WorldNetDaily - Friday, March 2, 2001
Britain, Australia top U.S. in violent crime
Rates Down Under increase despite strict gun-control measures
By Jon Dougherty
Law enforcement and anti-crime activists regularly claim that the United
States tops the charts in most crime-rate categories, but a new
international study says that America's former master -- Great Britain
-- has much higher levels of crime.
The International Crime Victims Survey, conducted by Leiden University
in Holland, found that England and Wales ranked second overall in
violent crime among industrialized nations.
Twenty-six percent of English citizens -- roughly one-quarter of the
population -- have been victimized by violent crime. Australia led the
list with more than 30 percent of its population victimized.
The United States didn't even make the "top 10" list of industrialized
nations whose citizens were victimized by crime.
Jack Straw, the British home secretary, admitted that "levels of
victimization are higher than in most comparable countries for most
categories of crime."
Highlights of the study indicated that:
* The percentage of the population that suffered "contact crime" in
England and Wales was 3.6 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in the
United States and 0.4 percent in Japan.
* Burglary rates in England and Wales were also among the highest
recorded. Australia (3.9 percent) and Denmark (3.1 per cent) had higher
rates of burglary with entry than England and Wales (2.8 percent). In
the U.S., the rate was 2.6 percent, according to 1995 figures;
* "After Australia and England and Wales, the highest prevalence of crime
was in Holland (25 percent), Sweden (25 percent) and Canada (24
percent). The United States, despite its high murder rate, was among the
middle ranking countries with a 21 percent victimization rate," the
London Telegraph said.
* England and Wales also led in automobile thefts. More than 2.5 percent
of the population had been victimized by car theft, followed by 2.1
percent in Australia and 1.9 percent in France. Again, the U.S. was not
listed among the "top 10" nations.
* The study found that Australia led in burglary rates, with nearly 4
percent of the population having been victimized by a burglary. Denmark
was second with 3.1 percent; the U.S. was listed eighth at about 1.8
Interestingly, the study found that one of the lowest victimization
rates -- just 15 percent overall -- occurred in Northern Ireland, home
of the Irish Republican Army and scene of years of terrorist violence.
Analysts in the U.S. were quick to point out that all of the other
industrialized nations included in the survey had stringent gun-control
laws, but were overall much more violent than the U.S.
Indeed, information on Handgun Control's Center to Prevent Handgun
Violence website actually praises Australia and attempts to portray
Australia as a much safer country following strict gun-control measures
passed by lawmakers in 1996.
"The next time a credulous friend or acquaintance tells you that
Australia actually suffered more crime when they got tougher on guns ...
offer him a Foster's, and tell him the facts," the CPHV site says.
"In 1998, the rate at which firearms were used in murder, attempted
murder, assault, sexual assault and armed robbery went down. In that
year, the last for which statistics are available, the number of murders
involving a firearm declined to its lowest point in four years," says
However, the International Crime Victims Survey notes that overall crime
victimization Down Under rose from 27.8 percent of the population in
1988, to 28.6 percent in 1991 to over 30 percent in 1999.
Advocates of less gun control in the U.S. say the drop in gun murder
rates was more than offset by the overall victimization increase. Also,
they note that Australia leads the ICVS report in three of four
categories -- burglary (3.9 percent of the population), violent crime
(4.1 percent) and overall victimization (about 31 percent).
Australia is second to England in auto theft (2.1 percent).
In March 2000, WorldNetDaily reported that since Australia's widespread
gun ban, violent crime had increased in the country.
WND reported that, although lawmakers responsible for passing the ban
promised a safer country, the nation's crime statistics tell a different
* Countrywide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.
* Assaults are up 8.6 percent.
* Amazingly, armed robberies have climbed nearly 45 percent.
* In the Australian state of Victoria, gun homicides have climbed 300
* In the 25 years before the gun bans, crime in Australia had been
* There has been a reported "dramatic increase" in home burglaries
and assaults on the elderly.
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"The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world,
the poorer people get." Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
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