Critical Reflections on the Operation of Aboriginal Night Patrols

  • John Scott
  • Elaine Barclay
  • Margaret Sims
  • Trudi Cooper
  • Terence Love


Much has been written about Aboriginal night patrols in recent decades; this has typically been ethnographic or evaluative. However, little work has been done to situate night patrols against wider historic trends in criminal justice and theorize their contribution in relation to neoliberal regimes of justice. Drawing on data collected as part of an evaluation of Aboriginal night patrols in New South Wales, this paper develops a critical approach to understanding night patrols. We interrogate the notion of ‘community’—central to the philosophy and practice of night patrols—examining the limitations of community forms of justice in challenging dominant understandings of crime and addressing the structural causes of crime.


Night patrols Indigenous Restorative justice Community policing Aboriginal Rural crime 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Scott
    • 1
  • Elaine Barclay
    • 2
  • Margaret Sims
    • 3
  • Trudi Cooper
    • 4
  • Terence Love
    • 5
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social SciencesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  4. 4.School of Arts and HumanitiesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  5. 5.Design Out Crime and CPTED CentreQuinns RocksAustralia

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