Friday, February 18, 2005


Crime is getting worse, oddly enough

While the US is the murder capital of the world, Australia still has the worst prevalence of crime among 17 industrialised countries, according to a UN-sponsored survey. Federal Government statistics show increases in crimes against people, rather than property. "That's the basic picture in Australia at the moment - we're getting more violent," said Dr Tim Prenzler, head of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. "It's not a pretty picture."

The 2000 International Crime Victims Survey used a telephone survey to assess the prevalence and incidence of crime in industrialised countries. About 30 per cent of Australians told researchers they had been victimised one or more times in 1999, compared with 26 per cent in England and Wales, 21 per cent in the US and 15 per cent in Japan. England and Wales had the highest incidence of crime, the survey showed.

Property crimes such as breaking and entering and vehicle theft traditionally accounted for much of Australian crime, but that is changing. There were 145,420 violent crimes in 1996. By 2002, the figure had grown to 198,722 - and 80 per cent were assaults......

Recent crime research has tended to focus on property crime, which has decreased because of more sophisticated alarm and surveillance systems. Researchers have no way of telling whether the recent spate of violent crime in Brisbane is a trend or a spike, because good data takes time to collect and study. "We might need another year or two to see if it's a trend," Dr Bond said. "That's the problem with all this trend analysis - you need time, and that's no good for policy-making." ....

Surveys are considered a better way to gauge crime victimisation because many victims do not make reports to police, and the statistics of those who do, vary, because jurisdictions apply different rules and definitions. The ICVS is conducted by Leiden University in Holland.

More here

Stop suicides, close Golden Gate Bridge: "The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today called upon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to 'take an important step for public safety' and close the Golden Gate Bridge, which has been a popular suicide platform for more than 65 years. 'Several city supervisors want to ban handguns in San Francisco on the mere presumption that such a law would prevent crimes, accidents and suicides,' said SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. 'Well, it is an absolute certainty that closing the bridge would prevent suicides, and perhaps many accidents, as well.'"

California: Appeals Court dismisses frivolous gun suit: "Late yesterday a San Francisco appellate court unanimously upheld a lower court's decision, dismissing a lawsuit against gun manufacturers. Several California cities and counties, including Sacramento, alleged that gun manufacturers violated the state's unfair business practices law in the way they marketed, distributed, promoted and designed handguns. The plaintiffs claimed the gun makers sold the firearms in a manner 'that facilitates the weapon to be used in violent crimes.' The appeals court ruled that the cities and counties failed to make a connection between the firearms manufacturers' business practices and the use of guns by criminals."

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