Is Crime in Great Britain, Canada Australia greater than USA?


PDA






mountainclmbr
January 10, 2006, 11:07 PM
My wife is debating with me about effects of gun control. Is the crime rate per capita greater in Canada, Great Britain and Australia worse than in the USA or is the rate of change just worse. Any references?

If you enjoyed reading about "Is Crime in Great Britain, Canada Australia greater than USA?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
antsi
January 10, 2006, 11:40 PM
Generally speaking, the US has had higher murder rates while Great Britain has had higher rates of overall violent crime (which includes assaults, rapes, armed robberies, etc., in addition to murder). The John Lott article linked below has hyperlinks to many original documents that demonstrate these numbers (these UK numbers are cited in the context of debating about gun control in Canada).

Of particular interest is how crimes committed with guns rose in the UK and Australia after they enacted draconian gun control laws.

It is also interesting to look at the fact that these two countries are islands (which complicates matters for people smuggling guns in from other countries) and that they have less civil liberties and less restrictions on security/police forces... and still, they can't keep guns out of their countries. If gun bans don't work in the UK and Australia, they sure aren't going to work here.

Another good resource for gun control debates is the recent study by the United States Centers for Disease Control which found no evidence that gun control laws have any effect on reducing crime rates.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/lott200508190817.asp

August 19, 2005, 8:17 a.m.
Canada Blames Us
Gun-control folly here, up north, across the pond...

By John R. Lott Jr.

If you have a problem, it's often easier to blame someone else rather than deal with it. And with Canada's murder rate rising 12 percent last year and a recent rash of murders by gangs in Toronto and other cities, it's understandable that Canadian politicians want a scapegoat. That at least was the strategy Canada's premiers took when they met last Thursday with the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, and spent much of their time blaming their crime problems on guns smuggled in from the United States.

Of course, there is a minor problem with the attacks on the U.S. Canadians really don't know what the facts are, and the reason is simple: Despite billions of dollars spent on the Canada's gun-registration program and the program's inability to solve crime, the government does not how many crime-guns were seized in Canada, let alone where those guns came from. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in late July that they "cannot know if [the guns] were traceable or where they might have been traced." Thus, even if smuggled guns were an important problem, the Canadian government doesn't know if it is worse now than in the past.

Even in Toronto, which keeps loose track of these numbers, Paul Culver, a senior Toronto Crown Attorney, claims that guns from the U.S. are a "small part" of the problem.

There is another more serious difficulty: You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well.

The experiences in the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers some pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned. Yet, since 1996 the serious-violent-crime rate has soared by 69 percent; robbery is up 45 percent, and murders up 54 percent. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost to its 1993 level.

The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey completed, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate of that in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out later this year, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35 percent, while those in the U.S. have declined 6 percent.

Australia has also seen its violent-crime rates soar immediately after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32-percent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1995. The same comparisons for armed-robbery rates showed increases of 74 percent.

During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry firearms. Thirty seven of the fifty states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns after passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes.

Many things affect crime: The rise of drug-gang violence in Canada and Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. (Few Canadians appreciate that 70 percent of American murders take place in just 3.5 percent of our counties, and that a large percentage of those are drug-gang related.) Just as these gangs can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

With Canada's reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.'s (which is 475), Canada's politicians are understandably nervous.

While it is always easier to blame another for your problems, the solution to crime is often homegrown

Standing Wolf
January 11, 2006, 12:28 AM
Blaming someone else for your self-inflicted problems is usually a sign of intellectual and moral immaturity. It's perfectly understandable in small children.

McCall911
January 11, 2006, 05:46 AM
If you're interested in crime statistics, I have found this site to be interesting:

http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/crime.html?type=to

It allows you to compare U.S. and Canadian cities in regard to crimes reported to police

mbs357
January 11, 2006, 08:08 AM
This looks to be a good info thread.
*saves*

Oldtimer
January 11, 2006, 09:51 AM
Do a search for "United Nations". I don't have the link handy, but they recently came out with a study of world crime that was VERY interesting! One particular statement in that study was something along the lines of "A tourist is safer on the streets of New York City than London, England"

HankB
January 11, 2006, 09:57 AM
There was a "study" completed a few years ago purporting to illustrate the effects of differing gun laws in the USA and Canada by comparing murder rates in Seattle and Vancouver.

