Racist Victimisation, Community Safety and the Rural: Issues and Challenges

Published 17/03/2004
Type Article
Author(s) Jon Garland, Neil Chakraborti
Corresponding Authors Jon Garland and Neil Chakraborti, University of Leicester

Whilst issues of rural poverty and exclusion have received some national media attention in recent years, the problem of racist victimisation in rural areas has been largely overlooked within academic and political discussion of the rural. Drawing upon research conducted by the authors in two rural English counties over a two year period, this paper asserts that racist prejudice is very much part of the reality of rural living for minority ethnic groups whose presence in the countryside tends to be overlooked. The paper discusses the experiences of victims of racial harassment to illustrate the disturbing nature, extent and impact of racism in rural areas, and suggests that the enduring ‘invisibility’ of the problem is compounded by flawed multi-agency responses to racist incidents. It is argued that agencies need to develop a deeper understanding of racism in the rural arena and this can only occur once they comprehend the needs and characteristics of rural minority ethnic communities.