Crime and Countries

I was looking over at Interpol’s annual crime reports and found some statistics. According to Interpol’s 2001 reports,

Crimes per 100,000:

2389 - Ireland
4161 - US
6941 - France
7475 - Australia (Year 2000 latest report)
7736 - Germany
8226 - Scotland
8572 - Canada
9927 - England and Wales

Hmmmm. Comments? Opinions? Please no flames. :laughing: :laughing:

Um, any breakdown on the types of crime, blueface?

The stats are here with a complete breakdown.

Well I think it’s only fair that they should add all those Aussie one’s back onto the Irish one’s, after all, that’s how we all ended up in Aus anyway

Wow! Will you look at the murder rate in the US in 2001!
US 15,980
England/Wales 850
Oz 693 (2000)
Canada 1275

And i’m curious about white collar crime. Anywhere to find those statistics?

[quote=“Alien”]Wow! Will you look at the murder rate in the US in 2001!
US 15,980
England/Wales 850
Oz 693 (2000)
Canada 1275
But what’s the rate per 100,000? That’s what’s important. For instance, in Australia (2000) it’s 3.62 while in the US (2001) it’s 5.61. In France (2001) it’s 3.91.

Check Section 5 of the individual country’s statistics report.

This is an outstanding topic because it tends to cut against the stereotype of what most people assume to be true about the U.S.: that it is a crime-ridden society.

I first read about this in Francis Fukuyama’s The Great Disruption (Fukuyama also wrote The End of History and the Last Man). Fukuyama traced the violent and property crime rates in the U.S., Sweden, England and Wales, and Japan (he studied many others, but those were the main ones he highlights early in the book). With the exception of Japan, all the Western countries he studied showed similar trends and levels in property crimes since the 1960s. What the U.S. has that Europe does not is a noticably higher rate of violent crime, but even here there are mitigating circumstances: the wider availibility of guns and the presence of a concentrated underclass, “characterized by violent crime, drug use, unemployment, poor education, and broken families.”

But property crimes have a much greater chance of affecting the average citizen than do violent crimes. Even in the U.S., property crimes per every violent crime occur at better than a 600 to 1 ratio. In the late 1980s and early 90s, places like Australia, Canada, and England all had higher rates of property crimes than did the U.S.

Hi girls!

And your point is?

Are you trying to tell us that the United States is what?


Are those reported crimes? Prosecuted crimes?

Big dunce, think of this as a game; you decide what we’re trying to tell you, then we’ll let you know how close you get.

Maoman –

Reported crimes, of course, although the level of reported crimes usually tracks the rises and falls of what are called “victimization surveys” – independent polling on crime carried out by criminologists. Victimization surveys indicate that police underreporting of crime in decades past may have been substantial, but has dropped off more recently as the reporting of crime has become more bureaucratized.

The problem with victimization surveys is that not all countries have them.

What about organized crime?
And what about the fact that Taiwan isn’t on yet another international survey?

To be honest I don’t think you can read very much into the statistics. What about crimes that are not reported? What about crimes where the police are called but there is no official report filed or charges laid?

England is said to have the world’s best police force so maybe they are just better at catching the criminals. The fact that England has the highest number of crimes according to these statistics doesn’t necessarily mean there is more crime there.

Said by whom?

[b]Crime rate sours Britain’s cup of tea

Iain Murray[/b]

A recent CBS Evening News with Dan Rather contained a surprising story about crime in Britain. Even the unflappable Dan sounded slightly confounded when he anchored the story with the words, “This summer, thousands of Americans will travel to Britain, expecting a civilized island free from crime and ugliness and, in many ways, it is that. But now, like the US, the UK has a crime problem and, believe it or not, except for murder, theirs is worse than ours.”

Despite some protestations in the British press, the CBS picture is pretty accurate. This is one aspect of British culture that doesn’t make it onto PBS.

I was brought up in the peaceful Britain Mr. Rather referred to, but by my late teens, in the early 1980s, things were beginning to change. No one I knew growing up in South Shields, a poorer area of the country, was ever involved in a crime. But when our house was burgled (with my entire family present) the night before I left for university, I realized something was changing.

After university, I lived in London for eight years. The atmosphere there was very different from years gone by, and every night the local news contained tales of often quite horrific crimes in my Clapham neighborhood. Then I was mugged. It was not a violent mugging; in fact, there was a hint of the bizarre about it (the prime assailant was wearing, of all things, what appeared to be a dog muzzle), but it did happen less than 100 yards from my front door.

Yet all my life, I’d heard tales about how much more crime-ridden America was than Britain, a contrast reinforced by cop shows like “Kojak” (so much more violent and action-centered than our own “Z-Cars,” in which humdrum crime and the daily grind of the “copper” were more important). The high US murder rate was common knowledge, driving British views to this day about the level of crime in the US and the effects of guns in society.

