As you probably know, I talk about life in Australia and what it’s really like, that’s the theme of this blog. I also like to have a look at what’s going on around the rest of Australia on a Friday, just to get away from Brisbane for a bit.
One news item caught my eye this week, and is not very pleasant. This report comes from Sydney, Western Sydney to be precise and it’s about the rise in gun related crime.
At this point I did have a video from TV news reporter Mark Ferguson about gun crime in Sydney. Unfortunately it has now been removed for some reason. What you would have seen though, if it were still available, is that operations against gangs, bikie gangs that is, is having an effect.
You will also have been told on that video that there had been 402 shootings since the coalition came to power which would have been almost exactly a year ago since this article was written, so sometime around September 2013.
Australia and Guns: How bad is it?
Western Sydney is home to roughly 10% of the entire population of Australia, so 402 shootings in one year in that part of the country, if it were representative of all of Australia, would mean we get something like 4000 shooting incidents nationwide annually.
But we don’t.
I found some gun crime statistics from 2012 in an article over at news.com.au.
- Total gun crimes in 2012 were 1217, compared to 1107 in 2011.
- Our rate of gun-related deaths is decreasing. Latest figures show guns account for just 1.06 deaths per 100,000 compared to 10.3 per 100,000 in the United States.
Please note: the above figures for deaths per 100,000 include all gun deaths, including suicides and accidents. According to Wikipedia, only 0.13 of those Australian deaths were attributable to homicide although a further 0.13 were classed as ‘undetermined’.
So Western Sydney certainly isn’t representative and clearly they seem to have some kind of escalating problem at the moment, probably gang-related.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics seemed to back that up on their page about Victims of Crime…
In Australia, between 2012 and 2013:
- The number of homicide victims has decreased across all states and territories except New South Wales (increase of 11% or 13 victims) and the Northern Territory (increase of 4.5% or 1 victim);
So, whilst it may be on the increase in certain areas of Australia, generally speaking gun crime is down. I am often asked if certain cities are ‘safe’ and I never have any hesitation in saying “yes” because I believe Australian cities are.
But it pays to do your research though when selecting exactly where to live because, just like anywhere, some places are not quite as safe as others.