Foreign born criminals?

Yesterday we had a long exchange on the national origins of criminals. Commenter Blake van Buren (a pseudonym, so please don’t harrass that nice gentleman from the US with the same name and no privacy controls on his facebook account) made three claims.
Claim One:

The legitimate concerns of Australians about the strong criminal element amongst recent waves of refugees is well founded and solidly based in reality.

Claim Two:

By no means is the refugee intake the only source of criminal immigrants. We have made huge mistakes with people from the Pacific Islands as well.

Claim Three – although this is really a conclusion:

The policy prescription is obvious, cut the refugee intake to zero and abolish the ability of re-settled refugees to sponsor their relatives under the family program. If we can find someway to encourage those that remain to leave voluntarily then I’m all for that too.

Then we saw this challenge.

I look forward to Sinclair Davidson lining up the prisoner population by country of birth statistics with the demographic data available elsewhere from the ABS. Just remember you will need to carve out the indigenous offenders from the Australian born figures to arrive at a non-indigenous Australia born crime rate for use as the numeraire. I’ve done the work, it might take you about an hour. These figures dramatically understate ethnic crime because they are based on country of birth, second and third generation criminals show up in these figures as Australian born.
It will be interesting to watch people’s reaction to the figures when you present them at your next forum arguing for open borders.

At which point I asked BvB to send through the data and I would have a look at it. After a very long run around the data arrived this morning and, as I expected, the data do not support the claims that have been made.

What BvB has done is as follows: He took the ABS prisoner characteristics data for 2009 and compared that to population data for 2007. He also segmented the Australian-born sample into indigenous and non-indigenous groups. He then created a crime rate (per offence) per 100,000 of population, set the non-indigenous Australian-born population equal to one and then calculated the crime rate per offence per country of origin rates relative to the non-indigenous Australian-born population.

He then interprets the results. For example, for Sudanese migrants we were told

Sudanese:
– are 4.5 times more likely than non-indigenous Australian born to be convicted of homicide;
– almost 8 times more likely than non-indigenous Australian born to be convicted of violent assault;
– are 3 times more likely than non-indigenous Australian born to be convicted of sexual assault;
– more than 3 times more likely than non-indigenous Australian born to be convicted of robbery/extortion.

That is not how I would describe the results. For a start most people, including Sudanese, are not likely to be convicted of any crime let alone homicide, violent assault, and so on. I might say, given their share of the population there are 4.5 times as many Sudanese in prison for homicide than non-indigenous Australian-born individuals. That sounds very bad, until you consider how few Sudanese there are in Australia. 11 Sudanese out of 2718 individuals convicted of homicide and related offences, or 11 out of 23,100 Sudanese is not a big number. So there is no evidence of a ‘strong criminal element amongst recent waves of refugees’.

BvB offers a series of figures setting out his claims – below is the data for the population share weighted rates of homicide and related offences.

That doesn’t really support claims one or three but maybe claim two. Let’s have a look at a far more damning statistic. Nearly 80 percent of all individuals convicted of homicide and related offences are Australian-born.

The overwhelming majority of individuals in prison for homicide and related offences are Australian born individuals – even breaking that down, as BvB does, into indigenous and non-indigenous Australian-born, non-indigenous Australian born are a clear majority.

But what of other offences? BvB does the same analysis for all crime categories and generally finds that the most over-represented group on a population weighted basis relative to non-indigenous Australian-born individuals are indigenous Australian-born individuals. This, to my mind, is inconsistent with claims one, two and three.

The crime rates per 100,000 of population relative to the crime rate for Australian-born non-indigenous per 100,000 looks very high for some groups – but there is a perception bias in reporting the stats like that. It is not reasonable to believe that any foreign born group would have no individuals in prison for any crime and the smaller that group the higher the population weight is going to be (everything else being equal). So when we look at the BvB stats we see a lot of small population groups over-represented. But without some form of statistical control, this is just as likely to be a statistical artefact than an enhanced propensity for criminality. To be clear, BvB is quite correct is suggesting that Australians should be concerned about crime, and law and order. But he has not presented the evidence to support his claims as set out above. More importantly a liberal society does not concern itself with the ethnicity of criminals. Criminal behaviour is related to opportunity cost and that would be weakly related to ethnicity, if at all.

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111 Responses to Foreign born criminals?

  1. Peter Patton

    Simply dividing the criminal population between “Australian born” and “immigrant” potentially suppresses an even more insidious aspect, and that is criminality and ethnicity. Now, I have no idea if there is such a link beyond the first generation, but I don’t think it would be a wild goose chase to track down what happens in the second generation.

