Indigenous people are 15 to 20 times more likely to commit violent offences than non-Indigenous people according to research released today.
The Australian Institute of Criminology analysed police data from Western Australia and South Australia and national murder rates.
The Institute’s Director, Dr Adam Tomison says the study found violent offending is linked to illicit drug use, childhood violence, exposure to pornography and socioeconomic disadvantage.
But he says alcohol is by far the biggest cause of violent offending by indigenous people.
“Leaving aside all these issues of disadvantage, alcohol still comes up as a major factor for people committing crimes, violent crimes, that’s what we actually found ” Dr Tomison said.
“So there is a disadvantage issue but there is also, above and beyond that, whether you are disadvantaged or not … an alcohol issue. Alcohol is fuelling a lot of the crime.”
The new study also found Indigenous women are five times more likely to commit a violent offence than non-indigenous men.
“If you look at that data, what you find is Aboriginal females or Indigenous females are committing crimes 35 times more often than non-Indigenous females and five times more often than non-Indigenous males,” Dr Tomison said.