Policing vulnerable groups study follows Coleg Cymraeg scholarship award

11 May 2020

A student from Aberystwyth University has won a Welsh language scholarship to research the policing of vulnerable groups.

Demi John, who comes from Penderyn in the Cynon Valley, will be doing her PhD research in criminology at the University’s department of law. Her doctorate will look at policing those who are susceptible to harm in Wales. Last year, Demi, who is in the third year of her undergraduate degree, won an award for studying through the medium of Welsh in the University’s St David’s Day awards.

She will be conducting her research at a time when the expertise in the University is developing under the leadership of the new head of the law department, Professor Emyr Lewis.

Demi John, who attended Ysgol Rhydywaun in Aberdare before going to study in Aberystwyth, commented:

“It’s a special feeling to win the scholarship because it gives me the chance to return to Aberystwyth to study a subject I really believe in. I have written a dissertation as part of my degree about the police and the work they do with vulnerable people. Gaining the scholarship means I can conduct further research.

“I volunteer as a constable locally so I have been out and seen what’s happening on the streets. From what I see, the police have difficulty dealing with vulnerable people, such as those with mental health problems. I wanted to research how that work impacts on the police. Through my research, I hope to be able to raise awareness of these issues among other agencies.”

As well as Demi John’s criminology PhD. Aberystwyth University has won two other Coleg Cymraeg scholarships, one shared between the International Politics Department and the Business School and the other in Vetinarary Studies. These other scholarships will be advertised in due course.

Dr Anwen Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University, added:

“We would like to congratulate Demi on her success, we are very pleased that such a talented student has chosen to study for her doctorate in Aberystwyth. The criminology scholarship builds on the very important work of the department looking at people’s welfare and disadvantaged and under-threat groups as part of the Dewis project. Certainly, the research will add to the expertise in the department considering these vital questions. Promoting quality research is vital to us as an institution and that was reflected in the most recent Research Excellence Framework which judged that 95% of the research work presented met or exceeded an international quality.

“More generally, the three additional doctorates awarded by the Coleg Cymraeg mean new provision which is relevant to Wales and the Welsh language across a wide range of key areas. It’s a sign of the University’s commitment to provision through the medium of Welsh in new fields, something which is a strategic goal for us. We work closely with the Coleg Cymraeg across our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in order to promote Welsh medium higher education and we are grateful for the support for the development of learning though the medium of Welsh which is relevant to the needs and agenda of modern Wales.”