    For example, there seems to be quite a connection between criminality and the Australian-born children of Lebanese Muslim migrants/refugees. I recently also saw some data that suggested both disproportional criminality and extremely high rates of unemployment among Afghan and Iraqi immigrants. Contrary to the concerns of some above, the same is not the case among the Sudanese.

  2. Hal Pringle

    Sinclair

    I am not sure your thesis that “So when we look at the BvB stats we see a lot of small population groups over-represented. But without some form of statistical control, this is just as likely to be a statistical artefact than an enhanced propensity for criminality.” holds water.

    For your theory to hold up, the violence of all small population groups should be exaggerated. However those populations who are culturally not as prone to violence (e.g. Buddhists, Hindus) display a propensity for violence LOWER than the Australian born. This confirms anecdotal evidence that:
    • Propensity for violence varies across population groups.
    • Those population groups who culturally celebrate the “warrior” image populate the more violent end of the statistical spectrum
    • Those population groups who culturally abhor violence populate the lower end of the statistical spectrum.
    Your observations about the native born dominating the absolute statistics is a commonplace, not worthy of comment.

  3. C.L.

    Nearly 80 percent of all individuals convicted of homicide and related offences are Australian-born…

    Or you could say that 1 in 5 murderers being foreign-born is pretty significant. What are the percentages? Of foreign-born people convicted of homicide versus currency lads convicted of murder?

  4. .

    No.

    26% of the population is foreign born.

  5. Gabrielle

    So when will Mr vB pay up the five grand to Sinclair?

  6. JC

    To be honest, although Sinc’s analysis disproves Stormfront trooper’s claims, the fact that the rate is 20% is still a bit of a worry though in the sense that it is only marginally better than the indig’s.

    I would have thought with careful screening etc., it ought to be substantially higher.

    This is my point all along. Keep doing what works and stop doing what doesn’t.

    Raise numbers below New Zealand in the classification and lower those above NZ (including NZ).

  7. JC

    oops…. Not substantially higher… Substantially better.

  8. .

    JC,

    That’s prejudicial and technically we ought to be deporting native born citizens if we want to maximise law abiding-ness…

    If Patton is right we ought to free up the labour market.

  9. Pedro the Ignorant

    Raise numbers below New Zealand in the classification and lower those above NZ (including NZ) sez JC.

    Can’t have that solution, JC. It actually makes sense.

    Dismissed out of hand by that cretin running Immigration.

  10. .

    I thought we pretty much had (relatively) free immigration from NZ. Correct me if I’m wrong. Increase it? What are we going to do, up the dole?

  11. JC

    That’s prejudicial and technically we ought to be deporting native born citizens if we want to maximise law abiding-ness…

    I never ruled out deporting native born, Dot 🙂

  12. conrad

    Sincalir, BVBs graph isn’t even close to being correct.

    For example, it shows Tonga almost at 11.
    But let’s add the numbers up.

    Just using the homicide category (which is again a change of what the original statement was) let’s see what happens.

    Proportion of homicide versus all crime (second number is total crime):
    Australia: 2069/23642 = .088
    Tonga: 10/56 = .178

    Total crime rate for just homicide (the second number is rate of all crime)
    Australia = .088 * 203.3 = 17.91
    Tonga = .178 * 634.5 = 113.03

    To get the normalized number where Australia = 1
    Australia = 17.91/17.91 = 1
    Tonga 113.03/17.91 = 6.36

    As can be seen, the guy can’t work out simple numbers for a graph. Unless he’s in primary school still, that’s modern day innumeracy for you.

  13. Quentin George

    “Criminal behaviour is related to opportunity cost and that would be weakly related to ethnicity, if at all.”

    Is anyone (even Original Poster) claiming a like to ethnicity? If anything, differing crime rates would be linked to culture, if anything. If Sudanese were over-represented, it wouldn’t be due to dark skin or thin builds now, would it?

  14. Marks

    The other aspect is that if you look at Australian history, the people coming in the first fleet were not exactly of exemplary character. Then the Irish who were associated with criminal gangs (The Ballad of Ginger Mick for example romanticised what were essentially vicious thugs in Sydney). And did anyone mention Italians and the growing of certain aromatic substances in the Murray Valley? All of these groups supposedly good Xtian stock.

    Put like that, it is almost a certain pattern that initially, a proportion of migrants resort to crime when they first arrive, but after a couple of generations, as they prosper, the (blue collar) crime rate goes down.

