Knives and armed robbery


In Australia, knives are used during armed robberies at between 2 and 3 times the level of firearms. Furthermore, in terms of offence categories, armed robberies accounted for the largest (proportional) increase in recorded crime between 1997 and 1998. Many people think gun when they think of armed robbery and, to date, this has been the focus of most research into armed robbery. This paper brings together new data on robbery, and noting the strong presence of knives, is a springboard for the analysis of containment strategies.

We often look overseas for research contexts. In North America, firearms are involved in between 60 to 65 per cent of all armed robberies. Within the Australian context, however, firearms are involved in less than 30 per cent of all armed robberies. These figures mean that knife use needs to be viewed as a critical issue and collaborative work undertaken to contain knife use. This paper is a first step in that process.

This paper is taken from the report of research undertaken with the assistance of a grant from the Criminology Research Council.