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Factors Affecting Crime Rates in Indigenous Communities in NSW: Kempsey and Gunnedah

NCJ Number
Alison Vivian; Terry Priest
Date Published
June 2012
94 pages
This research identifies and discusses factors that may contribute to variations in offending rates between two Aboriginal populations in New South Wales (Australia) that are demographically similar but have significantly different crime rates: Kempsey (higher crime rate) and Gunnedah (lower crime rate).
For Kempsey, data and information address geography, demographics, and history; community dynamics, leadership, and governance; socioeconomic circumstances and economic participation; residents' perception of crime and under-reporting of crime; key factors that contribute to adult crime; key factors that contribute to youth crime; crime prevention and responses to the crime rate; criminal justice issues; and what is and is not working. Similar issues are addressed for Gunnedah. The study's aim was to identify and understand some of the broad social, cultural, and economic factors that might influence the crime rates in the two jurisdictions. Researchers interviewed key community and organizational representatives as well as others working in relevant criminal justice and service delivery roles. The focus was on gaining an understanding of the dynamics and experiences of the community as a whole. The findings of this research thus reflect information, insights, and recommendations from interviewees. Crime data for each town were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and demographic data were obtained from the 2006 Census. At the end of each interview, the interviewee was asked to indicate his/her aspiration for the town. The recommendations presented in this report pertain to interviewees' reflections, expectations, and aspirations, as well as interviewees' recommendations to governments.