Articles on Crime

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Crime dramas help stop sexual assault

Television shows that feature people intervening in sexual assault encourage people to do the same. Researchers found that…
Hugging and making up: Samoan Moe Fonoti (right) embraces Logan Aboriginal elder Wayne Saunders, after talks to defuse local tensions. AAP/Dave Hunt

Bogans from the ‘burbs: confronting our hidden biases

Every city has them - the neighbourhoods that everyone else looks down on. In Australia, Sydney has “Westies”. Brisbane has “Logan bogans”. And in Melbourne, the western suburb of Sunshine is colloquially…
Protesters march against the torture at Abu Ghraib; we use social psychology to help understand why people commit such acts. Shrieking Tree

Rethinking long-held beliefs about the psychology of evil

Social psychology addresses many of the important questions that concern us as human beings. It’s also the subject of newspaper editorials on most days: why is there conflict between groups? How can it…
Anders Breivik was sane when he murdered dozens of people in Norway last year according to a jury. EPA/Heiko Junge/Pool Norway

Anders Breivik is guilty: the fine line between bad and mad

One of the most high profile court decisions on “madness” and crime has concluded. In a unanimous decision, the Oslo District Court in Norway has convicted Anders Behring Breivik of the murder of 77 people…
A new social impact investing project in the US which aims to reduce recidivism in prisons has taken the original model further.

Will social impact investing finally pay dividends?

In April last year I wrote in The Conversation about an innovative financial investment mechanism called Social Impact Bonds, that was designed to address some of society’s wicked problems by engaging…
Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. AAP/Dean Lewins

If police and government can’t control Sydney gun crime, local communities must

The spiralling rise in shooting crimes in Sydney’s western suburbs requires strong and sustained political, community and police action to make suburbs safe for families. I happen to live in a suburb that…
Discrimination on the basis of irrelevant criminal records is rife in Australia. Flickr/Waponi

Unfair punishment: when criminal record checks lead to discrimination

Applying for a job is stressful enough, but if you have a criminal record, even if it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for, it can be a nightmare. Employers in Australia regularly discriminate…
Shamed senior police officer Mark Standen is lead away from King St Supreme Court after being found guilty of attempting to import a massive haul of pseudoephedrine. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Good cop, bad cop: how corrupt police work with drug dealers

The Australia21 report on illicit drugs draws much-needed attention to many serious issues, including the major role played by corrupt police in drug distribution networks. The role played by drugs in…
The level of business crime is lower in China than other emerging economies - but bribery and forgery are more frequent than in Australia. AAP

A snapshot of business crime in China

Few crime victim surveys have been conducted with Chinese populations, but a recently released study, Business and the Risk of Crime in China, analyses the results of the first large scale victimisation…
It’s worth taking another look at Bob Carr’s record on decriminalising drugs. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Rap sheet: does Bob Carr’s record on drug reform stand up?

The Australia21 thinktank has today released a report describing the war on drugs as a failure. Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr, part of the working group that developed the report, today told the ABC…
Convicted murderer Keli Lane is one of Australia’s most famous cases of infanticide. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Safe haven: preventing women from harming their babies

In December 2010, Keli Lane, a former champion water polo player, was convicted of the 1996 murder of her two day old daughter, Tegan. The new-born girl was never seen again after leaving the hospital…
When people need to beg, the last thing we should be doing is seeing them as criminals. Flickr/galawebdesign

Forget your coins, we want change: begging should not be a crime

The criminal offence of begging should be abolished. Criminalising begging is tantamount to criminalising poverty. It perpetuates, rather than alleviates, the marginalisation and disadvantage experienced…
Slain underworld figure Carl Williams, who made a living trafficking illicit drugs, is carried from his 2010 funeral in a gold coffin. AAP

Gangster-nomics: the nasty business of criminalising drugs

Policy making is supposedly influenced by scientific evidence, which in turn leads to better political, social and economic outcomes, depending on the issue at hand. One would like to think that in a moderately…
Most people associate Cabramatta with crime and drug dealing, but the reality is much has changed since the 1990s. AAP

‘I Love Pho’: tough love, democracy and the Vietnamese journey

In a world of 24/7 news cycles and prejudice masquerading as insight, it is often very difficult to communicate the deeper analyses based on social science research. Surprising then that a program based…
Young offenders may not be equipped with the skills to help them deal with restorative justice. Flickr/Pandham

Restorative justice may not work for all young offenders

Educating young offenders about the consequences of their crimes is a key way to ensure they don’t re-offend. But bringing them face to face with their victims may not always be the right way to go. Young…

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