Stats under the light – from Graham Stewart

January 6, 2013

 Graham Stewart on international crime statistics comparisons

(Ed note: Graham is responding to our last communiqué (Jan 4, 2013) in which SJN  featured a video – – on international crime rate comparisons.  As usual, Graham’s comments quoted here in their entirety are most helpful.)

“The video on crime statistics makes a common and serious error where violent crime comparisons are made between the US and England.

The Uniform crime statistics that the FBI publishes do not include all violent crime but rather only four of the more serious ones. They are “indices” rather than “rates”. In England, as in Canada, the statistics include all violent crime reported by the police. As a result the less serious but much more frequent offences like low level assaults, by far the most common violent crime in Canada, are not included in the US statistics. In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Comparing crime “rates” between countries by looking at published data without compensating for what offences are actually included is one of a number of serious but common errors often made. Hard liners in Canada often do this thereby leading people to make faulty comparisons in which the Canadian rate looks very high.

Murder is one statistic that gives more reliable data comparisons as most countries count murder in a similar way and the reporting rates are usually high.

For much better international comparisons for key crime areas see The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at  or other research reports that deal specifically with the differences in how data is collected.”

 UK Immigration Barristers
Illegal Immigrants Riot at UK Immigration Detention Centre

Known sometimes as the invisible problem, immigration detention has had some unwanted attention in England.  After a number of protests – notably in September and December without violence, the Morton Hall Center erupted into a riot involving 40 detainees in which 5 officers were injured.

 WCTV Tallahassee, FL –
Family Finds Peace Through Restorative Justice

A family whose daughter was murdered by her fiancée has found a way to help deal with the consequences of the crime through RJ.

N.Y. Times related article: Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
 Global Maritimes TV News –
Special series: Halifax’s Guns and Gangs Unit

Here’s a link to the entire four part series that aired over the interim between Christmas and New Year.

Victoria Times Colonist (B.C.) – Sheila Flood
A New Perspective on Justice

Here’s new sort of theme for World Religion Day at University of Victoria.  With a theme of “Justice and Compassion – Where is the Balance?, this Baha’i inspired spiritual perspective wants to change our outlook of polarity between justice and compassion.  “To redefine the concept of justice as a society and re-infuse it with compassion could set us on a whole new path, leading to a complete redesign of the old organizing principles – legally, economically, and socially. It’s a course correction that’s sorely needed.”