We Have a Strange Situation in Australia. at a Time When People Seem to Be More Worried by Crime, the Research Evidence Suggests Crime Rates Are Not Increasing. How Can We Explain This Apparent Contradiction?

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Question: We have a strange situation in Australia. At a time when people seem to be more worried by crime, the research evidence suggests crime rates are not increasing. How can we explain this apparent contradiction?
Word Count: 1973

We have a strange situation in Australia. At a time when people seem to be more worried by crime, the research evidence suggests crime rates are not increasing. How can we explain this apparent contradiction?


Current crime rates in Australia do not reflect the public’s perception, as criminal activity is steadily decreasing year after year. However, the public’s view is that crime is on the rise. Due to this unwavering perception of increased crime rates, some people have developed a fear of becoming a victim and apprehensive of crime and all of its components. Influences that can create or enhance these emotions can be born from a number of areas for each individual. Some of these can be due to personal experiences, the media, as well as a person’s geographical location. All of these factors can impact a person’s viewpoint of crime. This essay will examine the perception and how this fear has come to be, despite statistics proving that crime is in fact not increasing.

The definition of ‘perception’ as per the Oxford dictionary is “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses” - essentially what people see and hear will mould their opinions and emotions as to what is happening in the world around them. If a person has a fear of crime as well as that of becoming a victim, the strength of that fear could be great enough to inflict a negative impact on all aspects of their lives. This fear can have an impact on an individual’s simple normal day to day activities such as what time and where they do their shopping, the manner in which they go to work (public transport or drive themselves), or…...

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