This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

We Have A Strange Situation In Australia. At A Time When People Seem To Be More Worried By Crime, The Research Evidence Suggests Crime Rates Are Not Increasing. How Can We Explain This Apparent Contradiction?

2557 words - 11 pages

We have a strange situation in Australia. At a time when people seem to be more worried by crime, the research evidence suggests crime rates are not increasing. How can we explain this apparent contradiction?

In a democratic society such as Australia, crime trends largely influence parliaments and ministries in crime policy management. If the media are found to be reporting an upward trend in crime figures, enough to unease the public, policy makers are put under pressure to increase punishment and change rules relating to procedures of criminal prosecution. Judicial decisions are intended to reflect public opinion; therefore a judge would then feel obliged to hand down harsher sentences ...view middle of the document...

Previous research indicates that the types of media used (e.g. radio/newspapers) as well as the forms of media (e.g. news/entertainment) alter perceptions of crime and justice (Reiner 2002).

As Cantril, Herzog & Gaudet (1940) articulated through their study on the fictitious “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, occasionally public perceptions of reality based upon the mass media can be more powerful than reality itself (Lowry, Nio & Leitner, 2003).

In Melbourne, 1987, a gunman shot several people and wounded many more. This type of violence in Australia at that time was shocking, and caused widespread alarm. Stories later appeared in Newspapers with headlines stating that 1987 had been a “bloody year; a year ruled by the gun”. Contrary to the newspaper statements, there had been 58 killings in total, of that, 46 were murders, which was lower than the previous year (1986), which had 67 cases, and 1977 which had Victoria’s highest number of murders, at 84. This is not to suggest that the problem of crime is not serious; however, the amplification of the extent of the problem caused unwarranted fear and anxiety.

According to the 2007 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA) on crime and justice, 41.7% of respondents perceived crime rates as increasing a lot throughout the previous two years, 23.2% perceived crime rates as increasing a little over the same period, 24.6% perceived crime rates as remaining about the same, and only 2.9% of respondents perceived crime rates as falling a little or falling a lot (7.6% of respondents did not know). Remarkably, 89.5% of respondents held incorrect perceptions of crime rates (Roberts & Indermaur, 2009). From the respondents that held incorrect perceptions, there was a higher rate of females than males. The rate of females who responded that the level of crime was increasing a lot over the past two years was 39.6%; compared to the statistical rate of males, at 28.4%. This difference may be the result of females having a higher fear of becoming a victim of crime.

Weatherburn and Indermaur (2004) conducted a study into public perceptions of crime trends in New South Wales and Western Australia. New South Wales Respondents were asked about their perceptions of sexual assault, murders and shoplifting. Around 59% of female respondents believed sexual assault had become more common, compared to around 52% of male respondents. Less than 5% of all respondents assumed sexual assault had become less common. In the case of murder, around 59% of female respondents believed murder was more common, compared to 48% of male respondents. 8% of male respondents correctly assumed murder rates had lowered, compared to 3% of women. Lastly, 55% of women responded that shoplifting rates had become more common, compared to 47% of male respondents. The case was the same in Western Australia, with 55% of female respondents believing murder had become more common, compared to 31% of male respondents....

Other Papers Like We Have a Strange Situation in Australia. at a Time When People Seem to Be More Worried by Crime, the Research Evidence Suggests Crime Rates Are Not Increasing. How Can We Explain This Apparent Contradiction?

Human Nature: Are We Really as Bad as We Seem?

1291 words - 6 pages Human Nature: Are We Really as Bad as We Seem? Why do people do what they do? Are there always selfish ulterior motives for every action? More, Machiavelli, and Luther all realize the shortcomings of human nature, but have different ways in which they propose to deal with this problem. Machiavelli, More, and Luther all seem to have a similar view of human nature in that they see the necessity of a strong government because people are not

Violent Crime in Australia Essay

1283 words - 6 pages agencies who collect and collate data that measures the nature and extent of crime in Australia. It will finally use this data and empirical evidence to compare the extent of violent crime with crimes that are non-violent. The essay will ultimately conclude by asserting that the majority of crime in society is not violent in nature. Crime is a complex phenomenon that attracts a variety of definitions (Ransley & Prenzler, 2015). The varying

How Do We Assess Whether A City Is Global? What Other Criteria Could Be Used? This Essay Seeks To Identify Criteria’S And Different Aspects To Assess What Makes A City Global. Firstly, It Will Outline...

336 words - 2 pages cities, play a significant role in regards to the country’s economic status. They have become well known as the centre of the world’s global economy. Global cities have become popular and recognised for the processes of finance and economic trade. When looking for ways to define the term ‘global cities’, it is vital that one takes a look at and studies the economy of the host country. This is due to the fact that global cities have great impact on politics. They are able to not only influence the host country but other many other regions across the globe. This is one of the several major factors that could be used in order to identify the...

