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Nature of Crime Trends in Australia (From The Australian Criminal Justice System: The Mid 1980s, P 18-38, 1986, Duncan Chappell and Paul Wilson, eds. -- See NCJ-110891)

NCJ Number
S K Mukherjee
Date Published
21 pages
After discussing the inadequacies and strengths of Australia's criminal statistics, this study analyzes Australia's short-term and long-term crime patterns and compares them with other western industrialized democracies.
Since statistics on crimes known to police are not available for a sufficient length of time to permit an effective trend analysis, judicial statistics are used in examining long-term crime trends. For the long-term analysis, data cover all offenses against persons and property charged at the magistrates' courts for 1859-1976. Data for short-term crime patterns encompass murder, rape, robbery, serious assault, break and enter, motor vehicle theft, and fraud for 1973-74 to 1983-84. Australia's short-term trends for homicide, robbery, rape, and burglary are compared with those of Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, and West Germany. The Australian homicide rate is stable and the third lowest among the countries examined. Rape, however, has been increasing dramatically. The Australian robbery rate shares the second lowest spot with the United Kingdom, but Australia ranks third highest in burglaries. Alternative crime data sources, notably crime victim surveys are examined for reliability. 3 tables.


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