Farmer satisfaction with policing in rural Victoria, Australia
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Libraries
Citation:International Journal of Rural Criminology, v5, n1 (November, 2019), p. 47-68
Recognising that the impacts of acquisitive crime on farms are both economic and social, the Victorian Farm Crime Research Project is an ongoing endeavour to examine farm crime in Victoria. Specifically, the Project is considering attitudes of farmers and farming communities to criminal justice responses to farm crime; assessing existing policing practices and analysing alternatives; and determining a suite of strategies for prevention and control of crime against farms and for improvement of service delivery by the criminal justice system in Victoria. A quantitative survey of Victorian farmers was conducted between August 2017 and November 2018. This paper reports on and assesses results from the survey, providing results of parametric testing on a series of Likert scale questions which enable an analysis of farmer attitudes to rural policing, crime and victimisation. Overall farmers' attitudes to rural policing are generally positive. There is a perception, however, that the policing focus is not aligned with farming communities' priorities and that the police are under-resourced. Farmers who have been a victim of theft have less positive thoughts on police in the local area. People who are members of local community organisations have higher opinions of local police. It argues that there needs to be a synthesised campaign to build stronger relationships between police and farm communities, and that this can be achieved primarily through enhanced resourcing of local police in rural areas of Victoria and the resourcing of team of fulltime rural crime investigators.