Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Security and safety in local communities - comparison of rural and urban environments

January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2024
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.07.00  Social sciences  Criminology and social work   
5.04.00  Social sciences  Administrative and organisational sciences   

Code Science Field
S160  Social sciences  Criminology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
safety/security, rural and urban local communities, Slovenia, fear of crime, victimisation, social control, plural policing, marginalised social groups, cybersecurity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 4, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  220  1,374  1,167  5.3 
Scopus  209  1,540  1,306  6.25 
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  16312  PhD Igor Bernik  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  634 
2.  26054  PhD Aleš Bučar Ručman  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  336 
3.  14283  PhD Bojan Dobovšek  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  1,113 
4.  38301  PhD Miha Dvojmoč  Social sciences  Researcher  2022 - 2023  671 
5.  30934  PhD Katja Eman  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  577 
6.  51288  PhD Vanja Ida Erčulj  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2019 - 2023  128 
7.  52444  Barbara Erjavec    Technician  2019 - 2023 
8.  20512  PhD Benjamin Flander  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  305 
9.  37531  PhD Rok Hacin  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  182 
10.  54850  Iza Kokoravec  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  40 
11.  17048  PhD Branko Lobnikar  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2022  1,187 
12.  14289  PhD Gorazd Meško  Social sciences  Principal Researcher  2019 - 2023  1,767 
13.  33280  PhD Maja Modic  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  229 
14.  39239  Urška Pirnat  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  45 
15.  20665  Aleksander Podlogar    Technician  2019 - 2023 
16.  38302  PhD Kaja Prislan Mihelič  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  242 
17.  17049  PhD Andrej Sotlar  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  571 
18.  14566  PhD Bojan Tičar  Social sciences  Researcher  2019 - 2023  283 
19.  26240  Bernardka Tominc  Social sciences  Technician  2019 - 2023  148 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2131  University of Maribor Faculty of Criminal Justice  Ljubljana  5089638047  8,681 
In the continuation of research on security and safety in local communities, we are planning to focus on rural, semi-urban and urban local communities in Slovenia.   Approximately 50% of the world's population lives in rural areas, but merely a handful of criminological studies focus on crime in rural settings. Although official data suggest a higher level of crime in urban environments, this does not reflect a realistic picture of the actual situation and the needs of the rural environment. Studies show that in rural settings fear of crime is increasing, and specific forms of criminality are more frequent. Moreover, big cities have seen a decline in violent crime in past decades, while this does not apply to rural environments where, for example, the number of serious violent crimes is stable and does not show a similar decline. Findings of preliminary and pilot studies in the Slovenian environment as well pointed to differences in the characteristics of crime, fear of crime etc. between urban and rural areas. It was found that the appropriateness of criminological theories for studying crime in urban environments is decreasing by reducing the level of urbanisation. Consequently, a new branch of criminology has developed - rural criminology. It focuses on the study of crime in rural environments and the verification of the appropriateness of classical criminological theories in these environments. First, we will conduct a literature review in the fields of rural and urban criminology theory, crime, victimisation, and fear of crime analysis, contemporary security challenges and social control practice, models of cooperation between security organisations and their methods of operation in the rural and urban environment, and safe use of the internet. We will analyse crime, disorder, victimisation, and fear of crime, with the emphasis on comparison between rural and urban environments. We will study issues and security challenges, associated with marginal and marginalised social groups (refugees, immigrants, Roma people etc.) and investigate these groups' perceptions of nature and quality of policing. We will study safety and security provision, social control, and policing, focusing specifically to rural local communities. In the context of safe use of the internet, we will analyse the relationship between the use of different technologies, the threat and actual victimisation.   Research process will include a literature review, quantitative (surveys) and qualitative methods, such as semi-structured interviews, focus-group interviews and case studies. Based on results, we will elaborate the proposals for more effective provision of safety/security, especially in rural local communities in Slovenia.
Significance for science
In the continuation of the work of the research program Security and safety in local communities, we are planning to focus our research activities to rural and urban local communities in Slovenia. The results will be an essential starting point for changes in security policy-making. The program represents great importance for the development of science by directing the attention of researchers to overlooked areas and allowing the verification of scientific findings from urban environments in rural environments as well as among the population of these environments. Within the small area of Slovenia, and the extensive fragmentation of local self-government along with varying levels of urbanisation of local communities, it is important to identify the differences that should be reflected in local safety provision measures.
Significance for the country
The results of research of safety and security in local communities will help us establish common ground for fruitful cooperation between institutions at local, national, as well as international/European levels. Crime and public disorder represent sources of threat to individuals and communities, increasing operation costs to formal social control institutions; therefore, these analyses will be an essential input to the discussions on the socio-economic development of Slovenia. The proposed preventive models are to include both social preventive measures and situational prevention, as well as other forms of formal social control (plural policing) applicable to both real and virtual environments with the emphasis on the rural settings. The proposed solutions and the proper institutional functioning are expected to make a significant socioeconomic impact on the performance of Slovenian organisations and their ability to hold and maintain their positions while, consequently, developing their competitive advantages for a successful long-term presence in the global environment. The research findings will contribute to Slovenian society being less punitive/controlling (police and criminal justice), favouring solutions to be found within the framework of social justice, risk reduction, and restorative justice.
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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