Is Australia safe from knives?

Knife crime always seems to be in the news in the UK and it is quite a big problem over here. Between 2007 and 2008, 22,151 knife offences were recorded by the police throughout the UK.

However, knife crime in Australia seems to becoming a problem too. Just a couple of weeks ago a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death at a birthday party in my home town of Perth, Western Australia. New South Wales police have also stated that they’re going to crack down on knife crime after three separate stabbings happened overnight on January 11. Two of the incidents were involving teenagers.

Just last year, 170,000 people were caught carrying knives around Australia. This is a much larger number than the knife offences recorded by the police in the UK. Although in Australia these people hadn’t yet used the knife they were carrying, to be carrying a knife at all indicated that they would be willing to use it.

It certainly seems as though knives are the most common use of weapon when committing a crime in Australia. In 2008, knives were used with 31 per cent of attempted murder victims; 34 per cent of murder victims; and 19 per cent of robbery victims.  This compares to firearm use where guns were used in 30 per cent of attempted murders, 12 per cent of murders and 6 per cent of robbery offences.

Although there’s not much of a difference between the uses of the two weapons, it is still rather alarming. I have always considered Australia to be a safe place. However, I have heard stories that there is a nastier side to the streets.

My friend used to be a bouncer at a nightclub and he told me that one night when he went to break up a fight on the dance floor, two men pulled out large knives. He immediately stepped back and called the police for help. This same friend told me that there were a lot of gangs that walk around the city at night carrying knives.

Obviously it is not as safe as I thought it was… and it seems as though it is getting worse. Hopefully it will not become as bad as the UK though, where in 2008 there were six deaths a week from knives. That’s almost one a day!

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2 Responses to “Is Australia safe from knives?”

  1. karl Says:

    g’day

    could you possibly tell me what references you used to source this information?

    cheers

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