Date PostedFebruary 22, 2013

Alcohol linked to Territory’s High Homicide Rate

According to a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, The Territory has the highest homicide rate in the country, a fact that Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin attributes to excessive consumption of alcohol in the state.

The minister has expressed concern about the large number of people abusing alcohol in the Northern Territory which she has linked to the extremely high murder rate.

The Australian Institute of Criminology has specified in a report that the Territory has the highest murder rate in the nation and that an Indigenous person is four times more likely to be murdered than a non-Indigenous person. The report was compiled using information from the police and coroners and was launched in 1989 in order to monitor homicide rates in the country.

The Minister is naturally alarmed by the statistics and has blamed most of the violence in the Territory on alcohol abuse. During the period from 2008 to 2012, 510 murders were committed in the Territory and the average age group of these victims were 38 years old.

The Territory had the highest murder rate with almost six murders per 100,000 people between 2009 and the following year whereas most other states and territories had only about 1 murder per 100,000 people.

According to the report, in the Territory, the overall murder rate rose from almost five murders per 100,000 people between 2008-2009, to six between 2009-1010.Queensland and the Territory were the only states where the homicide rate did not drop. Although NSW had the highest number of murders, in comparison with the population its rate of murders was much lower than The Territory which has a much lower population.

The article below was taken from about the report:

Ms Macklin says the figures are alarming.

“One of the main motivators for this level of violence is alcohol abuse,” she said.

“That’s why we want to do everything possible, working with Aboriginal people, to address the very high levels of alcohol abuse where we find it.”

The report confirmed Indigenous people in the Territory are most at risk of being murdered.

Nationally, between 2008 and 2010 there were 510 homicides.

That is the lowest rate since the national homicide monitoring program began in 1989.

The report shows murders using a firearm dropped to an all-time low of 13 per cent, but stabbings were on the increase.

About a third of all homicides occurred in the home, and a quarter of all murders involved domestic partners.

An overwhelming majority of domestic homicides involved a woman being killed by her male partner.

The average age of murder victims between 2008 and 2010 was 38.6 years.


Interesting Queensland and The Territory are the only states where murder rates did not decline, but the overall national homicide rate did hit a record low. The report also found that Australians are shooting each other less but are stabbing each other more.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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