The Australian Institute of Criminology’s latest crime statistics make for intriguing reading.
Some of the new figures defy belief – but there they are, in black and white, destroying one perception after another.
The figures have only recently been released and although the research stops in 2012 – they are the best data we have available and represent the most accurate crime trends we could hope for.
Who would have thought, for example, that with all the developments in car manufacturing technology that the rate of vehicle theft in Australia could suddenly jump to be at a record 10-year high?
We’ve all heard and read so much about counter rebirthing strategies such as data dot spraying of body parts and new state-of-the-art alarm systems but the number of stolen cars has risen from 55,310 to 58,574 – a 5.5 per cent increase.
Advancements in protecting your cash don’t seem to have impacted on credit card fraud, shooting up from 37.93 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2006 to 79.26 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2012.
The AIC found that the internet is providing rich pickings for scammers, with the proportion of online stings involving lottery and sweepstakes, banking, auctions and shopping also on the rise.
When it comes to narcotics, all the increased education in our schools seems to be having a minimal positive impact with the number of amphetamine arrests in the latest survey period peaking at 16,828, a whopping 30 per cent increase on the previous year.
The institute research revealed that cannabis accounted for the highest volume of drug arrests. In 2011–12, there were 61,011 drug arrests involving cannabis and since 2007–08 the number of cannabis-related arrests has been increasing by approximately 3 per cent per year.
The 2011–12 figure for cocaine arrests represented a 19 per cent increase on the previous year, while there was good news on the heroin arrest rate, dropping 77 per cent since 2001-02.>
Although the homicide rate has been in general decline since 1999 there were 21 more homicides in 2012 compared with figures recorded in 2011, with just over half of the 255 murders in 2012 occurring in a residential dwelling. Meanwhile, 16 per cent of victims were killed on the street or footpath.
The hotel industry won’t be happy with the stats on violent crimes occurring in “recreational settings”. They rose by 4 per cent but homes were hardly safer with the rate of violent episodes in residential dwellings rising 6 per cent to 12,650.
The cost of law enforcement in Australia is astronomical. Total recurrent expenditure on police services across Australia in 2011–12 was approximately $9.8billion. Victoria is spending less than any other state and territory with every adult citizen paying an average of $472 per adult on police services. That figure was more than quadrupled in the Northern Territory.
"He's got a very good tactical mind and is good with strategy ... great advocacy and comes to grips with the evidence."