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LCR1001 Criminology- Homicide Facts and Figures

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You will three to compile a report on a crime. You are to choose a class of crime not chosen by any other group.

The Crime- Choose a crime

Explain the nature and type of crime chosen, identifying whether it is violent, emerging, property, white-collar, organised, public order, paternalistic etc.


Discuss the social and economic costs of this crime in Australia, using relevant examples.


Patterns & Trends of the Crime

Compile statistics on the occurrence of this crime, include local statistics, statistics in other Australian states and international stats and compare these.


Discuss how the statistics for your chosen crime are gathered and outline whether there are any differences between self-report, victim survey statistics and the official statistics for this crime. Explain what you think accounts for these differences (If you are unable to locate self-report/victim survey statistics discuss what you think the difference may be and why).

List the problems associated with gathering accurate crime statistics in relation to this particular crime. Are there any identifiable "high crime areas" in Melbourne, Victoria or Australia relating to this crime? Discuss why or why not.

Reporting of the Crime

Describe some of the organisational factors you believe affect accurate reporting of this crime.

Why do you think these exist and what do recommend to change this?

Identify any problems with accurate reporting associated with race age and ethnicity.

Victims of the Crime

Who are most likely to be victims of this crime? Discuss in relation to age, socio-economic status, marital status, gender, residential location, and social relationships.

Answer

Homicide: Facts and Figures

The Crime

Homicide is a serious crime which should be considered heinous too. it is not only harmful to the targeted victim and his/her family members but is equally menacing for the society. In Australia there had been number of reported cases of homicides that could only be equated to beastly and inhuman instincts. Homicide, which, in popular terms, is known as murder, is a curse that has the potential to bring about deterioration in the quality of life of the populace. Homicide or murder is a violent crime as it is meant for giving vent to violent intents. Homicide or murder entails “the wilful killing of a person, either intentionally or with reckless indifference to life” (LawAnswers.com.au, 2016). The fact that murder or homicide is a violent crime can be determined by its classification. The FBI, for instance, has classified homicide under the category of violent crimes along with manslaughter, forcible rape, and aggravated assault (FBI:UCR, 2017). Since 2010, in Australia, a rising trend in murder rate has been observed, and this surge in the rate of homicide is an issue of concern not only for the Australian law enforcement agencies but also for its populace.

Patterns & Trends of the Crime

Globally the incidents of homicide are on the rise and the reported cases of homicides are pointers to the justification of the claim. It must be noted that “Globally, the total number of annual deaths estimated by UNODC to be homicides in 2010 was 468,000. More than a third (36 per cent) of those are estimated to have occurred in Africa, 31 per cent in the Americas, 27 per cent in Asia, 5 per cent in Europe and 1 per cent in Oceania” (UNODC, 2011). Homicide in Australia has been observed to have followed a particular pattern and trend. Statistical facts and figures supports the fact that in many cases of homicides the patterns found were the same and the trends observed were also almost the same. In 2006-2007 alone in Australia there were 260 instances of homicide that involved 266 victims and 296 offenders (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017). Quite shockingly, in the period between 2006 and 2007 about 89 incidents of homicides took place in New South Wales making the state’s percentage for murder to be 34% (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017). 49 cases of homicide were recorded in Victoria transforming the homicide percentage of the state into 19% (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017). In the same period Queensland reported 53 cases of homicide and Western Australia reported 27 cases of homicide (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017). In the concerned period 12 cases of homicide were reported in South Australia whereas 8 cases of homicide were reported in Tasmania (“Homicide victims and incidents”, 2017). In the same period in Australian Capital Territory 4 cases of homicide were recorded and in the Northern Territory 18 incidents of homicide were reported (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017). Moreover, since 1989 the average rate of homicides in Australia has been almost same. In 1989-90, 307 incidents of homicide were reported across the nation, whereas in 1990-91 the number of reported incidents of homicide was 323 (“Homicide victims and incidents”, 2017). The highest number of homicide was reported in 2001-02 and the incidents were counted to be 354 (“Homicide victims and incidents”, 2017). In 2006-07 the number of homicides reported was 258 (“Homicide victims and incidents”, 2017). Though the rate of homicide might be considered to be declining, the degree of atrocity has not been diminished. It must be noted that in respect of reporting homicides, self-reporting is often feeble and fewer in number and the efficacy of direct reports of homicide has not been so much reliable.

Reporting of the Crime

In Australia, reporting cases of homicides has often been found to be a complicated issue. The Australian Institute of Criminology (2016) has found through conducting a study on the patterns and trends of reporting homicides that due to economic purposes most of the crimes of homicide are not reported correctly. There is an intricate relationship between night economy and homicide. And quite often homicides occurring in business places at night time are not properly reported by the owners of such businesses as they fear that their establishments would become ill-reputed by the advent of police. The Australian Institute of Criminology (2016) has found that, “Homicides are, however, both directly and indirectly related to the night-time economy, with indirectly related incidents outweighing others. This finding affirms the need to persist with strategies to limit intoxication associated with night-time leisure, and further explore ways to control the sale of and access to alcohol in the general community.” Moreover, consumption of alcohol is also a menace which triggers the spread of wrong information about homicides.

Victims of the Crime

Though crime rates have been grim in Australia; one factor could be quite relieving for the Australian law enforcement and the Australian criminal justice system. The number of victims of homicides has declined since peaking up in 1990-91. In this respect it must be noted that “The number of homicide victims has declined steadily, at a rate similar to that of homicide incidents. There were 266 victims in 2006-07, and 351 victims in 1990-91” (“Homicide victim statistics”, 2017). But what can be shocking to learn is that; in the period 2006-07, 10% individuals were victimized by intimates in the form of homicide; 15% were killed by family members; 36% were killed at the hands of friends or acquaintances; 25% were made victims of homicide by strangers; 13% homicide victims were killed by others whereas 2% victims’ perpetrators have not yet been determined (“Homicide victim-offender relationship statistics”, 2017). And such information is a pointer to the fact that the heinous crime of homicide is still reigning free in Australia, putting the safety and security of the Australian populace at stake. Furthermore, such statistics confirms the fact that homicide is a serious crime which should be considered heinous too. it is not only harmful to the targeted victim and his/her family members but is equally menacing for the society. In Australia there had been number of reported cases of homicides that could only be equated to beastly and inhuman instincts.

References

Australian Institute of Criminology (2016). Homicide and the nighttime economy. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/521-540/tandi521.html

Australian Institute of Criminology (2017). Homicide statistics. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html

FBI:UCR (2017). Violent Crime. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime

Homicide victims and incidents (2017). Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/victims-incidents.html

Homicide victim-offender relationship statistics (2017). Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/victim-offender.html

Homicide victim statistics (2017). Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/victims.html

LawAnswers.com.au (2016). Different Types of Murder Charges in Australia. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.lawanswers.com.au/blog/different-types-murder-charges-australia/

Unodc (2011). Global Study on Homicide. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://www.unodc.org/documents/congress/background-information/Crime_Statistics/Global_Study_on_Homicide_2011.pdf

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