Crime statistics for the last 12 months in NSW have been released. Most crime categories have decreased significantly.
|Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences||Down by 11.9%|
|Robbery with a weapon not a firearm||Down by 19.7%|
|Break and enter – dwelling||Down by 9.4%|
|Break and enter – non-dwelling||Down by 17.6%|
|Motor vehicle theft||Down by 8.7%|
|Steal from motor vehicle||Down by 13.7%|
|Steal from retail store||Down by 17.4%|
|Steal from dwelling||Down by 5.1%|
|Steal from person||Down by 17.8%|
|Fraud||Down by 12.3%|
|Murder||No significant trend|
|Assault||No significant trend|
|Sexual assault||No significant trend|
|Robbery without a weapon||No significant trend|
|Robbery with a firearm||No significant trend|
|Malicious damage to property||No significant trend|
Now if, hypothetically, you were out to show that crime had increased here because of the 1996 gun laws you would be faced with a problem. Normally with sixteen crime categories you can find one that increased and you can then run with that. But there weren’t any significant increases this time. What to do, what to do?
Fortunately the crime statistics are broken down into region and subregion. If you scroll down in the report you find a table giving the crime categories for each part of Sydney. Fourteen rows and sixteen columns means that there are 224 cells in the table. The table is a sea of negative numbers. Crime is down everywhere and in every category. But wait! There is one, just one, positive number in the whole table: Robbery with a firearm increased by 34% in inner Sydney, from 123 to 165. So what do we find on Lott’s blog?
With a reported 34 percent increase in armed robberies in Sydney during just the last 12 months, some have been driven to try and stop the attacks. (I don’t have the numbers handy at the moment, but armed robberies have been going up dramatically for the last six or so years in Australia.)
Actually it was firearm robberies in inner Sydney that went up 34%. Armed robberies in Sydney declined by 16%. And armed robberies in Australia have also been going down. To be fair, we must give the Sun-Herald an assist on this cherry pick since they pulled out the 34% figure:
Latest Bureau of Crime Statistics figures show all major crime rates as stable or in decline except for armed robbery, which has undergone a 34 per cent spike in inner Sydney in the past 12 months.
But leaving out the part about all major crime rates being stable or declining was all Lott’s work. As was the false claim that armed robberies were increasing nationwide.