Why would they believe what we work so hard to sell them?

News Ltd is surprised by the results of a recent study on beliefs about crime in Australia:

A MAJORITY of Australians continue to believe crime is soaring when it isn’t, and that courts treat offenders far too leniently when they don’t.

For some reason members of the Australian public appear to be consistently wrong on the facts:

The survey showed a significant majority believed crime had increased during the past two years with 41.7 per cent saying there was a lot more crime and 23.2 per cent saying a little more. Just under three per cent said there was less crime.

Actual crime statistics show a decrease in four major categories – murder, break-ins, car theft and theft – during the same time, the study said.

Australians also over-estimated the rate of violent crime.

Almost a quarter said violence accounts for up to 80 per cent of all crime, yet the true figure is 10 per cent.

Respondents also underestimated the rate of conviction for those charged with violent crime.

The real conviction figure is between 91-100 per cent, correctly nominated by just 1.8 per cent.

Similarly, almost 70 per cent estimated that under 30 per cent of home burglars go to jail.

The real figure was 31-40 per cent.

Fortunately commenters on the News Ltd story are proud of their poorly-informed impressions, and refuse to be swayed by statistics from the real world. How would these elitist researchers know what the facts are, just because they’ve gone and done the research rather than simply jumped to conclusions based on regularly misreported newspaper beatups? Who do they think they are?

“They’re full of crap”, declares Scott of NSW, defiantly.

22 responses to “Why would they believe what we work so hard to sell them?

  1. I think there is a concomitant increase in levels of affluence and a perceived threat of crime. E.g, Now that I have almost made enough of a pile, some envious, lower order, poor person/criminal is ipso facto bound to chance along at any minute to wrest it from me.

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  3. Aussiesmurf

    I absolutely love the denial of the commenters to that story.
    ‘Statistics can show whatever the researcher wants them to show!’ ‘If the statistics say crime hasn’t increased in 10 years, the statistics are wrong!’

  4. The truth doesn’t sell newspapers….

  5. 43% of all statistics are made up!!

    As Karl said. Newscorp has made a lot of money by not letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

  6. Dam Buster, are you sure about that figure? It sounds very low to me and I would want to check the bias of the researchers who came up with it.

  7. A majority also believe that … the Government should be allowed to detain suspects indefinitely…

    And this is why we can’t have nice things: Democracy is full of people.

  8. Um, guys, it’s not a News Ltd story.

  9. Haha, true, it ain’t News Ltd at all. Now that’s called attention to detail!

    Nice one Jezza:

    *EDIT BY SITEOWNER: No spamming links to that lying stalker’s site from here.

  10. It’s an AP story printed by News Ltd on news.com.au. Your point?

  11. The point, Jeremy ?

    Who says News Ltd are suprised?

    It’s just another AP article in the Herald-Sun.

    They didn’t write it.

    It underlines your entire premise that “News Ltd is surprised by the results of a recent study on beliefs about crime in Australia”

    How do you know they’re surprised?

    Attention to detail next time, sunshine.

  12. Hang on, how does Jeremy get off calling Beck a stalker, when he anoymously stalked Bolt online (until exposed, against his wishes)?

  13. You can do better than this, RA.

    Whatever Boltwatch was, it wasn’t a site for stalking. The posts were genuine attempts at critique, and its author’s identity has been known for years.

    Compare this to Beck who insists on focusing on the personal details, occupations and relationships of Jeremy and other lefties.

  14. Whilst being anonymous, don’t forget.

    Bogan – the point is the content, and the irony is News Ltd publishing it in exactly that form where they’re some of the main causes of the problem it exposes.

  15. That’s irony, Jeremy.

    Not surprise.

    Irony that it appeared in their paper.

    Not News Ltd being surprised. After all, it’s just a credited cut & paste job from another outfit.

    How on earth is “News Ltd is surprised by the results of a recent study ” ?

  16. It came across to me as surprise, in the context of their campaign – given that it contradicts their regular editorial line, but they didn’t have a response to it. It read as though they didn’t know what to say to it.

    That was my impression, anyway. You can disagree, if you like. I linked to the original piece.

    And the critical point remains – News Ltd crime reporting misinforms its readers, and this is the result.

  17. So if News crime reporting misinforms its readers enough to skew a poll like this — a very big “if”, given the number of news outlets out there — how would you rectify this situation?

  18. Honestly reporting all the relevant facts when publishing stories about crime, and not exaggerating the least aggravating factors and ignoring the mitigating ones, whilst downplaying the actual punishment received. And if writing editorials on the subject of sentencing, acknowledge that public perception is bound to be skewed by the fact that it’s the most outrageous crimes that get reported, not the everyday ones.

  19. So hang on a second – As long as News Ltd didn’t write the story, that makes it okay?

    The same organisation that consistently seeks to stir up populist rage against crime rates and sentences features a piece about the perception of crime rates. Surely that’s the point?

    Well, not if you’re after a cheap gotcha, apparently.

  20. Geek Anachronism

    My local member sent out a lovely little pamphlet detailing how the member for the neighbouring area WAS INCREASING CRIME WITH HER FEMININE SOFTNESS ON CRIMINALS. All red and black and “do you feel safe?” type crap.

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