Victorian crime rates are actually lower than what the headlines suggest

New Data Trashes Need for Tougher Gun Laws

If you believe the mainstream media, Victoria is descending into crime-fuelled chaos.

African youth gangs rule the night.

Muslim terrorists are poised to strike at any moment.

Ice-fuelled gun battles rage from Melbourne to Ballarat.

It makes for frightening headlines. Like this one from ‘Australia facing up to Christmas terror threat as country enters “peak season”’.

There’s just one problem. It’s not true.

Headlines like this are intended to convince voters they need more security. And tougher laws.

Enter the $10 million taxpayer-funded security upgrade for inner Melbourne. One that will see dozens of new CCTV cameras installed across the city. These may well link with the new facial recognition technology rollout currently under consideration by the government.

And once in place, it’s highly unlikely any new security measures will be removed…ever.

But it’s not just terrorists that are driving Australian citizens into the arms of Big Brother.

‘Residents’ safety fears rising as crime wave engulfs Melbourne’, this headline from The Australian proclaimed. The article noted that public safety fears in Victoria were at a five-year high.

Little wonder with fearmongering headlines like that…

Politicians were quick to take advantage. Peter Dutton said Melbournians were afraid to leave their homes at night. Malcolm Turnbull jumped in, saying it was a law and order problem.

As for Premier Daniel Andrews?

He’s all aboard the law and order bandwagon. It does more than sell newspapers. It gets votes.

With voters convinced crime and gun violence is out of control, Victoria is pushing through draconian new gun laws. These will enable what’s known as prohibition orders on kids as young as 14. And it will allow police to search them — and anyone in their company — without a warrant. 

This doesn’t add up…

Do you see the direction this is all heading? More surveillance. More power for the police and government agencies. Less personal privacy. And a continued erosion of every Australian’s civil rights.

But here’s the kicker.

New data from the Bureau of Statistics reveals that 2016–17 in Victoria was the safest period in the last 10 years.

Crimes in almost every category were down from previous years. The number of homicides was the lowest since 2010–11…despite the state adding more than 700,000 people in that time.

And there were fewer offenders holding prohibited weapons. Yes, that means guns.

Then why all the overblown angst about out of control crime?

There are many reasons, but a large motive is that it distracts voters’ attention from the real issues pollies are failing to properly address. Like creating economic growth without resorting to unsustainable population growth.

Importantly, fuelling fears about crime also creates an inflated need for politicians, the police, and government security agencies. As long as more money keeps flowing in, their jobs are secure.

So expect the bad news to keep coming…whether it’s true or not.

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben is the lead editor at The Australian Tribune. Bernd makes use of his extensive network to bring you the top stories you need to know about each day. Stories the mainstream may miss. Or bury somewhere you’re unlikely to ever read them. Bernd studied aerospace engineering and journalism at the University of Michigan, before graduating with a degree in economics. Over the past two decades he’s worked in media, management, and finance in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. His other role, as the editor of the Port Phillip Insider, puts him in a unique position to read Australia’s most exclusive financial advice. Some of which he shares with readers of The Australian Tribune for free.
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  1. Note the major source of the fear and insecurity campaign, it has always been the one organisation, also note the political organisations that push fear and insecurity and the need for ever increasing security and erosion of rights and liberty, strangely the ones that promotes those very values.
    A well proven methodology
    We hear the terms Fascist and anti fascist. What are the origins and what do they actually mean.
    Encylopedia Brittanica covers the origins and variants very well, not what you would think.
    Consider what the world would be like if they had achieved their aims and prevented the enlightenment and all the other social and civilisation advances.