4524.0 - In Focus: Crime and Justice Statistics, December 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/12/2011   
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GEOGRAPHICAL DIFFERENCES

Perceptions of social disorder are more prevalent in major cities.

The survey found that a significantly larger proportion of respondents residing in major cities perceived at least one social disorder issue in their local area (63.3%), compared to respondents residing in other locations (55.0%). Respondents living in major cities were more than twice as likely as respondents living in other locations to believe graffiti was an issue in their local area (23.5% compared to 10.4%). They were also significantly more likely to perceive the issues in the following table.

Social disorder issues
Percentage of respondents identifying the issue (%)
Major cities(a)
Other locations
Noisy driving
38.2%
31.6%
Dangerous driving
35.6%
32.7%
People hanging around in groups
18.6%
16.6%
Noisy neighbours
14.3%
12.5%
(a) Geographic designations are determined using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+) which is calculated on the basis of physical distance from goods and services. For more information refer to the
Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2010 (cat. no. 1216.0) (Endnote 9).

In contrast, respondents residing in locations other than major cities were significantly more likely than respondents living in major cities to perceive people using or dealing drugs as an issue in their local area (9.0% compared to 7.7%).

Perceptions of some social disorder issues may be higher in major cities as a result of features of the urban landscape, including the pervasion of built-up areas, higher-density living, the ubiquity of roads and traffic, and the abundance of public spaces (Endnote 10).

PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS IDENTIFYING EACH SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUE by REMOTENESS AREA – MAJOR CITIES(a)
Graph showing that respondents living in major cities were significantly more likely to report a social disorder issue, particularly graffiti, noisy driving, and dangerous driving

People using or dealing drugs and public drunkenness are more commonly perceived in remote areas.

Respondents living in remote areas were approximately twice as likely as respondents in other locations to perceive people using or dealing drugs as an issue in their local area (17.2% compared to 8.0%), and about one and a half times more likely to perceive public drunkenness as an issue (28.3% compared to 16.9%). It is possible that the smaller size and population of regional and remote communities can amplify the salience, impact, and severity of some social disorder issues in the eyes of the public (Endnote 11).

PROPORTION OF RESPONDENTS IDENTIFYING EACH SOCIAL DISORDER ISSUE by REMOTENESS AREA – REMOTE AUSTRALIA(a)
Graph showing that respondents living in remote areas are significantly more likely to perceive people using or dealing drugs and public drunkeness as social disorder issues in their local area


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