The top of the courthouse building in London, Ontario, with a view of the sky.
Glenn Porter

Assoc. Prof. Glenn Porter

Director

Catering details
CCTV cameras on a solid wall.
Kyle Mulrooney Staff Picture

Dr Kyle Mulrooney

Co-director

Catering details

What is Rural Criminology?

‘Rural criminology’ is a field of research that acknowledges rurality and community size has an impact on the incidence of crime, types of crime, response to crime and access to related services. University of New England was a pioneer in this field of research, which remains well-placed to lead research in this field due to its location in regional Australia and acknowledged expertise in criminology.

About the Centre for Rural Criminology

The Centre for Rural Criminology builds on UNE’s pioneering role in the development of the field of rural criminology.

It brings together scholars, higher degree research students, practitioners, organisations and communities to support collaborative national and international multidisciplinary research and the publishing of scholarly work into areas of national and global significance.

Together, the centre’s researchers and partners study the most compelling social problems that impact upon rural communities; from livestock theft and illicit drugs, to environmental crimes and interpersonal violence, and others. The centre aims to:

  • lead and facilitate collaborative research and output in the field of rural criminology​
  • build links between academia, industry and the community​
  • inform progressive policies related to rural crime​
  • produce valuable information that can enhance the health and wellbeing of rural communities.​

Our Work

Projects and activity

Official launch: Presentations from the opening of the Centre for Rural Criminology, 9 September 2019. Watch now.


Public Lecture: Responding to farm crime, presented by Dr Alistair Harkness, Federation University. Listen now.


Public lecture: Policing rural communities, presented by Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside, NSW Police. Listen now.


Our research 

There has been significant growth in the rate of crime in rural Australia. These crimes range from livestock and machinery theft to interpersonal violence and environmental crime.

Rural crime doesn't just result in a breakdown of law and order and social cohesion, but it can also threat the economic future of small communities. For example, a perception of social problems within some rural towns can discourage investors, tourism and potential new community members. It becomes an important public and political issue.

Increasing urbanisation and modernisation can be some factors that impact rural crime activity, because they bring demographic, economic and social changes. Understanding community life is therefore essential to understanding community crime.

There are a number of key issues that have come to the fore in the study of rural crime. These areas of research include:

  • Farm and property crime
  • Environmental crime and illegal hunting
  • Interpersonal violence in rural communities
  • Public attitudes towards crime and criminal justice
  • Policing rural communities
  • Aboriginal justice
  • Access to justice and community programs
  • Criminological dimensions of food and agriculture
  • Drug use, production and trafficking in the rural context.

Thematic research areas

To accomplish the centre’s aims, researchers will be exploring the core research theme of 'Rurality, crime and society'. Within this overarching theme, the following five thematic research areas and networks have been developed:

  1. Policing, justice and rurality
  2. Criminological dimensions of food and agriculture
  3. Drug use, production and trafficking in the rural context
  4. Violence and rurality
  5. Environment, climate and crime.
In the media
Join the rural crime mailing list

If you would like to keep up to date with news and projects relating to rural criminology, please email Professor Joe Donnermeyer, Ohio State University, and request to be added to a mailing list about all things rural crime.

Our members

Executive board 

Associate Professor Glenn Porter, Director of the Centre for Rural Criminology: University of New England

Dr Kyle J.D. Mulrooney, Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Criminology: University of New England

Professor Joseph Donnermeyer, Professor Emeritus: Ohio State University

Dr Bridget Harris, School of Justice: Queensland University of Technology

Dr Alistair Harkness, Criminal Justice: Federation University

Secretary: Dr Jenny Wise, Criminology: University of New England

Advisory committee

Professor Walter Dekeseredy, Director Research Centre on Violence: West Virginia University

Professor Kerry Carrington, Head of School of Justice: Queensland University of Technology

Professor Rob White, Criminology: University of Tasmania

Professor Russell Hogg, School of Justice: Queensland University of Technology

Professor John Scott, School of Justice: Queensland University of Technology

Professor Chris Cunneen, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research: University of Technology Sydney

Professor Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus: Ohio University

Dr Willie Clack, Criminal Justice: University of South Africa & Vice Chairperson at Red Meat Producers Organisation.

Research associates

Dr Katinka van de Ven, Drug Policy Modelling Program, University of New South Wales

Dr Jenny Wise, Criminology, University of New England

Dr Matthew Allen, History/Criminology, University of New England

Dr Natalie Thomas, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland

Dr Oluwagbenga (Michael) Akinlabi, Criminology: University of New England

Emmanuel Bunei, PhD candidate, University of New England

Professor Lisa Waller, Media and Communications, RMIT University

Associate Professor Megan Williams, Portfolio of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)

Dr Bec Strating, Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University

Dr Andrew Groves, Criminology, Deakin University

Dr Kreseda Smith, Harper Adams University

Associate Professor Robyn Bartel, Geography and Planning, University of New England

Dr Tanya Howard, Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, University of New England

Professor Paul Martin, Director Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, University of New England

Associate Professor Bob Boughton, Education, University of New England

Dr Tarah Hodgkinson, Criminology, Griffith University

Dr Nicole Ryan, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University

Professor Rick Ruddell, Chair in Police Studies, University of Regina

Dr Michael Kennedy, Western Sydney University

Dr Phillip Birch, Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor David Roberts, History, The University of New England

Dr Jo Coghlan, Sociology, The University of New England

Associate Professor Alyce McGovern, Criminology, University of New South Wales

Mark Harrison, Head of Heritage Crime Strategy, Historic England, UK

Dr Louise Nicholas, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK

Associate Professor Angus Nurse, Environmental Justice, Middlesex University, UK.

Assistant Professor Ziwei Qi, Department of Criminal Justice, Fort Hayes State University, US

Associate Professor Skye Saunders, Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law, University of New England

Dr Kip Werren, School of Law, University of New England

Associate Professor Omar Al Farooque, Accounting, Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law, University of New England

Associate Professor Leah East, School of Health, University of New England

Dr Bernadine Cooks, School of Psychology, University of New England

Dr Faith Gordon, Criminology, Monash University

Dr Daniel Newman, Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Dr Richard Byrne VR, Harper Admas University, UK

Professor Nigel South, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK

Dr Mieke Snijder, Institute of Developmental Studies, UK

Dr Laura Bedford, Criminology, Deakin University

Dr Katrina Clifford, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University

Dr Liz Temple, School of Psychology, University of New England

Industry and community partners