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Britain, Australia top U.S.
in violent crime
Posted By Jon Dougherty On 03/02/2001 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
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:
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 CPHV.
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 story:
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