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The interaction of crime & place: an exploratory study of crime & policing in non-metropolitan areas

A Correction to this article was published on 08 July 2019

This article has been updated

Abstract

The importance of crime and place and the diversity inherent in crime problems and policing styles have been recognized for decades. However, less is known about the types of issues and challenges that must be confronted by agencies located in rural communities. This exploratory research presents preliminary findings from a study of six non-metropolitan law enforcement agencies nested within rural areas in Oklahoma. Qualitative interviews and field visits were conducted with a purposive sample of departmental officials. Data collection efforts focused on understanding the types of issues the departments face and the current state of the drug and crime problems in these areas. Key themes include law enforcement challenges, crime, drugs, and gang activity. Unanticipated findings that emerged during the course of the research are also discussed.

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  • 08 July 2019

    The article was published under the incorrect title “University of Oklahoma”. The title has now been corrected to “The interaction of crime & place: an exploratory study of crime & policing in non-metropolitan areas”.

Notes

  1. 1.

    The United States (U.S.) Census Bureau defines rurality as an area that does not fit into one of the following two categories: urbanized areas (50,000 or more people) and urban clusters (2500 to 49,999 people) (Ratcliffe et al. 2016). The Office of Management and Budget provides information about metropolitan counties, which have an urbanized area core of at least 50,000, and micropolitan counties, which have an urban cluster core of at least 10,000. These delineations may be misleading, as rural areas can exist within counties labeled metropolitan or micropolitan (Ratcliffe et al. 2016; Sunstein 2010).

  2. 2.

    The first three acronyms refer to the following U.S. federal agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration. The fourth acronym, OBN, refers to the state-level agency the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

  3. 3.

    Oklahoma SQ 780 & 781 were forthcoming at the time this article was written.

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Acknowledgements

Funding for this project was provided through grants by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). The authors would like to thank the UCO School of Criminal Justice and Center for Innovative Solutions for supporting the project. Thank you to Raediesha Wood and Carley Dancer for their assistance. The authors give special thanks to the law enforcement officials who took the time to educate researchers about their communities and crime problems. Thank you to the anonymous reviewers.

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Correspondence to Rashi K. Shukla.

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Shukla, R.K., Stoneberg, D., Lockwood, K. et al. The interaction of crime & place: an exploratory study of crime & policing in non-metropolitan areas. Crime Prev Community Saf 21, 200–214 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41300-019-00072-8

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Keywords

  • Law enforcement
  • Policing
  • Rural
  • Rural crime
  • Challenges in law enforcement