Australian Institute of Criminology

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Perceptions of crime

Crime facts info no. 143

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, March 2007

Every year the Report on government services (SCPGS) provides data on perceptions of crime within the community. People are asked one question about which crimes they believe to be a problem or somewhat of a problem in their state or territory, and a second question about perceived crime levels in their local neighbourhood. The figure below shows the percentage who identified illicit drugs, property crimes and violent crimes as a problem over the past five years. Property crimes consist of housebreaking and motor vehicle theft, while violent crimes include family violence and physical assault. There are two interesting findings in the results. First, the perception of all three categories as a problem at state level is consistently much greater than at neighbourhood level. Second, while perceptions of all three crime categories at a state level have remained stable, perception of them as a problem at the local level has decreased since 2005. This is consistent with decreases noted in both crime victimisation surveys and in crimes reported to police.

Perception of crime as a problem (percent)

Source: SCPGS

References