Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Who is Judith Collins kidding

According to WhaleOil:

Post of the Day – Judith Collins

Judith Collins posted to Facebook this photo of herself in 1978…the last time that crime rates were as low as they are now.

OK. We are not stupid.

In 1978 the population was 3.1 million. Today it is 4.4 million.

In 1978 there were 282,656 crimes  reported to police.

In 2013 there were 360,411 recorded crimes.

So allowing for population growth, Collins' claim  is feasible

But what kind of crime are we talking about?

While it is impossible to make 'apples with apples' comparisons due to changes in crime categorisation, some broad comparisons can be made.

Assuming imprisonment reflects severity of crime,

At January 1 1978 there were 2,860 "persons in prison".

At December  2013 the prisoner population was 8,223.

In 1978 14 individuals were sentenced for murder in the Supreme Court.

In 2013 there were '83 homicides and related offences'.

In 1978 traffic offences were still included in recorded crime statistics - 17,626 of them.

Is there any reader who remembers 1978 and believes that NZ was a more lawful, less violent country in 2013?


Psycho Milt said...

Rape, domestic violence and child abuse were also less likely to make it into the crime stats back then, which adds to the uselessness of comparing then and now. I believe a lot of it has to do with manipulating the stats, because there is no way crime is as low as it was in 1978.

JC said...

You guys must have moved in the wrong (right) circles back then. Crime was rampant but mainly confined to well known ghettos in the various towns. In most of the forestry camps I was in during that period it wasn't unusual to find 2/3rds of the inhabitants had been to prision. The difference was the Govts of the day shunted them off to camps out in the country where perhaps surprisingly many did improve their behaviour.. probably as a result of hard work.

Now such people are unemployed and living in the community and better able to get up to mischief.


S.Beast said...


If your home was burgled in 1978 were you able to get the crime investigated?

Because by 2013 to recover stolen property you usually need to DIY. Let's hope they didn't take your security camera + footage.

james gribble said...

I'm sure if you dig deeper it makes sense to say crime has gone down. The prison population will be heavily drawn from drug related crimes. For the bigger picture see
As to personal experience, I won't use that to form any conclusions (because I can't :)