The first part of the book is rooted in empirical areas of criminological research. It opens with Chris Fox’s exploration of the challenges of conducting evidence based policy research. Within increasing demands for ‘intellectual rigour’ and ‘robust’ research, it is fitting to start the book by raising questions of what may be concealed by political rhetoric or pragmatic manoeuvring. The political contestations of policy research perhaps, more clearly than other research highlight the implications of epistemological assumptions and methodological choices. Paul Knepper in his chapter suggests that ‘historical criminology does not invite the same kind of ethical issues as social science research’, and whilst this may be the case in relation to ethical issues related to the conduct of data collection with living people, we suggest that issues also highlighted by Knepper – ‘the collection of historical evidence, the use of theory, the moral message of the story and the construction of memory’ – are also of central importance to both the epistemological underpinning and ongoing conduct of criminological research. Archival research, as Knepper suggests, highlights the ‘moral issues in how historical knowledge serves present interests’. Evi Girling suggests that research with children has been guided by professional codes of conduct that construe children and young people as a relatively homogenous and vulnerable group. She calls for greater sophistication in thinking ethically about this group; this requires active consideration of ‘the “situational” realities and diversities of children and young people’. She does acknowledge that this level of complex consideration is ‘relatively onerous’, but goes on to suggest that such detailed attention should also be given to research with all people. Her chapter starts with consideration of theoretical issues and moves on to address practical issues such as the problems of gaining access, informed consent, autonomy, confidentiality; anonymity and protection. Linda Moore and Azrini

Wahidin’s chapter is located in the practicalities and epistemological dilemmas of prisoner research; tensions related to allegiance (‘whose side are you on?’) and researcher safety are explored, along with sensitive issues concerning faithful reporting of the ‘pains of imprisonment’ whilst ensuring that all parties involved in the research remain safe and unharmed. Peter Neyroud considers the tensions and divided loyalties of ‘insider’ research of the police. His chapter is set in a very applied context of seeing research as a potential vehicle for cultural change within police forces – identifying obsolete practices and describing new possibilities. However, describing in detail a case study he discusses issues of consent, risk and harm assessment and the role of the researcher. In the final chapter of this section David Smith explores the ethics of researching social work in the criminal justice system, within this he acknowledges the ambivalent position of Probation, as a one-time criminal justice social work agency. His prime concerns are to assert a ‘virtue-based approach to thinking about research ethics’ and then explore issues of confidentiality in criminological research, including potential impacts of publishing results. His chapter concludes with consideration of issues relating to researching ‘people of whom one disapproves’.