Articles on crime reduction

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Long Bay Correctional Centre was dubbed the ‘Long Bay Hilton’ by ‘tough on crime’ advocates whose campaigns helped fill prison cells to overflowing. Wikimedia Commons/J Bar

State of imprisonment: prisoners of NSW politics and perceptions

Most crime in NSW has been declining since the early 2000s, and the state's current murder rate is half what it was in 1988. So why is the NSW prison population growing?
Despite declining gun fatalities, there should be no room for complacency in Australia, with an estimated 260,000 illegal guns in Australia – including this MP5K 9mm machine gun, seized in Queensland in 2013. Dan Peled/AAP

Good news: fatal shootings are now less common in Australia, NZ, Canada and even the US

The rate of fatal shootings has fallen in Australia, the US and other nations in recent decades. Yet anti- and pro-gun ideology still makes it hard to have a sensible discussion about gun violence.
Public pressure to be ‘tough’ on crime can lead governments to neglect some of our deadliest problems, such as family violence. Paul Miller/AAP

If you want to cut crime, you can’t ignore the evidence

Queensland has a new Labor minority government, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, after the shock defeat of the Liberal National Party. Labor’s pre-election promises were “modest”, leaving many now wondering…
A spate of shootings and public brawls prompted a Queensland government crackdown on bikie gangs – but there is much more to the state’s falling crime rates than just getting bikies off the streets. AAP Image/Dan Peled

The revealing facts on bikie laws and crime in Queensland

Queensland’s Liberal National government has made law and order – particularly its anti-bikie laws – a key part of its re-election pitch. The government recently claimed that “Criminal Gang laws (are…
A woman views the floral memorial outside the fenced off Lindt Chocolate cafe in Martin Place in Sydney. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Could the Sydney siege have been predicted and prevented?

It’s the question everyone is asking – could the Sydney siege have been predicted and therefore prevented based on the past behaviour of gunman Man Haron Monis. Monis’ troubled history was well known to…
The reality about Scotland’s rape stats might be counter-intuitive. Morag Eyrie

Rising rape figures in Scotland could actually be a step forward

As was confirmed recently by figures from Police Scotland, there has been a 23% increase in recorded cases of rape north of the border over the past year. In 2013-14, the first year of Police Scotland’s…
Tributes to Anne Maguire were left outside Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds. Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Pupils with weapons should not induce moral panic

The stabbing to death by a 15-year-old pupil of Anne Maguire, a much loved teacher who had worked at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds for more than 40 years, has attracted much attention across…
Smash-and-grab: statistics only give us a fractured picture of crime. raleighwoman

Hard evidence: how accurate are British crime statistics?

The Office for National Statistics released the latest crime statistics last week, and the headline findings are really rather remarkable. Although approximately 8 million offences were recorded by the…
Anononymised information from emergency departments can improve policing. Dominic Alves

Hospitals could help police prevent violent crime

With so many lurid reports of violence on our TV screens, it’s easy to think that the police know about all or most incidents. But they don’t. The National Crime Victimisation Survey in the US and the…
Despite the amount of media coverage, rates of violence are falling worldwide. Wikimedia Commons / Joseph Kelley

Is the world really becoming less violent?

There is a growing consensus among scholars that rates of violence in Western countries are steadily declining, and have been doing so for centuries. The statistic used by most people who support this…
Alcatraz has shut, but many more prisons have opened since in the US. Shobe834/Flickr

America’s penal arms race holds few lessons for the UK

It appears that Britain is following the United States in its addiction to the use of prison terms. The USA has led the way in the penal arms race with the introduction of such measures as “three strikes…

Green grass means safer communities

Well maintained and green, vacant neighbourhood lots make residents feel safer, a University of Pennsylvania study has found…

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