Great country, shame about the hoons
Congratulations hoons: you are officially the most annoying people in Australia, by a statistical mile. Almost half - yes, half - of all Australians believe dangerous or noisy driving is a problem in their neighbourhood, according to data published today.
At first it might seem staggering that 45.3 per cent of Australians say hooning is a problem in their neighbourhood but when you think about it, how surprising is it really? How often are phone conversations or the break-up line in Sex and The City drowned out by some tool gunning his Subaru down the street? And for every single person in the street who has settled in for the evening, the experience is exactly the same.
(While we’re at it can I add to that the guys noodling about on their Harleys, not just the bikies who have an excuse but the middle managers from accounting firms who take out the Chopper after a stressful day of Excel.)
This particular part of the Crime Victimisation report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that dangerous and noisy driving is the number one anti-social issue in the country today. Hoons are public enemy No.1.
And what are our main weapons in dealing with it? Traffic-calming measures from local councils - some speed bumps here, a mini-chicane there.
Rounding out the top five for neighbourhood complaints were vandalism / graffiti (35 per cent said it was a problem), housebreakings (29 per cent), drunkenness (21 per cent) and louts and youth gangs (20 per cent).
As an aside, I think it’s excellent that the ABS is collecting data about how Australia feels about louts.
But the overall picture from the report is that despite the reports of pub glassings and random violence that are naturally shocking and so get deserved attention in the press, Australia is a safe place safe country and overwhelmingly, people feel secure living here.
Take this figure, for example: 31 per cent, or almost one in three people, said there were no problems - none at all - in their neighbourhood. That’s a pretty happy bunch of people.
Or that four out of five people feel safe at home alone during the day and while this figure drops after the sun goes down, only 4.3 per cent of people report feeling unsafe after dark.
It’s in no way any comfort to someone who has been beaten up, but the odds that you will be the victim of some kind of assault are relatively tiny. In the survey period, which covered the 12 months up to December 2008, just over 3 people in every one hundred were victims of assault.
There are some interesting bits of data in the tables when you get into the nitty gritty - for example, over 700,000 people were victims of a “threatened assault”, including those of the “face-to-face” and “non face-to-face” variety.
Where is a bloke most likely to be threatened with assault? At work. A quarter of all face-to-face threatened assaults towards men took place at work. The next most common place was out in the street or on the land (19 per cent) and then in the home (18 per cent).
The most common threats of assault to men come from colleagues (11 per cent). Among women who were threatened the most common offenders were an ex (11 per cent) and a neighbour (10 per cent).
The survey is using new methods so next year we’ll be able to start looking for trends in the data. In the meantime you can see the report here.
If you have any questions on the data, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them if I can.
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