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C for Crime

Port Arthur Cell

Image by Keith Lyons via Flickr: Port Arthur cell

How does Australia stack up when it comes to crime?  After all, crime or rather the lack thereof, is something most people investigate when deciding where to live.

While we do make TV dramas about our underworld wars and find our drunken violence in the city streets on the weekends very disturbing and unwelcome, we really don’t have a horrendous crime rate in most areas (there are exceptions in small pockets).

During 2010/2011, 359,079 offences were recorded as occurring in Victoria. The total number of offences recorded in 2010/2011 was 2.4% lower than in 2009/2010. As a rate of recorded offences per 100,000 population, there were 6,428.7 offences recorded in 2010/2011. This crime rate was 3.9% lower than the crime rate recorded during 2009/2010 and is the lowest rate per 100,000 population since the implementation of LEAP in March 1993.

http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?a=internetBridgingPage&Media_ID=72176

Living in Victoria, there was a 6.43% chance of being impacted by a crime, including things like public disorder and theft of a bicycle.  Summary statistics from the above link:

Crime Victoria 2011 - 2011

Crime Statistics Victoria 2011 - 2011

Other states will have different statistics: some higher, some lower.  Greater Melbourne is a reasonably large city with a population of 4.077 million as at 30 June 2010.

For those looking for a comparison, California, USA stats can be found here (I think larceny includes motor vehicles over $400 – can anyone confirm?): http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof09/00/1.htm   The numbers aren’t any sort of comparison, of course, but the rates per 100,000 are.   Also, we list more crimes that the California statistics do.  I note we have a bad record for Arson, sadly.  If you are wondering, yes, I did try to find some Nigerian statistics, but was unsuccessful.

When we got home from shopping the other day, I left the back of the car open for the boys to bring in the groceries.  Miss O 1 commented “we couldn’t do that in Nigeria”.   She would have said the same thing had she come from any number of other countries in the world because I know I couldn’t do it in any number of other countries around the world.  Once, during our battle, I accidentally left the back door unlocked for four days without realising.  Not a thing went missing.

I’ve never had my handbag stolen in the street or my wallet lifted.  I did once have my handbag stolen in a nightclub, but I got it back before the end of the night – that is probably a story for another day!  Melanie once left her sax on a tram and it was returned.  I left a prescription drugs on a train and a lovely young lady returned them to me, making a special trip to my home on a sweltering summer day.   Even if a wallet is lost, invariably it is returned with maybe the cash missing – but getting back the cards and licence is a saviour!

In my 38 years in this country, I’ve been burgled only twice.  I’ve never had a car stolen.

People are essentially honest.  If we receive too much change, most of us will give it back.  If a tradesman quotes a job and it costs less, generally he will charge less (something that surprises Mr O every time it happens).  We don’t, as far as I know, pay bribes for anything!  Admittedly, I don’t know what the career criminals get up to!

One thing I personally love is gun control.  There is no right for every man and his dog, baby, wife and teenager to carry a damn gun.  Consequently we don’t get the number of mass shootings that happen in some other countries.  Not to say we’ve never had any: we have.  Port Arthur in 1996 saw 35 people killed by a madman.  Port Arthur resulted in a national recall of guns and stricter control nationwide. In 1987, Julian Knight let fly with bullets and killed 7 people and wounded 19 others.  But I never get on a train wondering how many fellow passengers are carrying a gun.  I don’t wonder if I am going to get shot at on the freeway.  My kids can safely walk to school.

Compared with many other places in the world, Australia is an incredibly safe place to live and we are very grateful for that.  It is one of the aspects of life here that is different for my family: as Pip suggested, I choose topics for this series that my family find unique or different.

To catch up with the rest of the Global A – Z authors and articles, pop across to My Global A – Z and check out the many links!

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19 comments on “C for Crime

  1. Reblogged this on My Global A-Z and commented:
    Check out the facts and figures!
    Please don’t forget to leave a link to your A-Z posts below!

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  2. It’s nice not to constantly have to worry about crime. Thanks for sharing, Robyn.

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  3. Yes a relatively safe country to live in. Having lived in South Africa many years and having been a victim of crime on a few occasions there, I´m always aware of my surrounds and feel quite nervous being on my own at home…
    We have been burgled here in Perth once too, but it must have been kids, they didn´t take much, but my whole house was turned upside down, with every single drawer and door opened and stuff thrown on the floor. What were they looking for? But, on the other hand my husband has on a few occasions left the car opened, windows down and nothing happened (don´t tell the insurance company!).

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