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First International Rural Crime Conference in Africa

The first International Rural Crime Conference in Africa was held at the Royal Elephant Hotel in Centurion, South Africa, a suburb of Pretoria, on September 27. International speakers included Joseph F. Donnermeyer, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University and a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Violence at West Virginia University, who presented a global view of farm victimization and its economic, psychological, social and community-level impacts, emphasizing that in the US alone, the value of stolen farm property exceeds $1 billion annually.  Dr. Elaine Barclay, Associate Professor, University of New England in New South Wales and also a Research Associate of the Center of Research on Violence addressed both farm crime and crime prevention from an Australian perspective. Mr. Emmanuel Bunei, Lecturer at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, discussed the challenges of preventing livestock theft within the highly varied ecological and cultural contexts of Africa.                                                                                                                                                                                          
The conference was hosted by the University of South Africa (UNISA) College of Law in collaboration with the Red Meat Producers Organisation, the African Federation of Agriculture South Africa, the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa and AgriSA, an association of agricultural industries in South Africa. Nearly 200 delegates from universities, agricultural organizations, and law enforcement attended. Concurrent sessions included papers on farm attacks, cross-border theft of livestock, livestock theft as a form of organized crime, the economic impact of poaching on rural communities, and the inter-relationship between food security and farm crime.