Rates of almost all crime in Australia have declined dramatically in recent decades, as they have in much of the rest of the world, with sexual assault a notable exception to this decline. But as crime has declined, the number of people in prison has increased alarmingly. Meanwhile in the world of popular culture, crime is everywhere. We are obsessed with crime stories making them major box office in every medium from the page to podcast to the big screen. What is going on?
Wenlei Ma is the TV and film critic for news.com.au where she writes reviews and features about movies and streaming. She is a weekly contributor on RN Breakfast, a regular on ABC Nightlife and her film reviews are syndicated in The Sunday Telegraph. She has been a journalist for more than a decade, has been published in Empire and AdNews, was featured on ABC TV’s China Tonight and is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved “Top Critic”.
Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a nine-time winner of journalism’s most prestigious award, the Walkley, including the Gold Walkley for her coverage of the Bulldogs salary cap rorts. She was named the 2012 NSW Journalist of the year for her investigations into the fraudulent activities of Michael Williamson, the head of the Health Services Union and the business activities of former NSW Labor minister, Eddie Obeid.
Don Weatherburn is a Professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and was formerly Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Prior to that appointment, Professor Weatherburn was foundation Research Director at the Judicial Commission of New South Wales. He graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Psychology and was awarded a Ph.D. by that university in 1979. He has published on a wide range of topics including sentencing, criminal justice administration, crime prevention, drug law enforcement, harm reduction and program evaluation. He has authored or co-authored 229 publications, including four books, over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, nine chapters in books and 121 reports.