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The Vanishing Criminal
The Vanishing Criminal

The Vanishing Criminal

Causes of Decline in Australia’s Crime Rate



320 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $39.99)

Publication Date: September 2022

ISBN 9780522877342

Rights: US & CA

Melbourne University Press (Sep 2022)

Not yet published. Ships 9/10/2022.


In 2000, Australia had the highest rate of burglary, the highest rate of contact crime (assault, sexual assault, and robbery) and the second highest rate of motor vehicle theft among the 25 countries included in the international crime victim survey, which takes in the United States, the United Kingdom, and most western European countries. Then in 2001, Australian crime statistics began to decline. By 2018, rates of the most common forms of crime had fallen between 40 and 80 percent and were lower than they'd been in twenty or in some cases thirty years. Australia is not the only country to have experienced this social trend. In The Vanishing Criminal Don Weatherburn and Sara Rahman set out to explain the dramatic fall in crime, rigorously but accessibly comparing competing theories against the available evidence. Their conclusions will surprise many and reshape the terms for discussion of these questions well into the future.

Author Biography

Don Weatherburn was director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research for thirty years. He is now a professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Sara Rahman is a researcher at the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, working on impact evaluations of education initiatives. Rahman also worked as a researcher at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.