4524.0 - In Focus: Crime and Justice Statistics, December 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/12/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> In the eye of the beholder: Perceptions of social disorder in Australia >> Effects of personal crime victimisation on perceptions of social disorder

EFFECTS OF PERSONAL VICTIMISATION ON PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL DISORDER

Persons that experienced at least one incident of assault (physical, threatened, or sexual) or robbery in the 12 months preceding the survey perceived significantly higher levels of social disorder in their local area than persons not experiencing these offences.

A significantly larger proportion of victims of selected personal crimes perceived at least one social disorder issue in their local area (81.3%), compared to persons who did not report experiencing an incident of selected personal crimes (59.6%). Persons who experienced an incident of personal crime in the 12 months preceding the survey were significantly more likely than persons not experiencing an incident of personal crime to report all of the social disorder issues. Specifically, victims were more than three times as likely to identify people being insulted, pestered, or intimidated in the street (37.1% compared to 11.1%) and people using or dealing drugs (25.2% compared to 7.0%) as issues in their local area. Furthermore, victims were also over twice as likely to perceive the issues listed in the following table.

Social disorder issues
Percentage of respondents identifying the issue (%)
Persons experiencing selected personal crime
Persons not experiencing selected personal crime
Public drunkenness
38.3%
15.7%
Rowdy behaviour
40.5%
18.7%
Offensive language or behaviour
42.8%
18.0%
People hanging in groups
38.8%
16.7%
Intentional damage to property
31.5%
12.8%

PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS IDENTIFYING EACH SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUE by PERSONAL CRIME VICTIMISATION(a)(b)
Graph showing that persons who experienced an incident of personal crime in the 12 months preceding the survey were significantly more likely than persons not experiencing an incident of personal crime to report all of the social disorder issues

Victims of crime may experience heightened levels of fear of crime and sensitivity towards potential threats to their safety and security, leading to an increased vigilance and awareness of the environment around them (Endnote 12). Victims may also be more likely to reside in high-risk crime-prone areas with a greater incidence of social disorder, or it is possible that experiences of social disorder preceded or were a part of their experience of victimisation (Endnote 8).

The largest percentage difference in the reporting of at least one issue was between persons experiencing and not experiencing an incident of robbery (88.3% compared to 60.7%), followed by threatened assault (83.3% compared to 60.0%), physical assault (80.1% compared to 60.2%), and sexual assault (79.9% compared to 60.7%).

PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS IDENTIFYING AT LEAST ONE SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUE by SELECTED PERSONAL CRIMES
Graph showing that victims of all the personal offence types (physical assault, threatened assault, robbery, and sexual assault) were significantly more likely than non-victims to identify at least one social disorder issue in their local area

Victims of personal crime are significantly more likely to consider social disorder issues in their local area to be large problems.

Just over half (53.2%) of all victims of personal crime that identified one or more social disorder issues in their local area, considered at least one issue to be a large problem, compared to less than a third of respondents who did not report experiencing an incident of personal crime (31.2%). Respondents who reported an incident of personal crime victimisation were significantly more likely than respondents reporting no incident of personal crime victimisation to rate all of the social disorder issues as large problems, with the exception of graffiti. In particular, personal crime victims were around twice as likely to rate the following issues as large problems: noisy neighbours (31.1% compared to 16.3%), people hanging in groups (27.9% compared to 14.0%), and offensive language or behaviour (30.5% compared to 17.2%). They were also significantly more likely to rate dangerous driving (35.4% compared to 22.0%), and people using or dealing drugs (44.5% compared to 31.5%) as large problems. Higher levels of fear of crime and apprehension of repeated victimisation in some victims of crime may increase both the likelihood that social disorder issues will be interpreted as problematic, and the severity with which they are viewed (Endnote 12).

PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS RATING EACH SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUE AS A LARGE PROBLEM by PERSONAL CRIME VICTIMISATION(a)(b)
Graph showing that victims of personal crime were significantly more likely than non-victims to rate all of the social disorder issues as large problems, with the exception of graffiti

Victims of personal crime are significantly more likely to be influenced by someone they know in the formation of their opinions about social disorder issues.

Just over a third (34.4%) of all personal crime victims identifying one or more moderate or large social disorder issues in their local area were influenced by someone they knew in the formation of their opinion about at least one issue, compared to 21.9% of respondents who did not report experiencing a personal crime. Victims of these selected personal crimes were significantly more likely to be influenced by someone they knew in the formation of their opinion about noisy neighbours (24.6% compared to 12.7%), people hanging around in groups (25.1% compared to 16.6%) and public drunkenness (27.1% compared to 19.3%). Moreover, a significantly larger proportion of victims of personal crime were influenced by personal experience or observation in the formation of their opinion about people being insulted, pestered, or intimidated in the street (95.0% compared to 87.2%) and people using or dealing drugs, (87.0% compared to 74.6%).

PERCEIVED SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUES – PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS INFLUENCED BY SOMEONE KNOWN TO THEM by PERSONAL CRIME VICTIMISATION(a)(b)
Graph showing that victims of personal crime were significantly more likely to be influenced by someone they know in the formation of their opinion about social disorder issues


Previous PageNext Page