    Perhaps Mr Van Whatsisname is arguing for more money for immigrants so they miss the poverty trap that makes crime attractive. *disingenuous blink*

  15. JC

    Put like that, it is almost a certain pattern that initially, a proportion of migrants resort to crime when they first arrive, but after a couple of generations, as they prosper, the (blue collar) crime rate goes down.

    You’ve just made your own case against immigration, you nitwit.

  16. conrad

    I was also interested in one of Yobbo comments which was sensible. My claim was that the figures for Sudanese at least are inflated because of the age and gender distribution.

    I did find some figures for this here: http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/government-programs/settlement-planning/_pdf/community-profile-sudan.pdf

    which show that compared to Australians at large, they are much younger (no surprise really for a country where people die at 60 still). In addition, males outnumber females (55% vs 45%).

    Given both of these facts, it’s no real surprise that they have a higher crime rate. Whilst I can’t be bothered to work it all out given I don’t have a database of the numbers in front of me (just the graphs), since they’re basically missing an entire segment of the population (i.e., old people), basically an age/gender normalized crime rate would probably give a rate less than half of what it is now. This would still be higher than the average Australian, but not a whole lot higher.

  17. JC

    Conrad:

    You sound almost like an apologist. Only very low rates of crime should be tolerated from any particular group before we close that door and move elsewhere

    Or is that racist?

  18. .

    And did anyone mention Italians and the growing of certain aromatic substances in the Murray Valley?

    I think you (primarily) mean the Murrumbidgee.

  19. conrad

    “You sound almost like an apologist. Only very low rates of crime should be tolerated from any particular group before we close that door and move elsewhere. Or is that racist?”

    I’d put up with it, although I think many people wouldn’t — given that there is essentially unlimited supplies of real refugees, I don’t see why we shouldn’t take ones that cost the community less (Sri Lanka would be a good place, for example, since they already speak English so will get jobs easily, seem generally harmless, and no doubt many of them really are persecuted by their government).

  20. Marks

    @JC, sorry chum but I refuse to dumb my comments down to grade two just so that you can understand.

    Go look up ‘reductio ad absurdum’ and learn something.

    Get back to me if you still can’t quite get it. I might give you a hint then. However, you are expected to do a little thinking first.

    Keep swinging champ.

  21. conrad

    Here are the real numbers for Australia and all countries with a higher crime rate. The numbers are as follows: N. of homicides and related; Total Crimes; Crimes per 100K, proportion of homicide crimes; Proportion * Crimes per 100K; Standardized number with Australia = 1.

    Australia 2069 23642 203.3 0.088 17.8 1.0
    Romania 3 72 450.1 0.042 18.8 1.1
    Lebanon 25 235 272.3 0.106 29.0 1.6
    Turkey 13 83 222.4 0.157 34.8 2.0
    Vietnam 67 745 396.1 0.090 35.6 2.0
    Fiji 11 128 474.7 0.086 40.8 2.3
    Sudan 11 77 433.9 0.143 62.0 3.5
    Samoa 11 98 577.7 0.112 64.8 3.6
    Tonga 10 56 634.5 0.179 113.3 6.4

  22. Sinclair Davidson

    Hal Pringle – I’m arguing there is a statistical size effect in the data that is unrelated to group characteristics like you point to.

  23. conrad

    “Those population groups who culturally celebrate the “warrior” image populate the more violent end of the statistical spectrum”

    Do you mean Germans and Japanese?

  24. I think BAron Von Blowhard should come back and take his medicine. Well done Sinclair. Decimated.

  25. Sinclair Davidson

    conrad – check your mail.

  26. Marks

    Decimated means reduced by one tenth Adrien.

    I think Sinclair did better than that.

  27. There, there, there

    Yes, why is it that people are so confused over decimated?

  28. Blake Van Buren

    You have verified the numbers, your problem seems to relate solely to their interpretation.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    BvB – the ability to generate a stat is meaningless without interpretation and meaning. You have a series of numbers that you don’t understand and are making claims unsupported by evidence.

  30. TerjeP

    Decimated means reduced by one tenth Adrien

    As I understand it decimation was a disciplinary measure employed by Roman army leaders on a group of there own soldiers who were considered to have deserted or performed in a manner lacking in appropriate valor. The soldiers would be divided into groups of ten. Within each group a lot was drawn. The soldier in the group of ten that drew the short straw had to be clubbed to death by the remaining nine soldiers. This was meant to instill in the remaining 90% of the soldiers less inclination to slack off next time. Apparently it was quite effective but not terribly popular.