Sure enough, murder rates in Seattle were noticeably higher than those in nearby Vancouver, leading the researcher to conclude that, yes indeed, "lax" gun laws in the USA caused more murders.

But then people began reviewing his research, and a demographic breakdown revealed something very interesting: each city was about 3/4 "non-Hispanic Caucasian" with a similar economic profile, and during the years the study encompassed the murder rate in this group was actually about 1% lower in Seattle than it was in Vancouver!

Now, 1% is statistically insignificant, but it demonstrates that in the predominant group, differing gun laws made no measurable difference whatsoever in murder rate.

What was politically unpalatable was the revealed fact that all the difference in murder rates occured in the minority communities, which were quite different. (Vancouver's was heavily Oriental and Amerindian, Seattle's wasn't.)

So the "study" basically vanished - gun control advocates simply stopped using it.

A 20-year study of murders in Chicago revealed that while 3/4 of murderers were prior offenders, about 2/3 of murder victims were ALSO known criminals. So if Chicago is typical, murder victims tend to be concentrated in a particular demograpic group, i.e., the criminal element. (If you don't associate with criminals, your chances of being murdered are much lower than if you hang out with bad guys.)

As for Britain, there have been a number of threads about this - the general consensus is that while it's difficult to get a handle on "real" numbers for comparison because of differences in the way crimes are reported/recorded in the two countries, the USA had a higher murder rate and - probably - a higher rape rate than Britain. Again, in the US, the "victims" tend to be concentrated in the criminal community, but Britain's victims are apparently more broad-based. Britain's assault, robbery, and burglary rates are higher than those in the USA, and in a given year, the typical Brit is more likely to be the victim of some serious crime than is the average Yank.

agricola
January 11, 2006, 11:43 AM
antsi,

The UK does not have a higher rate of rapes than the US. Rape is an under-reported phenomenon worldwide, but the available data (contained in several threads here and on TFL) evidences that our rate is lower than yours.

Also John Lott is hardly a reliable source on this issue, its better to either do your own work or use someone who has not demonstrated time and time again a use of wildly misleading / false statistics to evidence his theories. Tim Lambert exposes his latest claim over on his blog -

But his column isn’t pure recycled stuff—he has a new example where he implies that criminals took advantage of the disarmed Irish:

The Republic of Ireland banned and confiscated all handguns and all center fire rifles in 1972, but murder rates rose fivefold by 1974 and in the 20 years after the ban has averaged 114% higher than the pre-ban rate (never falling below at least 31% higher).

So do you think that Lott is completely ignorant about the recent history of Ireland or did he deliberately conceal it from his readers? In 1972 the Republic of Ireland did ban handguns and large calibre rifles. And the number of murders did increase from 10 in 1971 to 51 in 1974 (numbers from here). What Lott failed to mention is the reason for the gun ban in Ireland was not to reduce homicides there (they only had 10 murders a year in a country of three million people for heaven’s sake!), but to cut off the supply of guns to Northern Ireland. Lott also failed to mention is that the reason for the big increase in murder in 1974 was the terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan which killed 33 people. It’s as if he blamed the enormous increase in the homicide rate in New York City in 2001 on gun control there.

http://timlambert.org/2006/01/cherrypicking-4/

mountainclimbr,

Identifying gun control as a factor that affects crime rates is a bit of a mistake, especially when one looks at the UK. Colin Greenwood, a pro-gun chap, ex Police Officer and an expert who is considerably more valid than either Lott or Joyce Lee Malcolm, states that the firearms legislation in England and Wales has had no effect on the crime rate in those countries; nor could it, given the circumstances (especially since 1989 and 1997):

The British Government seeks to make the most of the confusion caused by its change of statistical recording methods claiming that the ban on handguns may have had some small effect. Some commentators have claimed. that the use of handguns in crime has increased by some staggering amount from the moment that handguns were banned. Neither claim is true. The ban on handguns has been a total irrelevance and underlying crime trends have continued unchanged now that only outlaws have guns.

