Alcohol, poverty fuelling serious crime
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 5:21a.m.
Serious assaults, largely fuelled by booze, are on the rise, especially amongst young men, Polynesians and those in poor neighbourhoods, according to Otago University research.
The research "throws into doubt" police and Ministry of Justice claims New Zealand is becoming a less violent place, the authors say.
"The trends we have observed are concerning, especially since there is no evidence of any recent abatement," lead author Professor John Langley says in the study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday.
Excessive alcohol consumption was a common factor behind many assaults, which showed the need for the Government to effectively tackle the alcohol issue if it wanted to significantly reduce serious assaults, he said.
There was sufficient evidence to show that reduced alcohol advertising and higher taxes on alcohol were likely to have a significant and relatively rapid effect on assaults, he said.
When annual crime statistics were released earlier this month, police bosses said New Zealand was becoming a safer place to live.
Acts intended to cause injury, which are mainly assault-related offences, dropped by 6.8 percent on the previous year and police figures show serious assaults resulting in injury dropped in the last four years and are back to levels of the mid 1990s.
But Prof Langley said for males, particularly in the 15-to-24 age group, the numbers of serious assaults - where the victim had a six percent or worse chance of dying - had risen dramatically between 2004 and 2009.
In New Zealand between 2000 and 2009 there were 8006 serious non-fatal assaults. More than three-quarters of the victims were male.
Maori accounted for almost half of female serious non-fatal assaults, and nearly one-third of males in the same category.
Pacific Islanders also featured prominently among the male victim statistics, having a rate only slightly lower than Maori males.
The study also showed that if you live in a deprived household or neighbourhood, your risk of serious assault is much higher.
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14/10/2012 3:36:55 p.m.
This just about sums up what is wrong in NZ Society, mentioning Drugs, Alcohol and poverty all in one sentence. Parents who do drugs and drink excessive alcohol are normally in the poverty range because of their habits, then in turn neglect their kids and expect the rest of the country to feed them. This is both people working and the beneficiaries, but the Greens and the Loony Labour would have you think it's the Governments fault. We all have choices in our lives, which way you choose to go is up to you.
12/10/2012 7:30:28 p.m.
Sadly alcohol abuse lifts the lid off disturbed people, and out come all the issues. Probably higher prices would help but the issues don't go away easily. Do we have adequate treatment for mental illness in this country? I suspect manyfall throughthe cracks. I think the article is right about increases in violent crimes, as quite a few are off the record, ie not reported to police and/or the assaulted person does not receive medical care for his/her injuries.
12/10/2012 12:57:00 p.m.
@Vicki for a police case, they need to prove evidence. IRD has more power than Police and they can move in with IRD, your not innocent till proven guilty, your guilty till prove your innocent.IRD can look at drug dealers and access them for income. It doesn't matter if the income was legal, if an income exists, IRD wants its piece.Some talk about a capital gains tax, yet IRD already can tax capital gains as income from anyone who trades.If you buy/sell property for profit, the capital gains is income and taxable.If you buy/sell shares then capital gains is income and taxable.This gives IRD plenty of room to tackle drug dealers. Up till 1999 IRD was chasing some drug dealers for non-paid taxes, but with Labour coming in in 1999 they eased up on this. I dont know if IRD has taken a tougher line since 2008 with a change of government.
12/10/2012 11:47:12 a.m.
Rubbish! Serious crime is driven by idleness and a lack of brains and morality. Neanderthal actions from neanderthal minds.
12/10/2012 10:21:35 a.m.
Let me get this straight. There was a "study" done that highlights the fact that alcohol and poverty drives serious crime and Maori and Pacific Islanders are over-represented. No doubt tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent when you could have asked anyone with half a brain. I mean, surely this was known decades ago? And now they are conducting "another study"?? Ridiculous. How about actually doing something about it instead of just "talking" about doing something.
12/10/2012 9:34:39 a.m.
@mike they said alcohol, so I agree about making that more expensive, if you want to tax drugs then they will have to be made legal? As for more police raids etc, time and time again the war on drugs has proven to be ineffective and a complete waste of tax payers money.
12/10/2012 8:32:46 a.m.
So what they are saying is that in low income areas people can afford drugs/alcohol where in middle income areas they cant afford as much drugs/alcohol?Lets tax the usaged out of alcohol. Sure, some 'bought' parties want to support minimum pricing for the alcohol business contributions to their political campaigns, but that doesn't benefit NZ as much as more tax on something we want NZrs to cut down on.Lets also tax the dope dealers out of existance. They aren't declaring GST on the sales nor their incomes to IRD, so lets hit them hard and put these crooks out of business. IRDs rules are more powerful than the police in some ways, so let IRD and Police work together and use the best from both to hit the drug dealers. If it forces the drug dealers to move overseas to easier pickings, still better for NZ.
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