"I have shocking news for regular readers of the Daily Telegraph
crime has plummeted in Australia. Between 2001 and 2017 — the data
analysed in a new book on crime in Australia — break and enters fell by
68%, robbery by 71%, motor vehicle theft by 70% and other forms of theft
by 43%. Over the same period, the murder rate fell 50%, the attempted
murder rate fell 70% while the overall homicide rate fell 59%.
Between 2009 and 2017, the annual prevalence of assault fell by a third
and attempted assault fell by almost a quarter.
Professional fearmongers like Alan Jones may refuse to acknowledge it,
but this drop in crime is crystal clear in the data. It is evident in
all states and territories, it can be seen across almost two decades of
reporting, and it appears in multiple independent datasets, including
successive national crime victim surveys conducted by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics.
And before you ask: no, people aren’t less likely to report crime. The
public’s willingness to report crime has barely changed; in many cases
it has increased.
It’s not all good news: reported sexual assaults have increased by 10
per cent since 2017, and internet fraud — perhaps not surprisingly — has
doubled since 2007. And there’s been a small uptick in reported crime
since the book’s data were compiled. But the statistics leave us with an
obvious question: what caused crime to fall?
This is the question Don Weatherburn and Sara Rahman explore in their
new book, The Vanishing Criminal
, released this week by Melbourne
University Publishing. They pick apart decades of research on the causes
of crime — from lead in petrol to a relatively youthful population — to
see which of these theories best explains the fall in crime in Australia."
Via Muse, who wrote "Interesting analysis of Australian crime."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics