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Centre for Advanced Policing Studies

Dr Heather Panter


Heather Panter is a retired police detective with over 2,000 hours of police specific training and a combined 13 years of American law enforcement experience with local and federal police agencies. Her current research involves the comparative cross-examination of policing within the United States and the United Kingdom in respect to officers’ cognitive and social perceptions of LGBT+ identities. A portion of her current research focuses on biases, gender theories, psychological conflict theories, and the issues surrounding social acceptance of those in stigmatized minority groups within policing.

Her previous research focused on the usage and application of WBI (Whole Body Imaging) at airports as a counter-terrorism tool. More specifically, the benefit analysis of detecting energetic materials (i.e. bombs) when using WBI technologies as a pre-flight security screening process. During the course of this research she examined the legal and privacy issues versus the efficiency of detecting energetic materials that WBI imaging presents to airline travellers.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA. She also has a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science from Saint Leo University, USA. In 2016, she earned her PhD at Cardiff University in criminology. Her research interests include: police investigations, police technologies, police drone technologies, crime scene analysis, LGBT+ criminology, hate crimes, implicit bias, gender and police cultures.

She is a passionate teacher who draws upon her previous police experience to create an innovative pedagogic environment which enables students to both grasp and apply complex criminological/ investigative ideas. As a senior lecturer, she is the programme leader of LJMU's BSc (Hons) Policing Studies and Forenic Science and the programme leader of LJMU's MSc Policing and Criminal Investigations. Additionally, she has served as a consultant for police fictional novels, police television shows, and news agencies. Please feel free to contact her if you have any academic or media inquiries.


2016, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, PhD in Criminology
2011, Saint Leo University, United States, Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Science Specialization
2001, University of Tennessee, United States, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice



Panter HA. 2018. Transgender Cops: The Intersection of Gender and Sexuality Expectations in Police Cultures Routledge. Oxfordshire

Journal Articles

Panter H. 2017. Pre-operative transgender motivations for entering policing occupations International Journal of Transgenderism, 18 :305-317 >DOI

Panter HA. 2013. Backscatter Imaging and Counterterrorism: An Analysis of Legal and Privacy Issues NSU International Journal of Criminal Justice, VIII :8-14

Book Reviews

Panter H. 2013. The monster evil: policing and violence in Victorian Liverpool Policing and Society, 23 :281-282 >DOI

Panter H. 2013. Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979 Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 5 :63-66 >DOI

Panter H. 2012. Defining terrorism and counterterrorism methods Crime, Law and Social Change, 58 :579-583 >DOI

Panter HA. 2012. The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification The Psychologist, 9

Engagement & Impact

Conference presentation:

Title of presentation: Transgender Police Negotiating Police Culture: UK and US Occupational Issues, Conference title: 16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Place/location of conference: Munster, Germany, Presentation type: Oral presentation

Media Coverage:

Links #1:, Media coverage: Panter, H. (2016). You’re rarely safe being LGBT+ in the American South – even from the police. The Conversation. [online] Available at: (This article relates to police responses to the Orlando LGBT+ mass shooting.)

Links #1:, Media coverage: Panter, H. (2016). I was a white police officer in the US – I know how deep the crisis of racism is. The Conversation. [online] Available at: This article related to police violence and race relations in America.