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Rural Crime and Rural Policing

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1994
15 pages
Publication Series

Rural crime and rural policing are discussed with respect to crime patterns and the distinctive elements of the rural environment that affect both crime and policing, based on a review of research literature.


Findings indicate that much less is known about rural crime and rural policing than about urban crime and policing. However, crime appears to be less frequent in rural areas than in urban areas. In addition, community policing, to which many urban police agencies now aspire, has been a longstanding practice in rural police areas. Moreover, differences across rural areas are large and vary by region of the country, across counties within a State, and sometimes even within a county. Furthermore, the terms urban and rural also lack precise meanings, although it is clear that the idea of rural is useful. The differences between rural and urban cultures also have implications for rural crime and rural policing. Finally, the contradictory results across studies may be due to sampling, the definitions used, or regional variations. Photographs and 88 reference notes

Date Published: September 1, 1994