  31. Blake Van Buren

    Good, then you concede the statistics are correct?

  32. conrad

    BVB, I have worked out where the difference comes form.

    You have deleted the ABS rate, and recalculated it.

    If you look at the initial 2009 sheet the ABS gives a rate of 203 for 23, 642 offences. (Table 4).

    From Table 1 we learn that indigenous offenders caused 7386 of these:

    so 203 * ((23647-7386)/23647)) = 139.5 (+2% correction for the indigenous people I didn’t remove from the total Australian born population) versus the number you calculated, which is 1.03.

    I have flicked through the ABS stuff and it is not clear to me where they arive at their 203 per 100K from. I will trawl through the explanatory notes a bit harder when I get some time.

  33. Blake Van Buren

    Can someone please put conrad out of his misery and forward him the data? I genuinely feel sorry for him.

  34. Decimated means reduced by one tenth Adrien. I think Sinclair did better than that.

    Indeed. Is there a pedantic mathematical term for chopped into little bit, broiled and fed to pigs?

  35. conrad

    Blake I’ve got the data — both yours and the initial sheet. The initial sheet gives a rate of 202 per 100K, and if you recalculate that based on the removing the Aboriginal data you get the number above, not what you have put in. So basically, I need to know how the ABS has got their number.

  36. Woger von Wonka – Good, then you concede the statistics are correct?

    Yes and when you concede that fail to understand them, or, even more nefarious, have intentionally misused them to advance some racial beef then you may look forward to possible probation from the category of Official Shithead.

    Mickey Wuckfit was our best ever ShitHead but he died of carbon slavery. I hope that doesn’t happen to you. I was thinking more the slow death by the fleas of a thousand camels. 🙂

  37. daddy dave

    Decimated means reduced by one tenth Adrien.

    Come on guys, this is pedantry overdrive. The word has its origins in an ancient Roman practice but these days simply mean to ‘massively reduce by force.’

  38. As I understand it decimation was a disciplinary measure employed by Roman army leaders

    Yeah. I’d forgotten all about that.

    Apparently it was quite effective but not terribly popular.

    Funny that.

  39. Blake Van Buren

    Just use the 528,014 figure for the Aboriginal population from the demographic data.

  40. conrad

    okay Blake, I know where you are wrong and why the ABS is right. The numbers you have put in are for ALL of the population, whereas the rates are calculated for the ADULT population. This means the numbers are all screwed up.

    I win. C’est la vie.

  41. conrad

    Blake, go to the explanatory notes are read note 18.

  42. Blake Van Buren

    Where did you get the figures for the adult population?

    That may change the numbers at the margin but the disparities remain stark and alarming.

  43. Just use the 528,014 figure for the Aboriginal population from the demographic data.

    Why don’t you address Sinclair’s pulverization critique of your claims Blake. C’arn lets hear some rebuttal instead of this fumbling bollocks about data.

    You did know you were twisting numbers didn’t you? Why do hate black people Blake?

  44. generally finds that the most over-represented group on a population weighted basis relative to non-indigenous Australian-born individuals are indigenous Australian-born individuals. This, to my mind, is inconsistent with claims one, two and three.

    I don’t see how it invalidates anything he’s said. Everyone knows indigenous australians have horrific crime rates and their culture is toxic to western society. There’s not a lot we can do about that though, since they were born here.

    The question is whether or not we can do anything about crime from immigrant groups, and the answer is much different, since we can simply stop accepting more of them, and should.

    There are plenty of people who want to live in Australia who don’t come from cultures that celebrate and glorify violence. Why shouldn’t we help ourselves by accepting immigration from the countries that perform better?

  45. jumpnmcar

    Does that mean Blake may have been frightened of being raped and murdered by 4 year old aboriginal girls too. Hahahaha

  46. conrad

    Look at your table Blake.

    The number you put for the Australian population is 15,763,370. But that’s the *entire* Aus born population, including 2 year olds.

    For example, if the Australian population is 22 million, and 30% are born overseas, it hits almost exactly your number.

    But what age are most people that come to Australia — most are over 18 — and when they have kids, they’re Australian born, so they don’t enter the not-born-in-Australia category, which is why your numbers, excluding the Australia category, look generally similar to the ABS results in most groups.

  47. Blake Van Buren

    At least we’re finally in agreement that the figures are correct.