http://www.pierrelemieux.org/greenwood-citizen.html

jacobtowne
January 11, 2006, 12:52 PM
In the latest issue of the American Rifleman (which see), Scotland is listed as the most violent nation in the developed world.
Some time ago, AR (I don't recall which issue), said that according to UN stats., London was one of the most violent cities.
JT

TheEgg
January 11, 2006, 01:12 PM
The British Government seeks to make the most of the confusion caused by its change of statistical recording methods claiming that the ban on handguns may have had some small effect. Some commentators have claimed. that the use of handguns in crime has increased by some staggering amount from the moment that handguns were banned. Neither claim is true. The ban on handguns has been a total irrelevance and underlying crime trends have continued unchanged now that only outlaws have guns.

Good quote, Agricola.

Every non-biased research effort that I have seen comes up with the same result, time after time:

There is no evidence in existence that shows that any kind of gun control legislation impacts the crime rate. Period.

iapetus
January 11, 2006, 02:48 PM
The Telegraph published an (opinion) article about UK crime statistics last week:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/01/02/do0202.xml

In essence, the crime statistics (in the opinion of the journalist) have been messed around so much that they are effectively meaningless. (The soaring violent crime rate being in part the result of "Violence" being defined to include simple pushing and shoving - not the sort of thing people normally envisage when the media screams "Violent Crime Soars").



Simplify crime statistics, Mr Clarke
By Philip Johnston
(Filed: 02/01/2006)

There was a fascinating confrontation on Radio 4 over Christmas when David Blunkett was guest editor of the Today programme.

He decided to interview his erstwhile tormentor John Humphrys, to establish whether journalists were partly, if not wholly, responsible for lowering public trust in politicians.

He suggested there was less respect than there should be for the institutions of governance and implied that media cynicism about the motives of ministers contributed to a climate of suspicion.

Mr Blunkett accurately detected an unwillingness by journalists to take anything that politicians say at face value, though it is our job to be sceptical. But he must also acknowledge the role that this Government has played in making us especially wary.

A year or two ago, I had an exchange of correspondence with Mr Blunkett, who was then the home secretary, over what he considered was an unfair article about crime figures.

He took issue with a suggestion that the statistics were being presented in a confusing and often contradictory way that threatened to undermine public confidence in their integrity.

Mr Blunkett was especially exercised by a reference to "jiggery-pokery"

and to the article's conclusion "that the Home Office's inventive use of statistics may get favourable headlines but in the long run, it risks damaging its reputation for straight-dealing, perhaps irreparably".

In a characteristically robust fashion, he responded: "I don't like my officials being branded liars... I also don't like my credibility being impugned."

Mr Blunkett has long gone from the Home Office, but the problem remains. Before Christmas, the Statistics Commission, an independent watchdog, said the department should be stripped of responsibility for publishing crime figures because public trust had been eroded, partly by political manipulation of their timing and context.

This causes great concern to Charles Clarke, the current Home Secretary, who is also a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the son of the late Sir Richard "Otto" Clarke, a renowned Treasury official and statistician.

He is expected shortly to announce a review of the way the statistics are collated and presented.

There is no more certain way to poison relationships between the Government and the media than if the latter feel they are having the wool deliberately and routinely pulled over their eyes.

When Labour came to power in 1997, after an especially bruising 18 years in opposition at the hands of the press, it was anxious to control the message even more than its predecessors had done.

However, it soon realised that the best laid plans can be thrown into disarray by the release of official statistics; and this is especially the case with crime, where trends are often difficult to discern and are a constant source of political friction.

The message the Home Office wanted to go out was that crime had fallen, but the police figures did not always show this. So two things happened. First, a new National Crime Recording Standard - a sort of statistical quality control - was introduced to ensure consistency in police figures.

But the consequence of this was that more offences were recorded and it therefore appeared that crime was rising, even if it wasn't. So ministers began to emphasise instead the findings of the British Crime Survey, conducted annually among a pool of about 40,000 householders.

This showed a downward trend for most crimes, but was flawed because it excluded the under-16s, the homeless, all businesses, murder, manslaughter and so-called victimless crimes such as drug abuse.

The Home Office started routinely to issue the BCS figures alongside the police recorded statistics. Indeed, they are regularly cited in preference to the police figures.

