Locating Crime in Context and Place: Perspectives on Regional, Rural and Remote Australia

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Alistair Harkness, Bridget Harris, David Baker
Federation Press, 2016 - Crime - 223 pages

The urban focus of crime has dominated the attention of criminologists. Although images of idyllic, crime-free areas beyond the cityscape persist, there is scant academic consideration of the realities and variances of crime across regional, rural and remote Australia.

Contributors to Locating Crime explore the nexus between crime and space, examining the complexities that exist in policing, prosecuting and punishing crime in different zones. The various authors draw upon original knowledge and insight and utilise innovative research and an interdisciplinary approach to their work.

The broad theme of Locating Crime is centred on 'context, place and space', but several sub-themes emerge too. Contributors grapple with a number of issues: contextualisations of rurality; notions of 'access to justice'; the importance of building 'social capital'; the role of history; and of proactively addressing offending rates with crime prevention measures. This original research adds significantly to criminological understandings of crime in different spaces and offers novel insights of the impact upon victims and communities affected by crime in non-urban environments.

Twelve scholarly chapters are grounded in criminological, legal and socio-legal frameworks and incorporate theoretical and practical knowledge from other fields such as history, sociology, cultural geography, media, cultural studies and Indigenous studies. The contributions from four professionals with expert knowledge of specific facets of criminal justice systems in Australia offer evaluations often absent from scholarly criminological literature. By melding both academic and practitioner discourse into the same work, this book allows a greater appreciation of the nexus between thought and practice.

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About the author (2016)

Alistair Harkness lectures and researches in Criminal Justice at Federation University. Between 2002 and 2010 he was a member of Victoria's Legislative Assembly representing Frankston in Melbourne's outer south-east. Before entering parliament, he taught Australian politics and police studies at Monash University. His primary research interests are in farm and rural crime, with a particular emphasis on farmer-victimisation, rural crime prevention and rural policing responses. He also has a secondary interest in parliamentary representation and Australian State politics.

Bridget Harris lectures and researches in Criminology within the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at the University of New England. She recently completed her PhD at Monash University and was previously a Research Fellow at the Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice at Deakin University. Her work is interdisciplinary and explores access to and spaces of justice, and includes issues of family violence, legal advocacy, lower courts and policing.

David Baker is Program Leader of Criminal Justice at Federation University. Previously, he worked for two decades in Police Studies, Criminal Justice and Criminology at Monash University. He is the author of Batons and Blockades: Policing Industrial Disputes in Australasia and Police, Picket-lines and Fatalities: Lessons from the Past. His research interests include major event policing, policing of dissent, police histories, police unionism, comparative criminal justice, and labour history. He was a member of the International Consortium on the Police Use of Force and an associate investigator for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

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