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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77429 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Prevention for Rural Environments - A Systematic Approach
Author(s): J F Donnermeyer
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 33
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses the impact of crime on rural residents, causes of the growth in rural crime, and prevention strategies aimed at these problems.
Abstract: National crime statistics and victimization reports indicate that crime in rural areas has increased substantially during recent decades. Rural crime is disproportionately property-oriented and costs U.S. farmers over $1 billion annually. This trend can be attributed to an increase in suitable targets due to a rise in affluence and the widespread use of expensive machinery and supplies. Improved transportation, the influx of strangers into rural communities for recreational purposes, and the reluctance of rural residents to adopt security measures have also expanded opportunties for crime. Many rural homes are now vancant during the day, because school and work are often some distance from residences. In addition, law enforcement resources are minimal. Most rural criminals are young males from local communities who engage in vandalism, petty larceny, and occasionally more serious offenses. This finding suggests that television and peer groups have become more important socializing influences than the rural family. Another factor in rural crime is the decrease in agricultural and unskilled jobs available to rural youth. The most relevant approaches to reducing rural crime will be either to limit opportunities through target-hardening strategies or to reduce the motivation of young persons to violate the law. Research into crime prevention behavior is needed. A project conducted by the National Rural Crime Prevention Center (NRCPC) which has already shown that a watchdog is an effective deterrent. The NRCPC has also developed materials to help rural law enforcement agencies establish prevention programs through understanding the characteristics of rural society and using rural people's interactional patterns to promote crime prevention. Publications of the NRCPC are listed, along with 34 references. A sample pamphlet on basic lock and door security is included.
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Physical crime prevention; Rural crime
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 14, 1981.
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