[b]So when I moved to the US in 1997, I expected to be even more afraid. But I feel safer. Why? Partly because of the visible police presence. Working in Washington, I see far more police cars patrolling than I ever saw in London, even during the height of the IRA terror campaign. It’s partly because I know I’m safer in my bed (almost half of British burglaries, compared with 10 percent in the US, take place with the householder present - British burglars have no fear of being shot by the occupant). But it’s also partly because I know that crime rates have been dropping like a stone since the mid-'90s, even while crime stories on the evening news have been increasing. In the UK they have been rising, to an extent that they are now higher than America’s.

In all major crime categories except for murder and rape (where the figures are unreliable on both sides of the Atlantic), Britain now has higher crime rates. For robbery, assault, burglary, and auto theft, Britain is a worse place than the US. Even the gap in the murder rate has narrowed, falling from 10 times as many murders per head in the US as in Britain, to 6 times as many (due entirely to the fall in the US rate).[/b]

Why has this happened? There are many theories, mostly concentrated on American-specific factors such as the role of guns in self-defense. But a recent study, by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics and Britain’s Cambridge University, came up with a very interesting suggestion. Referring to serious and violent crimes, the report said: “An offender’s risk of being caught, convicted, and incarcerated has been rising in the United States but falling in England.”

In other words, if you are a criminal you are more likely to get away with it in the UK than in the US, and the difference in likelihood is getting greater.

This is an important conclusion. In some ways, it shows that the American incarceration experiment has worked - although the study also shows that length of sentence is unimportant, and harsh mandatory sentences for nonviolent, minor drug crimes strike me as bizarre. It also shows that British anticrime efforts that have veered off the road of custodial punishment have had a counterproductive effect.

If Britain is to return to the idyllic image of the peaceful nation it once was, it has to look seriously at methods that have been proven to cut crime. If it does, then our favorite PBS “Brit-coms” might be more representative of what we’ll find when we travel there.

*Iain Murray is senior research analyst at the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a nonprofit group that works with the media to improve public understanding of scientific and quantitative information.

Do these statistics count drug offenses? Because the majority of those in American prisons are there because of drug-related offenses - those stupid mandatory sentencing laws enacted in the just-say-no ‘80s have ruined a lot of lives. So you’d suppose that, with the U.S.’ much harsher draconian drug laws, that would gum up the stats to show a much higher crime rate in the U.S. than in Europe and Australia. Curiously, though, despite the much more lax approach to drug use in European and Australian societies, their reported crime rate is higher. Also, the U.S. has a much higher prison population - American incarcerates more citizens per capita than any other country in the developed world. Yet the actual crime rate compiled by Interpol registers as fairly low in America? This does not compute.

That’s a good question and Fukuyama doesn’t deal with it; he only looks at property and violent crimes (I’ll let Blueface handle the Interpol stats).

But If you think the laws are stupid, I’m not sure it matters if they are counted or not. If you don’t believe they are crimes, then why count them? But if they are included in the stats, then the disparity favoring the U.S. over other Western countries is even greater than was reported. And if you believe that mandatory sentences for drug crimes skew the other crime stats in the U.S.'s favor by inadvertantly putting in prison people likely to commit other types of crimes, then perhaps the laws aren’t without their benefits.

It computes if violations of drug laws aren’t counted as property or violent crimes, but form their own category that isn’t used for international comparisons. (It could also be true, of course, if the U.S. is far more efficient in arresting criminals than other countries, but I doubt this is the case, mainly because the disparity in prison populations is so large.)

Overall, the U.S. arrests and jails more people than any other developed country. But a significant portion of that total is probably for drug violations, a category that other modern countries aren’t as concerned about as the U.S., and so either have few laws on the books or lax enforcement of them. So the U.S. has less property crime than other developed countries, but still has a far larger prison population because of its uniquely tough drug laws.

Remember that the US imprisons people for “light drug” possession, still, too. Marijuana and hashish.

That’s included in my formula “uniquely tough drug laws”.

“Uniquely tough drug laws” in the US? Try possessing that stuff in Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand. :wink:

“Uniquely tough drug laws” in the US? Try possessing that stuff in Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand. :wink:[/quote]

Yeah. They hang drug smugglers in Singapore and Malaysia. And it seems to work pretty good. Drug usage is pretty low. Maybe the US should do the same.

I find myself in the unlikely position of agreeing with Blueface re. crime in the UK. I can’t really compare it with crime in the States since I haven’t lived in the States but, living in a large city in the north of England, I was very aware of crime; muggings, random violent attacks, car thefts and burglaries being the most common or at least most visible and talked about. Friends and I have been victims of various types of crime on several occasions. It’s a sad reflection on the breakdown of traditional societal structures in Britain, in my opinion.