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CJB80

Author Don Weatherburn and David Indermaur
Published March 2004
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 80
Subject Perceptions of crime
Keywords crime trends, public perceptions of crime

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Summary

Aim

This bulletin presents the results of a study into public perceptions of crime trends in New South Wales and Western Australia.

Abstract

State and Territory Governments come under considerable pressure to increase spending on law and order when their citizens believe crime is rising. Governments that spend more on law and order, however, inevitably have less to spend on other important public services, such as hospitals, schools and roads. The public interest is clearly not well served when public perceptions of trends in crime are mistaken. Yet overseas research has shown that public perceptions of trends in crime are often quite distorted. The present bulletin presents the results of a study into public perceptions of crime trends in New South Wales and Western Australia. The results confirm overseas research in showing widespread public misunderstanding of trends in crime.