Sudanese top for crime charges
Sudanese-born people are 67 times more likely to be charged with aggravated robbery and 55 times more likely to be charged with riot and affray in Victoria than those born elsewhere, according to analysis released yesterday by the state’s Crime Statistics Agency.
The annual crime statistics to the end of March showed a rise in gang crime including car-jackings, assaults, street robberies and drug offences, despite the state achieving its lowest criminal incident rate since March 2015 when population growth is taken into account.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton revealed there had been an “escalation” in offences committed by people born in Sudan and South Sudan.
“And anecdotally, we do know African youth are still over-represented in those high-impact, high-end crimes,” he told Melbourne radio 3AW.
The Australian obtained data based on country of birth prepared for Victoria Police by the Crime Statistics Agency, which shows there were 941 Sudanese-born unique alleged offenders in the year to March, compared with 875 the previous year, and 818 in 2016-17.
Figures for the past five years show Sudan/South Sudan has consistently been among the top two or three places of birth for offenders charged with crimes including aggravated burglary, serious assault, motor vehicle theft, aggravated robbery, and riot and affray.
The Crime Statistics Agency figures, which detail principal offences where offenders may have committed multiple crimes, show Sudanese-born offenders come second to Australian-born offenders (who represent 64.9 per cent of the population) for aggravated robbery and riot and affray, and rank after Australians and New Zealanders (1.57 per cent of the population) for serious assault and aggravated burglary.
Sudanese-born offenders accounted for 10 per cent of aggravated robbery offences and 8.3 per cent of riot and affray offences in the year to March. They were responsible for 1.1 per cent of all Victorian crime, despite representing 0.15 per cent of the population, meaning they are 7.3 times more likely to commit a crime than those born elsewhere.
Overall, offences in Victoria rose 2.6 per cent to 515,682 in the year to March 31, with firearms offences hitting a 10-year high.
Mr Patton said police were seeing people committing crimes in groups. “In terms of robberies, often we’re seeing cowardly attacks by people in groups of three or four and it’s those street robberies where they’re demanding phones and everything like that, so that’s a concern for us.”
The new data shows victim numbers have decreased while the number of offenders “processed” has increased.
Police Minister Lisa Neville conceded it was the first time in the state’s history of collecting crime statistics that the number of offenders had outstripped the number of victims, but said there had been a drop in “high-harm” crime such as aggravated burglaries and home invasions. She attributed a rise in youth crime to a small group of repeat offenders.