    Who says I hate anyone? I am just pointing out that if you allow immigration from countries whose populations are orders of magnitude more prone to violence than your own that this will lead to an increase in crime in Australian society.

    Why would anyone disagree with this statement of the obvious?

  48. conrad

    No Blake, your are figures wrong, and I even told you why. You’ve used the wrong baseline and hence over-exaggerated things.

  49. Sinclair Davidson

    Yobbo – BvB made a claim about crime and refugees. First, he doesn’t have data for actual refugees – we’re assuming that most of some groups are refugees and others are not. Then he finds that indigenous Australians are the largest group in prison – we can’t really claim that they are from a recent refugee wave. Then his results are distorted by small sample sizes amongst some groups. I think it is safe to say the claims are not demonstrated.

  50. Sinclair Davidson

    Yobbo – all of that even before we get to conrad’s criticisms.

  51. Gabrielle

    Was that the easiest five grand you ever made, Sinclair? 🙂

  52. Blake Van Buren

    No Blake, your are figures wrong, and I even told you why. You’ve used the wrong baseline and hence over-exaggerated things.

    I’m using the only data available.

    Sinclair you’ve confirmed the analysis, why can’t you just admit to these people that the figures are correct?

  53. Blake Van Buren

    Gabrielle he wouldn’t take the bet if you recall, neither would anyone else.

    You on the other hand offered to bet me five grand that I wouldn’t forward him the data.

  54. Belowra Boy

    Back in the day I used to work in Crime Intelligence and at one time had to analize crime statistics from multiple sources on the then bogeymen,Vietnamese refugee/Heroin trafficers. I can’t remember the results or even the methodologies used, but one group of factors I recall well was the influence of a)shortage of elders cohort, b)imbalance of the sexes, c) distortion of the age cohort towards the traditional lawless age bracket of 17 – 30.
    These factors were a result of the dangers of being a boat person trying to get to Australia. The elderly died en route from privation, the girls and young women were murdered/raped/sexually enslaved by pirates in camps and en route, young men self selected and the toughest and most capablre survived in greater proportions.

  55. Sinclair Davidson

    No BvB. I have explicitly rejected the analysis – the data do not support your claims.

    Gab – I had an unfair advantage. I know that descriptive data cannot answer complex questions or support the complex claims that BvB was making.

  56. Gabrielle

    Neither did you take my bet, Mr vB, if I recall. So guess we’re even, well, ignoring the trouncing “someone” received today, apart from that we’ve even.

  57. Gabrielle

    A true scholar and gentleman, Sinclair.

  58. Blake Van Buren

    No BvB. I have explicitly rejected the analysis – the data do not support your claims.

    Is this a diplomatic way of saying the figures are correct?

    Neither did you take my bet, Mr vB, if I recall. So guess we’re even, well, ignoring the trouncing “someone” received today, apart from that we’ve even.

    I was being magnanimous.

    You should open the word document at the link if you want to see the other charts. You expressed a strong interest in seeing them if I recall correctly.

  59. Belowra Boy

    I apologise for the spelling etc above, I blame my arthritic hands!
    What I didn’t say before hitting the send button was that for all the moral panic about ethnic drug crime at that time, by far and away the largest group involved was WASP Australians. They were also the most prone to violence in comitting drug crime and/or protecting their turf.

  60. Sinclair Davidson

    BvB – no. Your analysis is toast. Give it away.

  61. Blake Van Buren

    The figures I calculated show people born in Vietnam are more than 20 times more likely than the non-indigenous Australian born to be in prison for illicit drug offences.

  62. Blake Van Buren

    BvB – no. Your analysis is toast. Give it away.

    Are you saying the data is incorrect?

  63. Sinclair Davidson

    No. I told you how to interpret the results above. You are saying there are 20 times more Vietnamese is prison than non-indigenous Australian born. That is simply not true.

  64. Sinclair Davidson

    Are you saying the data is incorrect?

    Your analysis and interpretation is incorrect.

  65. conrad

    “Is this a diplomatic way of saying the figures are correct?”

    No, because as Sinclair and I have pointed out they’re wrong. If you want a further lesson, as I pointed out to Yobbo and as Belowra Boy also notes, try reading further down the ABS explanatory notes. They also give *AGE CORRECTED* figures for Indigenous Australians too, which you could in fact do for every group in the table. And this would make your exaggerations would look even more marginal.

  66. Gabrielle

    Don’t worry too much about the spelling Belowra Boy. As has been demonstrated, it’s content and accuracy which are of importance.

