Elsa Saarikkomäki profile picture
Docent, Laws
University Lecturer, Laws
Dr. Soc. Sc., University Lecturer, Docent in Criminology
Plural policing; Children, young people and learning (UTUCYL); COST Police Stops


+358 29 450 2134
+358 50 478 7312
Caloniankuja 3

Areas of expertise

qualitative and quantitative research methods
plural policing
private security
ethnic profiling
sociology of law
young people


Currently I am conducting a research project on legitimacy of private security. I am an Editor in chief of 'Haaste' trimestrial publication.

I have a Docent in Criminology (Associate Professor, UTU). I hold a PhD in sociology (2017, University of Helsinki) and I have previously worked ten years at the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (University of Helsinki). My research has included research topics such as trust in policing, young people’s experiences of police and private security guards, crimes against businesses and crime victims.
I have participated in an interdisciplinary research project on asylum seeker decisions (University of Turku). Together with international researchers we have led a comparative project about experiences of policing among ethnic minority youth in the Nordic countries and about ethnic profiling (University of Turku). I have strong expertise in empirical methods, both qualitative and quantitative.


I have taught criminology and sociology of law in different universities, University of Turku (Faculty of Law) and University of Helsinki (Faculty of Social Sciences). Currently, I am teaching special study modules related to topics of crime control, crime, society and power, young people as well as empirical research methods.
I have developed with my colleague ‘a peer pressure and support method’ for writing conclusion section for article-based dissertation and for cooperating during writing. Based on it, we published an open access article in Journal of University Pedagogy. Title: Vertaistuella tohtoriksi: tällä mallilla artikkeliväitöskirjan yhteenveto syntyy (melkein) kuin itsestään.


In my current project, I am interested to study the effects of the rapid rise of private security, which indicates a shift from a criminal justice system monopolized by the state and its police to a pluralized policing system. I am studying experiences of ethnic profiling and how to improve relations between young people and policing agents. Furthermore, I am interested to solve to what extent and how private security has succeeded in legitimating their role in policing. These aims are studied empirically and theoretically. By developing approaches of procedural justice, securitization and privatization of policing, the study produces knew knowledge about societal changes.
Please see the full list of my publications attached in the links above.


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