Kim Workman kindly sent me a graph which depicts murder rates in New Zealand extending back even further than mine. I've included his commentary below it.
You might like to post the attached graph on your blog – it shows the murder rate from 1879 through to 2010 – it was prepared by the Ministry of Justice.
What it shows is that there was a very high rate from 1880 to 1890 – New Zealand was a very ‘atomised’ society, high numbers of single men, high levels of vagrancy, itinerant workers significant drinking culture. A significant downward trend to around 1905, and then it was all over the place until 1950 when there was a significant rise until 1990, when it started to decline, and has been declining ever since. Well over half the murders today are within the family, or people that are in a relationship. About 1 to 1.5 murders a year are random killings of people who are unknown to the murderer.
There is no evidence that I know of, which shows that ethnicity is a factor – but a lot of evidence which points to general social dysfunction. The latest NZ Crime and Safety Survey, (which is the only statistical survey that’s reliable , given the propensity of government agencies to play around with stats) shows that 3 percent of the population experienced more than half of all crime in 2013, - a greater concentration of crime than in 2008 when six percent of the population experienced 52 percent of all crime. In other words there is a small group of chronic victims, living in marginalised communities. And the distribution of victimisation is becoming more unequal over time.
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