How the public sees crime: an Australian survey

Abstract

This report is the second in a new series on Trends and Issues in Australian crime and criminal justice published by the Australian Institute of Criminology. The series has been initiated by the Research and Statistics Division under the general editorship of the Assistant Director, Dr Paul Wilson. The first report, Uses and Abuses of Drug Law Enforcement Statistics, was released in August 1986.

This second report is the most comprehensive overview of public attitudes to crime which Australia has yet seen. Surveys commissioned by media organisations inevitably suffer from the limitations of topicality - for example, views on drug-pushing when a notorious case is before the public eye or on the question of child neglect when a conviction for manslaughter has just occurred.

The Institute, by surveying attitudes to a comprehensive range of offences, has been able to produce an integrated and cogent series of responses. In some ways they are quite surprising. It is to be hoped that the law-makers take careful note of the results.