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Research Centres

Crime, organised criminal gangs, conflict, food chain fraud and modern slavery are all issues affecting the global agriculture industry.

The Rural Security Research Group takes on these threats through the provision of high quality applied research, capacity building, technical support and the delivery of post-graduate and professional training.

The Group recognises that wherever there is instability, be it economic, political or civil unrest then organised crime will gain a foothold and exploit vulnerabilities in the rural and farming economy, 

The Rural Security Research Group is an interdisciplinary team of criminologists, behavioural scientists, geographers, and agriculturalists brought together to help identify and address emerging risks to the rural economy and food chain. 

We work with the agricultural industry, NGOs, International Organisations, policy makers, law enforcement officials and communities to build effective evidence based resilient responses to issues.

Our experience

The team are active in both research and advisory roles to a range of institutions and are supported by a number of national and international sponsors.  Collectively we have undertaken work in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Oman, The Philippines, Myanmar, the United States, Australia, Canada as well as many European nations. 

The Rural Security Research Group offers a point of contact for information, advice and expertise, highlighting and demonstrating best practice within the rural community and beyond.

The Research Group currently offers the following Master of Research (MRes) programmes suitable for professionals working in criminal justice, the humanitarian sector, civil society or the military:

The Research Group is keen to receive applications for PhD research in areas relating to rural crime, rural criminology, organised crime, human trafficking and modern slavery.


Farm Crime Report to Industry

Key areas of interest

  • Organised crime and organised criminal gangs in the rural context.
  • Modern slavery and human trafficking in agricultural systems and food chains.
  • Emerging criminal risk to rural and food businesses.

What can we offer? 

  • Applied research on rural crime and criminality.
  • Capacity building and support to policy makers and organisations.
  • Development and delivery of training packages.
  • Delivery of postgraduate education and training from MRes to PhD.

Group members

Click on a profile for details of their research expertise and projects they are currently involved in:

Research notes


Research notes provide explanatory summaries of our current and completed research projects, aimed at non-specialists, students and practitioners in farming and associated industries.

Harper Adams University is a partner in Food and Farming Futures, the independent, collaborative news and information source for farming and food. You can also find research notes for any of our research projects on the Food and Farming Futures website.

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