  67. Blake Van Buren

    I am saying the data says that Vietnamese are 20 times more likely to be in prison than the non-indigenous Australian born for illicit drug offences.

  68. THR

    Is anyone (even Original Poster) claiming a like to ethnicity? If anything, differing crime rates would be linked to culture, if anything. If Sudanese were over-represented, it wouldn’t be due to dark skin or thin builds now, would it?

    Actually, Quentin, some people do make this claim. Ex-Nazi and current blogger, John Ray, for instance, has made a number of claims regarding African intelligence and crime based on crude biological and psychological theories. For instance:

    Africa is a generally warm place and African heads tend to be noticeably smaller. Some of the East Africans (Sudanese etc.) that I see around Brisbane could almost be classified as microcephalic.

    http://awesternheart.blogspot.com/2009/07/do-warm-climates-shrink-your-brain.html

    Why point out the race theories of a crank? Well, this particular crank is much-loved by Catallaxy regulars and jackboot liberals Yobbo and Rafe, for starters. So there’s little doubt that some around here believe that you can find a criminal ‘essence’ in the genes of certain ethnic groups.

  69. Sinclair Davidson

    BvB – say what you like, you are wrong.

  70. Blake Van Buren

    Your analysis and interpretation is incorrect.

    This is an admission that the data is fine – thank you.

  71. THR

    I am saying the data says that Vietnamese are 20 times more likely to be in prison than the non-indigenous Australian born for illicit drug offences.

    The Vietnamese aren’t refugees these days.

  72. Blake Van Buren

    You are saying there are 20 times more Vietnamese is prison than non-indigenous Australian born. That is simply not true.

    This is a wilful misrepresentation of the statement I actually made.

  73. Marks

    Even if one accepted that Van Watsisname’s figures were correct, they would still lead to a policy absurdity in that since the British early settlers, then the Irish, then others following would not have been let in had Van Watsisname’s policy been in force. If we had a policy of no immigrants where it was shown that this would lead to an increase in criminality in the community by that group, then the British would not have been let in, nor the Irish, nor the Italians etc etc.

    A policy applied which produces an absurd outcome is not really a policy at all. It is an intellectual nullity.

    Mind you, I suspect that some indigenous persons might have supported it in 1788. Of course, in that event, Mr Van Watsisname would not be here, and we would not be debating an absurdity.

  74. Sinclair Davidson

    No, it isn’t. That is what you’re claiming and even you recognise that’s not right. You’re far too cavalier with what you’re saying and are claiming and it is just wrong. The evidence you have brought to bear does not support your claims. If you don’t understand why, then just trust the several people who have now told you that.

  75. Sinclair Davidson

    This is an admission that the data is fine – thank you.

    The data are from the ABS – I have no reason to doubt them, just what you have done.

  76. Andrew Reynolds

    Blake,
    My guess is that you have never done a course on statistics. Is this correct?

  77. Blake Van Buren

    The data speaks for itself, you’ve even posted the charts I’ve sent through.

    The figures I calculated show people born in Vietnam are more than 20 times more likely than the non-indigenous Australian born to be in prison for illicit drug offences.

    The ABS data says this. Surely you agree?

  78. Blake Van Buren

    This is degenerating into a kafkaesque post-modern nightmare.

  79. Sinclair Davidson

    BvB – without a serious multivariate analysis of some sort you cannot draw the conclusions you are claiming. Rather than make a fuss, accept that you are wrong and take the view that this means you have learned something. It could well be the case that after undertaking a multivariate analysis that the data would support your argument*, but until you do that analysis you have no evidence.

    * I don’t think that would be the case.

  80. Sinclair Davidson

    The data speaks for itself,

    data never speaks for itself

    you’ve even posted the charts I’ve sent through.

    As promised – admit it, you didn’t think I would.

  81. Blake Van Buren

    The data is correct why won’t you just admit it?

  82. Blake Van Buren

    As promised – admit it, you didn’t think I would.

    I always knew you would post it, I have seen you before the House and Senate.

  83. Sinclair Davidson

    I have seen you before the House and Senate.

    Good – so you know I wouldn’t bullshit you on this.

  84. Sinclair Davidson

    on that note I’m off to bed.

  85. Blake Van Buren

    Who knows, maybe this is all you can say publicly. We have seen people hauled before the courts for speech in this country. The truth is no longer enough, this is a civilisation in decline.

