“You meet lots of interesting people in criminology, that’s for sure! From prisoners to police, young offenders to corporate villains, there is an amazing array of persons implicated in criminality. Collectively these people exhibit many different aspects of the human condition – the good, the bad, and the ugly”, said Professor Rob White.
“I was attracted to criminology because of my concern with social justice and human rights. I was disturbed by the apparently bad relationship between young people and the police, especially in regards to the use of public space. Over time I came to realise that the situation was much more complex than it first appeared. I now think that young people and police can relate to each other more positively, and criminologists can assist this process.
“I have taught at universities in Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Hobart, and many of the local issues – such as street violence, fear of crime, prison reform and misgivings about justice – are similar everywhere. However, we are lucky to live in a relatively peaceful and safe society, especially compared with places in South Africa and the US.
“My research and teaching interests include the usual conventional criminological areas, such as juvenile justice and crime prevention, but my passion is environmental crime. With issues such as climate change and threats to biodiversity increasing, I believe it’s essential that we put more energy and resources into areas such as environmental law enforcement. We need to address issues such as pollution and waste, the illegal trade in wildlife and transnational environmental harm if we are to protect and preserve the planet.
“Some of the worst crimes today are those involving transgressions against humans, the environment and animals. In my view, it is time to see, judge and act. Our lives – and the lives of future generations and ecosystems – depend on it.”
Authorised by the Dean, Faculty of Arts
9 March, 2012