Policing Rural Crimes and Rural Communities in England
Keywords:rural crime, policing, reporting, crime investigation, police organisation and management
This article examines factors that influence the processes and practices of crime prevention and investigation in rural areas of England. Whilst evidence shows that rural crime is a significant problem, there has been hitherto a dearth of research into how the issue is policed. Drawing on the perspectives of police personnel, this article examines the features of the rural environment and the organisation and management of police services that influence the delivery of police work in rural areas of England. Specifically, the article considers factors that influence the reporting and subsequent recording of rural crimes; how police officers understand and perceive rural crimes; how police services prioritise crimes for preventative and investigative purposes; how responsibility for investigating rural crimes is diffused across law enforcement agencies and how this can cause confusion for officers; matters related to the generation of evidence; officer understanding of the legislation regarding rural crime; the willingness of officers to undertake the investigation of rural crimes and the reluctance of some to live in the countryside; and the organisation and management of police resources in rural areas. In so doing, it sets out the reasons why the policing of rural spaces is distinctive and considers implications for police work and its outcomes.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Karen Bullock, Jon Garland
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