  86. daddy dave

    We all know that immigrant groups often have higher crime rates than the native-born population, but the data shows they’re not causing a nationwide crime wave. As Sinclair’s chart 2 shows, the vast bulk of crime is still caused by locals.

    And as Conrad pointed out, the Australian-born crime stats are watered down because we have lots of old people. If you compare like with like (.e.g, 20 year old Turks with 20 year old Australian-borns) you get a different set of numbers that looks better for the immigrants.

    Conclusion: Storm in a teacup. Nothing to see here.

    By the way, the solution to ethnic crime is to enforce the law, not to re-engineer our immigration program.

  87. Michael Fisk

    Put like that, it is almost a certain pattern that initially, a proportion of migrants resort to crime when they first arrive, but after a couple of generations, as they prosper, the (blue collar) crime rate goes down.

    How many times do we have to go through this with people who think they are immigration enthusiasts and yet persist exaggerating average immigrant crime rates? The truth is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you claim. The first generation crime rate is lower than that of the native born (except for a few groups such as Lebanese, Turks, perhaps one or two African nationalities, Kiwis and Pacific Islanders). The second generation rises towards the native-born average.

    A similar mistake is often made with Muslim migrants – the first generation allegedly being “fundamentalists” while their kids just want to rock and roll. This has been said ad nauseum, but in fact, the opposite is true, at least going by opinion polling in Europe.

    We should ban liberals and leftists from discussing controversial matters such as these, because they either have an axe to grind – a bit like certain Stormfronters around here – or they are unable to think outside popularly-imagined-but-impirically-false cliches.

  88. Michael Fisk

    Blake van Buren (a pseudonym, so please don’t harrass that nice gentleman from the US with the same name and no privacy controls on his facebook account) made three claims.

    Are you telling us that black guy from Tennessee is NOT a member of Stormfront??

  89. daddy dave

    A similar mistake is often made with Muslim migrants – the first generation allegedly being “fundamentalists” while their kids just want to rock and roll

    .

    I’ve met young people who do fall into the category of “Muslim kids who just want to rock and roll.” They do exist, and they love being here.

  90. daddy dave

    …by which I mean, kids of families who immigrated from Muslim countries. That wasn’t a comment on their religious practices, which typically seem to be non-existent.

  91. Michael Fisk

    No doubt they do exist. But there is no evidence that they are more prevalent than the previous generation, or that Muslims in general are becoming more secular like the rest of the population.

  92. Quentin George

    A lot of the Australians (and indeed, elsewhere in the West) growing up in the “Islamic” community is hampered by the governments strange desire to empower the most reactionary elements of that community as “community leaders”. No one seems to think those of Anglo birth should be represented by the Archbishop of Sydney Jensen, for instance.

  93. Ben

    “… but the data shows they’re not causing a nationwide crime wave.”

    Wow that’s a relief Daddy Dave. So we can relax because crimes are committed, but we’re not experiencing a “crime wave” as defined by high-bourgeois university professors, with security guards? Granted, I’ve only worked in some of Australia’s most violent communities.

    Ignored by “experts” are inconvenient facts, such as the inconvenient fact that law-and-order suits are trained to overlook and/or excuse numerous crimes under the name of “tolerance.” The system is corrupt. Here, in Victoria, there is a culture of data manipulation (and it’s becoming a public issue).

    Outside high-bourgeois islands, there are serious crime waves, sheltered citizens don’t see.

  94. JC

    Actually ben makes a reasonable point. The current vic government is looking into crime stats because the previous labor government and the current commissioner, the bald galoot are accused of manipulating the figs.

  95. daddy dave

    the inconvenient fact that law-and-order suits are trained to overlook and/or excuse numerous crimes under the name of “tolerance.”

    That’s the sort of thing I had in mind in saying, the solution is to “enforce the law.”

    I’m not denying that some ethnic groups have higher crime rates and it seems that the previous Vic government tried to hide that fact from the public, presumably because we can’t handle the truth. But facts are facts and people just have to deal with them.

  96. Boris

    I am not sure Sinclair completely refuted BVB’s claims (and I am still surprised people are still debating them). However I also disagree with Yobbo that we ought to differentiate based on the country of origin. The fact is, as Sinc pointed out, that the vast moajority of people of all immigrant groups are not criminals, and country of origin is not the only factor that controls crime rates. For instance, crime rates for people over 70 are very low: should we then only accept people over 70?

    The point is also that the number of people from most of these countries is so low that even with higher incarceration rates their effect on overall crime rate is negligible.

