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European Society of Criminology Conference 2016

August 25, 2016
The European Society of Criminology is holding the 2016 conference in Muenster, Germany – more details here.
I am very pleased to be chairing a panel entitled “Theorising and responding to rural policing and crime: Different contexts, different approaches (Part 1)”. Dr Andrew Wooff from Edinburgh Napier University has organised a companion panel “Theorising and responding to rural policing and crime: Different contexts, different approaches (Part 2)”.
Here is the very exciting lineup of papers for my panel.

Chair: Alistair Harkness
Much of the literature on ‘good’ policing and crime control has been conceptualised as that which reduces crime, builds strong links with the community, is just, legitimate and, arguably, is seen as a public good. Much of the literature thus far has been developed in an urban context, with a dearth of literature exploring rural policing and rural crime. Yet it has been argued that a key part of being able address crime and disorder effectively is through the use of a contextualised approach which takes account of the broader embedded nature in which it occurs. Both Theorising and responding to rural policing and crime: Different contexts, different approaches (Parts 1 and 2) seek to explore the impact of the rural context on the types of crime experienced in rural contexts alongside some of the challenges relating to responding to rural crime. With rural crime and policing facing different challenges to those in urban contexts, and with criminal justice policy which increasingly favours risk mitigation and efficiency, now is a ripe time to examine what ‘good’ policing and crime control in rural environments looks like. Panelists will draw on rural crime in a number of different contexts to examine whether the micro-scale contexts can teach us broader lessons about what effective policing and crime control looks like in geographically challenging environments.

This pre-arranged panel – Theorising and responding to rural policing and crime: Different contexts, different approaches (Part 1) – will address fear of crime in rural Sweden, policing the wildlife trade in Norway, and will consider farm trespass in Australia.

The Future of Rural Criminology

*Joseph Donnermeyer
The Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Abstract Text :
Rural criminology is a rapidly developing area due to the convergence of increased attention to rural crime and criminal justice issues in feminist theory, critical criminology, green criminology, and the emergence of criminology in the global south. Several recent books on rural crime topics were recently published and future prospects for advanced scholarly work is promising. This presentation briefly summarizes recent developments in rural criminology as a point of reflection on its future, especially the development of theoretical perspectives that both challenge and revise mainstream criminological theory.

Policing the wildlife trade in Norway

*Ragnhild Sollund
University of Oslo, Criminology and Sociology of Law, Oslo, Norway
Abstract Text :
The legal and illegal wildlife trade harms billions of animals every year, whether animals are killed on the spot to be processed into various kinds of products or are trafficked alive as part of the pet industry. Based on empirical research from Norway, in this paper I follow different cases of illegal wildlife trade, from Custom’s seizure reports to final decisions in the judicial system. The aim is to reveal possible weaknesses and what they consist of in the policing and law enforcement of this particular crime through a narrow analysis of specific cases relating to wildlife trafficking. The cases include trafficking in parrots to Norway for the pet trade, a collector case including a large number of animals and ivory artifacts, and a reptile trafficking case including breeding and trafficking of reptiles from Norway to an international market. By looking into the investigation material and based on interviews with police officers I discuss the final outcome of the cases in view of justice and crime prevention.

Fear of crime and overall anxieties in rural areas: The case of Sweden

*Vania Ceccato
KTH, Department of Urban Planning and Built Environment, Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract Text :
People fear crime less in rural areas than they do in urban areas. It is submitted in this chapter that this fact represents a partial picture of perceived safety in rural areas. Instead of reducing the issue of fear of crime to the risk of victimization, we place fear of crime in a broader context using Swedish rural areas as case study. Fear of crime and other overall anxieties are captured by indicators from Living conditions and Crime victims’ surveys. We go beyond actual statistics of perceived safety to shed light on the nature of fear by looking at fear as perceived by particular groups in Swedish rural areas. The chapter develops a critical analysis of two examples of expression of fear in relation to the process of othering in the Swedish countryside: Sami youth (the old other) and berry pickers (the new other). The chapter closes with suggestions for further research on fear of crime in rural contexts.

Policing farm trespass: Experiences and lessons from Australia in theoretical context

*Alistair Harkness
Federation University, School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, CHURCHILL, Australia
Abstract Text :
Effectively policing rural landscapes – particularly the vast, low-density population expanses of rural and remote Australia – is challenging. Preventing and policing crime on farms is particularly so. This paper will focus on the role of rural police in Victoria, Australia, as first responders, investigators of rural crime, and as builders of social capital. It presents initial work of a scoping project underway which examines farm trespass by unauthorised hunters and animal activists, and the ‘thin blue line’ role of police in often fractuous circumstances. The paper argues that building and strengthening relationships with farmers and addressing ingrained reticence in country communities to report crime are essential to encourage greater reporting and more effective deployment of situational crime prevention initiatives, to reduce the incidence of disruptive trespass on farms, and to allow a problem-orientated policing philosophy to prevail. Experiences from Victoria could well serve as a guide for other jurisdictions.

From → Rural Crime

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