A trip to the country? Policing drug use in rural settings

Barton, A, Storey, D and Palmer, C (2010) 'A trip to the country? Policing drug use in rural settings.' In: Mawby, R.I and Yarwood, R, eds. Rural policing and policing the rural: a constable countryside? Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 147-158. ISBN 9780754674733

Official URL: https://www.routledge.com/Rural-Policing-and-Polic...


It is a feature of late modernity that sections of heavily urbanised societies such as Britain make much of the idyllic nature of ‘the country’ and the benefits of ‘rural living’. Chief amongst those alleged benefits are the apparent problem-free nature of rural settings and the absence of many of the inherent social ills associated with city life. Although rural life is not without its problems, these are offering different to those living in cities (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2000). Although we are well aware of the potential downside of urban life — pollutions, poverty, crime and anti-social behaviour — our determination to believe in the rural idyll means that we remain, largely, blissfully unaware of the existence of similar problems in rural locations. This is partly due to the tendency for rural problems to be under-explored by social scientists and under-reported by the media. It also stems from a misguided belief that ‘rurality’ is a holistic geography, when, as other chapters in this book indicated, this is clearly not the case. There are a number of ‘ruralities’ and they suffer from many of the problems associated with the very worse urban environments. The difference is that these problems often manifest in different ways and, accordingly, are dealt with in different fashions. Drawing on empirical data, this chapter seeks to address this misconceptions of the idealised, problem-free, holistic nature of the rural idyll by focusing on illicit drug use in two rural settings. The chapter reprises some of the literature surrounding rurality, young people, drug use and the context in which is is policed. It then provides some empirical detail on drug use in two predominantly rural counties, Herefordshire and Cornwall. This is followed by some observations on the manner in which drug-taking is policed within the two counties. The chapter concludes with a discussion regarding the use of, and responses to, illicit drug use in rural settings.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Divisions: School of Sciences
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 10:54
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 17:01
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/13434
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)