Press releases would state categorically that crime had fallen by X per cent, but it was the BCS measure - often on a totally different calendar base - that was being highlighted. Journalists tended to latch on to anything that showed a rise; usually police recorded violent crime.

The Government then changed the way that violence appeared in the statistics, including within the definition anything reported as an assault, such as pushing and shoving. Now, whenever the media report that violence has gone up, ministers say that the new methodology means it cannot be compared with the violence of yore.

In other words, the picture has become muddied and it is difficult to believe (being a cynic) that it has not been done deliberately to make it difficult, if not impossible, to see the outline of anything approaching the truth.

Many of us would be happy to accept that crime has fallen if the evidence of our own eyes did not suggest otherwise and if the statistics were allowed to tell a clearer story, which is meant to be their function.

When Mr Clarke institutes his review, he should tell officials to dust down the findings of the Perks Commission on Criminal Statistics, which as long ago as 1968 proposed the introduction of an annual crime index, weighted to reflect the relative seriousness of offences.

The Statistics Commission's report also raises the possibility of a crime index, though it doubts a consensus can be achieved about the relative weights to be used.

Here, surely, is an opportunity for some of the "constructive, thoughtful and open-minded" politics to which David Cameron referred in his New Year message. Since any government will always be reluctant to make such a move unilaterally because of the bad headlines it would attract, why not agree it on a cross-party basis?

A crime index, compiled and released by an independent body, could be promoted as the main measure on which an annual assessment of anti-crime success can be made. Local constabularies would be free to publish their own figures to allow people to judge for themselves what is going on in their own neighbourhoods.

As the Statistics Commission observed, the Home Office's attempt to control the crime message has been counter-productive and has "created an environment in which the media and the public assume they are receiving a filtered, government-friendly version of the truth".

The temptation to do so should be removed permanently from its reach.

cbsbyte
January 11, 2006, 03:02 PM
As stated above Gun bans/restrictions have no real effect on the crime rate. Criminals will have access to guns no matter if the general population has them or not. Hence the term criminal. Gun bans are just postering for politicans to make it look like they are doing something without really addressing the real issues regarding crime. At this time, In the USA, people are starting to see the flaws in gun bans or severe restrictions (even in states like Mass) and see the benfits of allowing licensed citizens to own firearms to protect themselves. Studies have shown that across the country crime rates are going down even in states with 'lax' gun laws.

McCall911
January 11, 2006, 03:36 PM
Re: Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC

I checked that site I posted earlier http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/crime.html?type=to

and found the per-capita crime rate (according to their source, that is) somewhat higher in Vancouver than in Seattle:

************ Seattle, Washington Vancouver, Canada
Robberies ----------- 264 ------------------ 412
Rapes -------------- 30 ------------------- 83
Homicides -------------- 6 --------------------- 5
Aggravated Assaults -- 390 ------------------- 815
Motor Vehicle Thefts-- 1584 ----------------- 1244
Crime Lab Index ------- 158 ------------------ 247


Interesting: The fortunately low homicide rates for both cities, but the higher (reported) rates of assault and rape for Vancouver.

P.S. FWIW, I'm not picking on Canada, but I find the higher statistic for Robberies in Vancouver to be noteworthy.

Mk VII
January 11, 2006, 08:35 PM
There was a "study" completed a few years ago purporting to illustrate the effects of differing gun laws in the USA and Canada by comparing murder rates in Seattle and Vancouver.

Sure enough, murder rates in Seattle were noticeably higher than those in nearby Vancouver, leading the researcher to conclude that, yes indeed, "lax" gun laws in the USA caused more murders.

Is that the Killias study? Heavily relied on here to justify the pistol ban.

antsi
January 11, 2006, 09:26 PM
antsi,
The UK does not have a higher rate of rapes than the US. Rape is an under-reported phenomenon worldwide, but the available data (contained in several threads here and on TFL) evidences that our rate is lower than yours.


Re-read the original post, please. I didn't say the UK has a higher rate of rape. I said the UK has a higher rate of overall violent crime, which includes a number of crimes like rape, armed robbery, assault, and so on in addition to murder.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is Crime in Great Britain, Canada Australia greater than USA?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!