Latest figures indicate that Victoria is Australia's most violent state, registering the most homicidal deaths in comparison to the country's five other states.
There were 185 homicides, which include murder and manslaughter. Of those, 124 happened in Melbourne - two more than the total homicides for all of NSW.
AdvertisementOn a per-100, 000 population basis, Victoria's homicide rate is actually three-and-a-half times higher than that of NSW, reports The Age.
Deakin University criminologist Ian Warren says the police statistics don't tell the full story.
On the one hand, the figures are compromised by different reporting protocols between the states.
On the other, they don't take into account that indigenous communities in crisis inflate the higher figures for violent crime in the NT, Queensland and WA.
At odds with the police figures, which represent the crime-related workload each state carries, are new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics dealing with victimisation and perceptions of crime. They show that the majority of crime actually went unreported last year.
The bureau's National Crime Victimisation Survey for 2008-09 found that nearly 70 per cent of sexual assaults went unreported, as were 61 per cent of robberies and 55 per cent of assaults.
"The real issue is that most crime is going unreported, and any government is making flawed decisions based on flawed data if they rely solely on crime statistics ... They're left in the dark as to where resources should be allocated."