Crikey Says

Nov 19, 2008

Crikey says

Inspired by Bolt's crime statistics on African refugees, here is some other number crunching, just to put this poisonous little call to arms into perspective.

Andrew Bolt, perhaps encouraged by the 'revenge of the nerds' regime change at Melbourne's Herald Sun is off the long run this morning, returning to one of his pet themes, the eerie juxtaposition of crime and dark skin. Kevin Andrews was right, Bolt reminds us, to "worry and urge caution" over our intake of African refugees, people who, it appears, all too readily turn to crime. Bolt concludes after a lengthy (he does bang on) survey of the available statistics.

Here is some other number crunching, just to put this poisonous little call to arms into perspective.

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7 thoughts on “Crikey says

  1. Peta

    While we’re kicking out the Somalians, lets go ahead and kick out those rascally New Zealanders, Not to mention the British and Irish that are committing all that crime. Hey what about the Chinese, Greek, Italians, Lebanese, Vietnamese and Yugoslavians… because they, according to this table, are also committing alot of crime. God Andrew Bolt makes me crazy angry.

  2. Dave Liberts

    No particular arguement against you Tom W, other than to point out that Crikey is far closer to comparing apples with apples than Andrew Bolt was. The man is so predictable. Anyone ever assembling an arguement against Bolt need look no further than his use of stats.

  3. Tom W

    “Most of the Somali offenders are actually between 15 and 24. ” To be fair, you’d have to compare crime rates per exact age group and birthplace – as just saying most of them are between 15 and 24 isn’t specific enough.

  4. MattV

    I don’t normally agree with JamesK but he has a point here. The author of this peice (not specified – perhaps it’s time Crikey changed that?) has clearly tortured the numbers to come out with their version of events. You cannot say 1 in 23 of all somalians and then talk of “most” being in the age group that fits your thesis, even if the “most” was 80% (I would be interested in the actual figure and the basis of this claim) this is still making the 1 in 23 much higher and the argument more invalid.

    You might not like Bolt’s message (I can’t stand the man) but choose an avenue of attack that you can win.

  5. Dave Liberts

    I may not have progressed past first year stats when I was at uni, but I can’t agree that Crikey has ‘tortured’ the numbers, MattV. Crikey has certainly tortured them less than Bolt did. Bolt’s conclusion about the relative crime rates within and without the Somali population assumes that the age distribution of the Somali and general Victorian populations are the same, when they’re clearly not. The comparison needs to be made between Somali’s of a certain age and the general population of the same age range, and neither Crikey nor Bolt have done this well. Similarly, allowances have not been made in respect of the other factors which affect crime rates (such as income and gender). If you’re not comparing apples with apples, the stats are less than useless.

  6. John Goldbaum

    JamesK, I suppose you think our Somali kids are in league with the pirates in Somalia as well?

  7. JamesK

    Talk about mish-mashing figures! Jonathan Greene denigrates Bolt and his 1 in 23 figure by pointing out that 1 in 24 of the general population aged 15 – 19 years. commit crimes.

    Approx 37% of the Somali figures are in the 15- 19 age range but as a percentage of the Somali population 15 – 19 years could be no more than 10% and probably a deal less.

    Therefore the crime stats in all other age groups and probably 15-19 also (we do not know the denominators) is much higher in the Somali population than in the general population.

    Turning to Bolt’s article. He points out that he too decried Kevin Andrews at the time of Andrews comments with respect to Somali integration in Australia but that was based on Nixon’s assurances that African/Somali/Sudanese crime figures were not different to the general population which it would seem plain is not the case both here and in Adelaide.

    Bolt points to many police reports to him of the problem that made him examine the figures essentially 18 months later.

    He says: “But here’s the central point. Last year Nixon told us Sudanese refugees, if not all African refugees, were “under-represented in the crime statistics”. In fact, we now know they’re over-represented—by as much as eight times.
    Andrews was right to worry and urge caution. Nixon was wrong to challenge his figures. And we, who relied on Nixon’s assurances, were grossly unfair to damn Andrews as a racist and a hatemonger for merely doing his duty. I’m sorry for my part in that.”

    Green’s conclusion that “really you’d have to view the Somali crime rate as a triumph of successful social integration. No better, no worse than the rest of us” is without basis in anything he has referenced here.

    Furhermore, whatever one’s opinion of Bolt, Green’s accusation that Bolt’s piece is in effect a “poisonous little call to arms” is truly reprehensible.

    Standard operating procedure, though, for Crikey’s ‘editor’

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