paper: Investigation Anonymity Orders. Birmingham: NABIS.

NPIA (2009). Strategic Briefing Paper: Responding to Gun Crime. London: NPIA.

NPIA (2008) Tactical Debrief: Operation Sumac. London: NPIA.

Journal Articles

Wright, M. (2013)"Homicide Detectives' Intuition", Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 10(2), pp.182-199

Wright, M (2008). Focus on: Forensic Gait Analysis. The Journal of Homicide and Major Incident Investigation. Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 83-95.

Snook, B., Wright, M., House, J.C., & Alison, L.J. (2006). Searching for a needle in a needle stack: Combining criminal careers and journey to crime research for suspect prioritisation. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 217-230.

Wright, M. (2005). Book Review: “Rethinking Homicide: Exploring the Structure and Process Underlying Deadly Situations” Miethe, T., & Regoeczi, W.C. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 65-67.

Wright, M. (2000). Are Variations in Behavioural Consistency of a Serial Rapist due to either Development or Change? International Academy for Investigative Psychology (IA-IP) Archives.

Book Chapter
Wright, M. (2008). Police Psychology. In D. Canter. (Ed). Criminal Psychology. Topics in Applied Psychology. London: Hodder Education. ISBN 9780340928929

Research Consultancy Reports
Alison, L., Wright, M., & Canter, D.V. (2002). Analysts’ and Investigating Officers’ Views on the Production, Utilisation and Efficiency of Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) Reports. Home Office Report. Internal Document.

Alison, L., & Wright, M. (2002). National Survey: Investigating Officers’ Views on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Services Offered by the Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS). Home Office Report. Internal Document.

Conference Papers/Presentations

Homicide Detectives' Intuition. Presented at 10th ACPO Homicide Working Group Senior Investigating Officers (SIO) Conference. 6th November 2012, Wyboston Lakes

Refocusing ‘Offender Profiling’ Research: Views from the Frontline. Presented at 9th International Investigative Psychology Conference. 22nd January 2010, London South Bank University.

Categorising Homicide: Exploring Detectives’ Perspectives. Presented at British Society of Criminology Conference 1st July 2009, Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff.

Detective Intuition: The Role of Homicide Schemas. Presented at British Psychological Society, Division of Forensic Psychology Conference 25th June 2008, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

The Investigative Psychology of Detection. Presented at MPS SIO Seminar, New Scotland Yard, 4th December 2006.

Implicit Narratives in Detectives’ Conceptualisation of Homicide Crime Scenes: A Multiple Sorting Study. Presented at 16th European Psychology and Law Conference, University of Liverpool, 30th June 2006.

Patterns of Homicidal Behaviour: Frameworks for Homicide Investigation. Presented at 8th International Investigative Psychology Conference. South Bank University. 15th-16th December 2005 (Poster presentation).

Comparison of Homicides Investigated by Four UK Police Forces. Presented at 15th European Psychology and Law Conference Vilnius, 29th June-2nd July 2005.

Investigating Homicide: The Decisions Made and the Factors that Influence the Decision Making Process. Presented at British Psychological Society Social Psychology Conference. University of Liverpool 3rd September, 2004.

Detective Decision Making in Homicide Investigations. Presented at 14th European Psychology and Law Conference, Krakow. 8th-10th July, 2004.

Patterns of Homicidal Behaviour. Presented at MPS SIO Seminar, 4th November 2003. New Scotland Yard, London.

Detective Stories: The SIO’s Tale. Presented at 7th International Investigative Psychology Conference, University of Liverpool. 12th-14th June 2002.

Decisions made by SIO’s in Homicide Investigations. Presented at Investigation of Serious Crime Seminar, University of Liverpool, 11th December 2001.

Professional Membership
- Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Member of the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP)
- Member of the ACPO Homicide Working Group (HWG)
- Associate of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology (A.IA-IP)
- Member of the Criminal Investigation Research Network (CIRN) University of Glamorgan

Current Teaching Input

MSc Forensic Psychology - Introduction to Investigative Psychology
MSc Forensic Psychology - Investigative Interviewing and Eyewitness Testimony
MSc Forensic Psychology - Dissertation Supervision
Michelle Wright


Psychology Department
Birley Building
Birley Fields Campus
53 Bonsall Street
M15 6GX

Tel: 0161 247 2285

Email: m.wright@mmu.ac.uk