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 news.com.au: ‘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.