  97. Boris

    It is not reasonable to believe that any foreign born group would have no individuals in prison for any crime

    Why is that? Suppose there is only ten individuals from country A in Australia. Why should one of them be in prison? Is that affirmative action?

  98. The fact is, as Sinc pointed out, that the vast moajority of people of all immigrant groups are not criminals, and country of origin is not the only factor that controls crime rates.

    Odds are odds. If I offered you 40-60 on a coin flip would you take it? My point is that we could accept many more refugees from the better-performing countries, and less from the worse-performing countries, and we would be better off overall.

  99. .

    This is degenerating into a kafkaesque post-modern nightmare.

    Err no pal that’s your arithmetic.

  100. Sinclair Davidson

    Boris – I’m working on the view that the optimal amount of crime is not zero and given opportunity costs anyone and everyone could commit a crime irrespective of ethnic background.

    Yobbo – odds are odds but what BvB has calculated are the odds of interest or even the odds he thinks them to be.

    BvB – I think you’re being paranoid. Relationships between crime and ethnicity shouldn’t be beyond discussion and serious evaluation.

  101. conrad

    “My point is that we could accept many more refugees from the better-performing countries, and less from the worse-performing countries, and we would be better off overall.”

    Yes, by why just crime — especially when most groups display less crime than the local population and even those groups we think are high are not especially high after even a cursory examination of confounding factors like age? Surely there are other factors that are far more important — some which might be humanitarian and some which might be to the benefit of the local population. Indeed, some of these factors are probably distrubuted across populations, in which case evaluating the individual is vastly more important than ethnicicty.

  102. Boris

    I agree with Conrad. Crime is just one of many important factors.

  103. Boris

    Another point is that the crime rates of newcomers should be compared to the average crime rate among australian citizens (indigeneous, non-indigeneous and immigrants). Compared to that, newcomers from most of these countries may have a lower crime rate. Therefore their arrival will likely to lower Australian overall crime rate (even if only slightly).

    Of course it can be argued that that rate would go down even more if we took more immigrants from backgrounds with lower projected crime rates…

  104. Boris

    Sinc of course you are right. But statistically, if an ‘ethnic’ group is very small, it is very likely that they will not have criminals among them.

    For instance, if a likely crime rate is 1 in 100, and you only have 10 people in the country, then most likely they will not have even one criminal.

  105. Blake von Blockhead kept going:

    You are saying there are 20 times more Vietnamese is prison than non-indigenous Australian born. That is simply not true.

    This is a wilful misrepresentation of the statement I actually made.

    Oh yes wilful misrepresentation. What he actually said was:

    I am saying the data says that Vietnamese are 20 times more likely to be in prison than the non-indigenous Australian born for illicit drug offences.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2011/05/23/foreign-born-criminals/#comment-221610

    This guy probably flunked English about thirty-four times.

  106. RH

    Adrien those appear to be 2 different statements to me.

    “20 times more Vietnamese in prison” implies that for every 100 non-indigenous Australian born in prison then there are 2000 Vietnamese in prison.

    “Vietnamese are 20 times more likely to be in prison…” implies that a Vietnamese person has 20 times the probability (likelihood) of being in prison (for illicit drug offences) as a non-indigenous Australian born person. So if the non-indigenous Australian born were in prison at a rate of 100 per 100,000 then the Vietnamese would be in prison at a rate of 2000 per 100,000.

  107. Indeed good point. But it’ not a wilful misrepresentation. And Black van Blockhead didn’t add that qualifier.

    Also I really can’t be bothered with him. He seems to be a bigot who’s twisting data to serve his schtick and thinks repeating ‘ze data iz korrect’ thirty-five times somehow makes up for it.

    That said I reckon the rate of Vietnamese incarceration for drug offences v those for ‘Aussies’ depends on whether the Viet gangs or the Bikers are ruling the streets at any given point. The cops usually lock the losers up more. 🙂

  108. Peter Patton

    Conrad

    “Those population groups who culturally celebrate the “warrior” image populate the more violent end of the statistical spectrum”

    Do you mean Germans and Japanese?

    Whattha? Putting aside that Germany and Germany are not only 2 of the least militarized nations on earth, they both are also 2 of the least violent and criminal nations on earth. The icing on the cake ? They are also 2 of the most advanced and highly educated nations on earth.

  109. .

    Putting aside that Germany and Germany are not only 2 of the least militarized nations on earth

    No.

  110. Peter Patton

    Er, Germany and Japan. 🙂

  111. .

    Clearly I need better coffee.

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