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24 February 2015

crime scene tapeFrom adding extra police on the street, to tougher sentencing, everyone has an opinion on what could be done better to reduce crime, mainly related to law and order responses.

But a unique seminar at UniSA tomorrow: The Top 10 Initiatives to Reduce Crime, may conjure a few surprises when it is considered what some of the best initiatives are, drawing evidence on criminological research and recommendations.

The seminar, presented by University of South Australia legal expert Professor Rick Sarre, will flag the top 10 most affordable and workable law reform and justice initiatives that promise to reduce crime, violence and disorder in Australian society.

With a 10% rise in the adult prison population of Australia over the past year alone, and Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) figures putting the cost of crime at over $35 billion a year, the issue of crime prevention is as pressing as ever, Professor Sarre believes.

“On any reading of the trends, the current path of criminal justice is unsustainable and there are no easy fixes to this issue,” Prof Sarre says.

“The causes of crime are many and varied and they also depend upon the type of crime: whether it is a  crime against the person, property crime, white collar crime, organised and cybercrime, street crime, family crime, drug crime, sexual crime, environmental crime, or terrorism and vandalism.

“So it’s not an easy matter to deal with, but not impossible either; SAPOL have reported a steady decline of 34.3% in crime reports to police from 2003-4 to 2012-13 and crime in Western nations is on a downward trend.”

“The question is what interventions have taken place that have determined that decline and not to take for granted that increased prison and justice expenditure equal a decrease in crime.”

Using a variety of sources and adhering to a set of clearly defined parameters, Professor Sarre has created a top 10 which indicates a variety of different responses including situational, legal and social measures designed to tackle crime.

The Top 10 Initiatives to Reduce Crime seminar will take place at the Bradley Forum in the Hawke Building on February 25, 2015. Please note attendance is at full capacity for this event.

Contact for interview: Professor Rick Sarre office (08) 8302 0889

Media contact: Will Venn office (08) 8302 0096 (mob) 0401 366 054 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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