UK and Aussie crime rate highest in the world?

In this thread, (at the top of the second page) Riboflavin makes that assertion. Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen much from the Brit- and Aussie-dopers about dealing with high crime rates. What’s the scoop, my fellow anglophones?

Can’t provide a cite but recent news items in the UK report a fall in overall crime over recent years but a sharp increase in some types of violent crimes. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is primarily street robbery (mobile phone thefts have become endemic, if you believe the media). Another worrying rend is an increase, particularly among urban youths, in the use of firearms. This may be linked to an increased supply of illicit weapons from Eastern Europe since the fall of communism.

OK, so I can’t prove it, but I doubt that Australia has a higher gneral overall crime rate than the US. Maybe SOME kinds of crimes are higher.

I still feel safe when I’m in Australia, even though I don’t own a gun.

I remember reading that the murder rate was higher in the US, although the UK had more likelihood of some other types of crime. I expect in both countries there would be the most crime in inner-city areas with high unemployment.

But then I got side-tracked by:

You type in a UK postcode, and get loads of local information!
Policing statistics are just a small part of what’s available.
You get a street map, distance to nearest train/coach/airport/ferry, typical property prices, details of local taxes etc.

Has the US got anything like this?

In case it hasn’t, here, for the benefit of our hosts, are two postcodes to play with:

LE15 (that’s me, in a country town of 10,000)
N13 (that’s my parents, in the suburbs of London)

There are a number of wrong assertions in Riboflavin’s post, (e.g. the number of handgun crimes in the UK isn’t massive - 3,600 in 1999/2000, which is tiny, especially when you remember that this number includes incidents of simply owning an illegal gun or waving an imitation gun).

However, he was right about violent crime statistics according to this report - although the findings are based on a survey rather than actual crime figures.

The number of illegally held firearms estimated to be in circulation in the UK varies dramatically:This link quotes the British police as saying there’s almost 300,000. I’ve heard it could be as many as one million (Can’t find a cite though)

The city I’ve just moved out of, Nottingham, does have routine armed patrols in two areas - The Meadows and St. Anns. There have been quite a few drug related shootings in the past couple of years and it’s getting worse.

A quick look on upmystreet shows the following figures:
Nottinghamshire/National average

Total crimes per thousand population

Violent crimes per thousand population

Burglaries per thousand population

This page at allows for US zip-code crime data to be shown (after you select a state). This page at provides a relative scale by zip code.

this page has a host of links on international crime stats. Haven’t gone through them yet. My feeling is that the UK and australia have high property and petty crime rates, but murder is much less than the US. There are probably much worse countries, e.g. South Africa, for some kinds of crime.

scm1001 writes:

> My feeling is that the UK and australia have high property and
> petty crime rates, but murder is much less than the US.

I presume you meant to write “but murder is much greater than the US.” I’m pretty sure that’s the case.

IGNORE MY LAST POST!!! I misread scm1001’s post. Pretend that my post doesn’t exist.

OK, according to international crime surveys UK and Australia and netherlands (!) have highest overall crime levels amongst the leading industrialised nations though the difference is nor great (30% versus 25% for US of people reported to be a victim of a crime in one year to the survey). However places like estonia and russia appear to be much worse, with cities like Kampala and
Dar Es Salaam worse still. Note that murder and armed robbery aren’t included as they are quite rare on an individual level.

However the homicide rate in the US, probably due to availability of guns, is 4-5 times higher than australia’s though not the highest in the world

Extreme caution is required in this sort of thing. What is counted as a crime (as well of course as how serious a crime it is) varies between jurisdictions, as does the reliability of the data. Wishing to read causes into differences in crude crime rates is problematic too, even if you can get comparable series. Australia for example is much more urbanised than the US. How do you correct for that?

I think there’s another component worth mentioning.

In the U.K. there’s a government guarantee you’re unarmed. What more could a criminal want?

“In the U.K. there’s a government guarantee you’re unarmed. What more could a criminal want?”

How about a government guarantee that you have money or property worth the effort to take?

Your logic escapes me.

We’ve had gun control in the UK for over 50 years. Why haven’t all the criminals emigrated over here?
Shouldn’t you come up with some evidence that UK crime figures are dominated by armed criminals terrorising the public, and that our unarmed police have to stand idly by?

Your comment is about as thoughtful as saying that gun control in the UK prevents our school pupils opening fire in schools (which of course it does).


I think that you are right about comparisons. However, if roughly 30% of people in the UK and america report they have been a victim of a crime to a survey, then one can assume that the actual crime rates are approximately equal. As to the fact the australia is more urbanised (is it?), what has that got to do with anything (assuming that the survey was properly set up to match the population) ?

Well it depends how the survey was done.
If 30% of Brits have had something nicked out of their car, while 30% of Americans have been mugged at gunpoint, then I know where I want to live.
(Of course I exaggerate for dramatic effect, but, seriously, you must compare like with like).

Um, I expect crime rates are higher in cities than in the countryside.

I live in a town in the English countryside with about 10,000 residents.
In the last 13 years here, there have been exactly two murders. (Some mentally ill bloke killed his parents).
There has not been a bank robbery, or indeed any crime involving a gun (that I know of).

Perhaps we could compare those crime figures (per 10,000 people) to New York.

See the difference?

If you want to argue with my post, do it in GD. This is not the appropriate forum for such debate.

(e.g. the number of handgun crimes in the UK isn’t massive

If you had taken the time to read my post, you would have seen that I said that UK gun crime rates were skyrocketing, which means rising rapidly, and that I did not say ‘massive’ as you allege. If you’re going to drag comments from an appropriate forum into an inappropriate one, at least do people the courtesey of correctly quoting them.

No I don’t see the difference. The question was - is Aus and UK crime worse than US. According to the int. crime survey “yes”. Of course there are regional difference within a country

It doesn’t measure directly the severity of crime - yes so there may be more handgun crime in the US, but most crime is not gun related. It is petty theft from cars, burglaries, assaults in pubs etc. I have never seen a gun in public and hope I never do.

Your point about urbanisation etc. That may “explain” the results, but does not alter the facts.

Cor. Where do you live? It took me about 30 minutes after landing in Atlanta. I took a taxi to the hotel, when we got there I asked for a receipt, so the driver opened the glove compartment to get his receipt pad - and there it was, a handgun. Scared the living shit out of me.