We Are Endangered People

548 words - 3 pages We Are Endangered People of a Single Story: A Personal Abstract Kim Nguyen Psychology 424, Section 401 Dr. P. Guerin September 16, 2012 We Are Endangered People of a Single Story: A Personal Abstract Chimamanda Adichie, is a Nigerian novelist who spoke about how she found her authentic cultural voice from her story called, “ The Danger of a Single Story.” How can a single story be dangerous? In Chimamanda story she

Increasing Female Crime

1581 words - 7 pages Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which are produced and finalised by governing authority and when these laws are broken it can ultimately prescribe a conviction. Crime has always been considered to be a mainly male activity but evidence shows a recent sharp increase in female crime. Sociologists such as Mac an Ghaill believe that men of the 21st century are going through a ‘crisis of masculinity’ relating to who they are and what

Increasing Computer Crime

288 words - 2 pages communications as we know it. They offer freedom of expression, and at the same time, freedom of privacy in the highest possible form. Can the government reduce computer crimes, and still allow people the right to freedom of expression and privacy? INFORMATION CONTROL IN THE DIGITIZED WORLD In the past decade, computer technology has expanded at an incredibly fast rate, and the information stored on these computers has been increasing even

Can We Live In A Just World?

1734 words - 7 pages what counts as right and wrong in their own political associations, which they determine by consent" (Davis-Judd, 24). Hobbes’ theory is based on the idea of individualism, that" humanity can only be based in terms of the people comprising it" (Hobbes). As a result, he claimed that we are all egotistical and only concerned with our own self-preservation even if it comes at the expense of others. This position conflicts with ancient

How Far Do Recorded Crime Rates Show How Much Crime Occurs in Society?

1042 words - 5 pages previously accepted behavior might become a crime-like fox hunting. And crimes might stop to be crimes. So in other words many legally defined crimes can be legitimate when put in different context. When we look how much crime is in society we have to note that between an act and conviction there is a long and complex path. Firstly it depends whether or not an event will be observed and by whom. Secondly it depends on the

Prohibition And Its FailuresThis Is About Porhibition And How It Failed. Prohibition Was A Time When Crime Was On The Rise. Organized Crime Was Established For The First Time Also

914 words - 4 pages businessmen claimed that alcohol damaged the health of people and that studies showed alcohol caused crime, disorder, poverty and distress. Since the problem was that 75% of the United States population was urban states, prohibition never got any support and was never even introduced in Maryland. The majority of the country enjoyed drinking and did not wish to be told what to do by the government.Now the people had to devise plans to obtain beer

Reconstruct Aristotle’s Function Argument. Explain What Role the Concept of Virtue Plays in Making the Conclusion More Determinate or Precise. Evaluate and Critique This Argument. Does It Seem...

1960 words - 8 pages function of a thing, but rather an arbitrary function that is ascribed to that thing for the sake of convenience. If Aristotle had been presented with this criticism, he may have attempted to reply his critics by more clearly defining what it means for human being to have a function. When Aristotle considered rational activity to be function of the human person, he did not merely consider reasoning as the purpose of a human being, nor did he mean

Some People Have the View That the Events of Dunkirk in 1940 Deserve to Be Remembered as a Triumph for Britain and Its People. How Far Do These Sources Support or Contradict This Interpretation

1778 words - 8 pages Some people have the view that the events of Dunkirk in 1940 deserve to be remembered as a triumph for Britain and its people. How far do these sources support or contradict this interpretation Dunkirk was an important event during WWll. By 10th May 1940 the German troops had advanced through the parts of France and had advanced the beaches and ports of Dunkirk causing the Allies to retreat and to be trapped. Due to hesitation Hitler did not

Related Essays

“The Media Are More Of A Hindrance Than A Help To The Police In Combating Crime”. Discuss

2505 words - 11 pages key role in shaping cultural perceptions of policing in the mid to late twentieth century and remain a looming presence in the British psyche’ (Jewkes, 2005). From the evidence shown, we can begin to understand how the media's portrayal of the Police can shape the perceptions of the public. This is undoubtedly so as many of the public do not if ever, have a first-hand experience with police. As the main source of information it shows how easy it is

Put Forth A Theory On What It Means To Be Human And, As A Good Reader, Explain How We Might Read Frankenstein As An Example Of This Theory

1155 words - 5 pages of the many things we have created, in order to try and classify all the mysterious elements which, not only exist around us, but also are in our own bodies, and souls. Our fear of the unknow is sometimes attempted to be solved by humans, such as Freud, who believe we have an Ego and a Super Ego, also a conscious soul and an unconscious one. Definitions, a statement of the meaning of a word, or a phrase. Another creation, this time, to define

We Have A Problem Essay

565 words - 3 pages late 1980s, perhaps to stay away from scandals in businesses. However, there are a million ethical issues in today's businesses and unfortunately there is no perfect decision measurement for all these ethical issues. The ethical issues in international businesses are much more complicated and much more delicate, along with being tenfold in numbers. Therefore, let’s take a look at Corporate Intelligence. How do you think it relates to ethics? And

When Are We Free? Essay

681 words - 3 pages these two characters has freedom? The figurative dead or the literal dead? When are we free, if we ever are truly free. There is quite the dichotomy in the definition of freedom. A perfect example would be the short poem, ‘The Prison Cell’ by Mahmud Darwish. To summarize quickly, a prisoner uses his imagination to escape the tangible imprisonment. The guard outside the door recognizes his own inability to do this and “was sad and he begs the