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

Assoc. Prof. Glenn Porter


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CCTV cameras on a solid wall.
Kyle Mulrooney Staff Picture

Dr Kyle Mulrooney


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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 is equipped to:

  • lead research in the burgeoning field of rural criminology
  • facilitate collaborative research and academic output in the field
  • inform progressive policies related to rural crime and produce valuable information that can enhance the health and wellbeing of rural communities.

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.

Join our network

If you would like to be a part of the a global network of criminologists and practitioners with an interest in rural crime, please contact Professor Joe Donnermeyer, Ohio State University.

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

Advisory committee

Associate Professor Elaine Barclay, Principal Research Fellow, University of New England.

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

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

Professor Rob White, Criminology: University of Tasmania

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

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

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

Professor Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus: Ohio University

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, Criminology: University of New England

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

Emmanuel Bunei, PhD candidate: University of New England

Associate Professor Lisa Waller, Communications: Deakin University

Dr Megan Williams, Head of Girra Maa Indigenous Health Discipline: University of Technology Sydney

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

Tarah Hodgkinson, Ph.D candidate: Griffith University

Nicole Ryan, PhD candidate: Griffith University

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

Industry and community partners

NSW Police Force