Indigenous Violence & Crime

I’m running an event on Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Indigenous Crime on 28 May (details here). So it’s timely that the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released a series of statistics on Indigenous Australians’ exposure to crime and the justice system. Among the facts in the report:

  • about one-quarter (24%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over reported being a victim of physical or threatened violence in the 12 months prior to the survey
  • After adjusting for age differences… between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, Indigenous people aged 18 years and over were twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to have been a victim of physical or threatened violence
  • one in six Indigenous people aged 15 years and over (16%) reported having been arrested in the five years prior to the survey
  • 7% of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over reported having been incarcerated in the five years prior to the survey

The figures are based on a 2002 survey. I’m not quite sure why it’s taken this long for the ABS to release them. 

(HT: Boyd Hunter)

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5 Responses to Indigenous Violence & Crime

  1. harry clarke says:

    By the way a point you missed in your summary was the enormous contribution of alcohol and illicit drugs to the legal problems of Indigenous people. It is not a detail.

  2. Miserable Non-commenter says:

    test comment – 4 tries

  3. Miserable Non-commenter says:

    But, but… indigneous people are NINE times as likely to be victims of murder – and all those rapes, child molestations and contagion suicides in custody… I am told (White Out, Rosemary Neill) that more children are being taken now for their protection than were taken in the time of the ‘stolen generation’.

    Drug use has added terrible incidence of mental illness to the brain wipe of petrol sniffing which my friends in the health system tell me have just about wiped out a generation in some communities.

    I wonder whether this survey sampled only the ones I like to believe are there, living quietly, working and raising families, and never in the papers?

  4. Andrew Leigh says:

    MNC, I’m not sure what happened to your earlier comments. I don’t think they were caught by the spam filter, but I can only recover spam within a short window (6-12 hours, I think), so if it happens again, please email me straight away.

    As to the survey, I think it’s extremely unlikely that its results were explained by poor sampling procedures. Huge amounts of effort went into the NATSIS (read the ABS documentation on it if you’re interested).

  5. ChrisPer says:

    Thanks Andrew, what I did was change my email and the comment went through.

    I would like to follow that survey up, because my opinions are formed by experience and (hack spit) media, and I don’t often get to meet ordinary aboriginal people any more.


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