1st Edition

Crime, Peoples and Places Perspectives on Rural Safety and Justice

Edited By Vania Ceccato, Alistair Harkness Copyright 2025
    272 Pages 103 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Building on previous work in rural criminology, this book casts a global and comparative look across nineteen countries, drawing on themes of crime and victimization, safety and fear, practices of policing and police trust, and crime prevention practices.

    Combining reports on survey findings, country case-studies, and cross-cutting analyses, Crime, Peoples and Places offers empirical, theoretical and policy-oriented contributions to the field of rural criminology, adopting the notion of a rural-urban continuum that captures the nuances of places of varied nature, spanning from remote and desolate spaces to accessible and connected environments of the urban fringe. The book examines the challenges of areas on the rural-urban continuum that are in constant transformation given local and global influences, including the most recent developments in countries of the Global South. It identifies commonalities and disparities between different country-cases, draws conclusions over global evidence, and highlights how partnerships, collaboration and unity in crime prevention action can yield dividends for all people, regardless of age, gender or whether they live in urban or rural areas.

    Part 1

    1. Victimisation, safety and policing in areas on the rural-urban continuum: Aims, scope and structure
    Vania Ceccato and Alistair Harkness

    2. Victimisation, safety and policing in rural areas: Evidence from the literature
    Vania Ceccato and Alistair Harkness

    3. Research design for assessing victimisation, safety and policing in rural areas
    Vania Ceccato and Alistair Harkness

    Part 2

    4. Crime and safety in rural Argentina
    Riccardo Valente

    5. Crime and safety in rural Australia
    Kyle Mulrooney and Alistair Harkness

    6. Crime and safety in rural Brazil
    Felippe Clemente, Braulio Silva, Vania Ceccato and Viviani Lírio

    7. Crime and safety in rural Chile
    Alejandra Luneke and Felipe Salazar-Tobar

    8. Crime and safety in rural England
    Kreseda Smith

    9. Crime and safety in rural Germany
    Kirstin Drenkhahn and Christoph Nagel

    10. Crime and safety in rural India
    Andrea Adams, Vaibhavi Maske, Tania Echaporia and Elsa Marie D’Silva

    11. Crime and safety in rural Ireland
    Nicola Hughes and Matt Bowden

    12. Crime and safety in rural Japan
    Takahito Shimada and Ai Suzuki

    13. Crime and safety in rural Kenya
    Emmanuel Bunei and Joseph K. Rono

    14. Crime and safety in rural Aotearoa New Zealand
    Jade McCormick and Louise Gibson

    15. Crime and safety in rural Nigeria
    Faisal Umar

    16. Crime and safety in rural Portugal
    Inês Guedes, Felippe Clemente and Carla Sofia Cardoso

    17. Rural crime and safety in Slovenia
    Gorazd Meško and Katja Eman

    18. Crime and safety in rural South Africa (North West)
    Willie Clack

    19. Crime and safety in rural Spain
    Nacho Díaz-Castaño and Zora Esteve

    20. Crime and safety in rural Sweden
    Vania Ceccato

    21. Crime and safety in rural United States
    Jessica René Peterson

    22. Crime and safety in rural Wales
    Gareth Norris and Wyn Morris

    Part 3

    23. Searching for patterns of victimisation and safety perceptions in rural in four countries: Chile, Nigeria, Spain and Sweden
    Vania Ceccato, Felipe Salazar-Tobar, Faisal Omar and Ignacio Díaz

    24. Police and trust: The cases of Australia, Ireland, Kenya and Slovenia
    Alistair Harkness, Nicola Hughes, Emmanuel Bunei and Katja Eman

    25. Crime prevention practices: The cases of Australia, Germany, South Africa and England
    Alistair Harkness, Kirstin Drenkhahn, Willie Clack and Kreseda Smith

    26. Situational precipitators of Environmental and Wildlife Crimes in Namibia and Sweden
    Jessica Kahler and Vania Ceccato

    27. Assessing women’s transit safety in two rural contexts: The cases of India and Sweden
    Vania Ceccato and Andrea Adams

