Ethnicity and crime: a statewide analysis by local government areas

Francis, Ronald, Armstrong, Anona and Totikidis, Vicky (2006) Ethnicity and crime: a statewide analysis by local government areas. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 15 (2). pp. 201-218. ISSN 0117-1968


There have been two kinds of approaches to looking at crime using local government area analysis: one is to look at particular cases; the other is to consider the entire set of population data derived from local areas studies. This report is of the second kind. While there have been a number of studies looking at crime in local areas they tend to be particular, and include in-depth case studies. This present study is designed to provide information and analysis using parametric data, and is thus is a ‘population’ study rather than a sampling one. Information on police recorded crime rates and selected ethnicity variables were gained from all local government areas in Victoria. The general findings were that high rates of Australian born were related to lower property crime rates and, perhaps more importantly, Australian citizenship is significantly related to lower crime rates across LGAs. A higher rate of Recent Arrivals was strongly related to higher crime rates, and LGAs with rates of people born in Oceana/NZ, non-English speaking countries, other English Speaking Countries and rates of low proficiency in English positively correlates with some forms of crime but to a lesser degree. The difficulty of interpreting official statistics is recognised, as is the value of comprehensive population data on crime and ethnicity. Ill informed comments could have regrettable social implications: indeed there are some well informed comments that may have the same unintended effect. That point is one that a pluralistic democracy may have to tolerate within certain limits. Opportunity structures in host countries have both positive and negative consequences: this article highlights the latter rather than the former. These findings have implications not only for the allocation of resources at local government level but also for immigration policy. Using these data the conclusion is drawn that commitment to the host country, and coping in an alien environment are useful explanations.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 390000 Law, Justice and Law Enforcement
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for International Corporate Governance Research
Keywords ResPubID10684. crime rates, ethnicity, local districts, immigrants, government policies
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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