    28. Queering the Rural: Tales from Poland and Sweden
    Vania Ceccato and Emilia Bogacka

    29. Farm crime victimisation and punitive attitudes: The cases of Australia and the United States
    Jessica René Peterson, Kyle Mulrooney and Alistair Harkness

    Part 4

    30. Future directions for rural crime research, policy and practice
    Alistair Harkness and Vania Ceccato


    Vania Ceccato is a professor at the Department of Urban Planning and Environment, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

    Alistair Harkness is an associate professor in criminology and Head of the Department of Social and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia

    “This comprehensive collection is a global, comparative and critical examination of crime and safety across 19 countries. It is unique in that an identical set of themes – crime and victimisation, safety and fear, practices of policing and police trust, and crime prevention practices – are the focus of surveys for rural residents around the world. Addressing the intersectionality of safety, this multidisciplinary collection has theoretical and methodological relevance for students and researchers across criminology, law, geography, planning, gender and sexuality studies, sociology, and political science.”

    Lynda Johnston, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Sustainability, University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Crime, Peoples and Places: Perspectives on Rural Safety and Justice provides rich insight into the realities of rural communities across the globe as they navigate crime from a contextual standpoint. The collection fills a literary gap in understandings of crime and rurality, and provides enriching perspectives that facilitate comparisons to a wide cross section of issues with relevance to scholars and practitioners from various disciplines across the globe. The collection is as relevant as it is timely, considering countries prioritisation of areas relevant to meeting their sustainable development goals. I strongly recommend the volume for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of crime and safety in rural spaces across the globe.”

    Danielle Watson, Associate Professor of the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

    “This book provides a fascinating insight into rural safety and justice across the global. Based on a series of national surveys, the book identifies key issues in rural crime and policing across a range of countries in the Global North and South. As such, it provides a useful ‘state of the nations’ report that summarises progress on these issues and, crucially, identifies how rural criminologists might work to address them. In doing so, the book draws together an impressive range of global scholarship to achieve its tasks.”

    Richard Yarwood, Director of the Doctoral College, Plymouth University, United Kingdom

    Crime, Peoples and Places: Perspectives on Rural Safety and Justice reflects the unique expertise of Vania Ceccato and Alistair Harkness, whose visionary edition brings together research from 19 countries on safety and justice in rural areas. This essential book on rural criminology and law enforcement is a must-read to deepen understanding of rural dynamics and safer communities globally. It is of interest to both academics and professionals who work to make areas on the rural-urban continuum safer.”

    Marcelo Justus, Associate Professor at the Institute of Economics, University of Campinas, Brazil

    “Rural victimology meets international criminology in this significant new contribution to rural criminology. Novel thematic analyses and cross-national comparison are key features of this welcome addition to the field.”

    Rob White, Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania, Australia

    “Vania Ceccato and Alistair Harkness and their contributors use global, comparative, and interdisciplinary approaches to make an extremely well-rounded case for research on crime across the rural-urban continuum and around the globe. Ceccato and Harkness lay the theoretical and methodological groundwork for the case studies conducted by global experts on rural crime, safety, and policing. Each contributor – researchers from different fields such as criminology, law, political science, and geography – present their survey findings from rural areas across the globe. This interdisciplinary approach offers a well-rounded understanding of the topics, but also brings together a range of methodologies and perspectives. Each scholar focuses on parallel survey themes of crime and victimisation in rural localities across the world with a particular focus on safety and fear in these rural spaces, policing and trust in the police, and crime prevention. Where previous books on rural crime have focused on English-speaking parts of the globe, e.g., the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the editors carefully chose authors and locales that offer a truly global cross-section of the world. In addition to the aforementioned nations, African nations are represented, as well as South American, European, and Scandinavian countries, and India and Japan. These global additions make this volume a standout not just in the literature on rural crime, but also in all criminological literature. I cannot think of another book in the field that examines crime in so many places on the urban-rural continuum and around the globe. This book is a must-have for any rural crime scholar and a should-have for any criminologist.”

    Karen Hayden, Chair and Associate Dean, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Merrimack College