Archive for April, 2014

Sydney is a massive city, it spans for approximately 60 kilometres and covers a lot of land sprawling from the sea to the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The city of Sydney has many “Government Areas” which is basically a cluster of suburbs that make up a council area. Since I was at least 5 years of age I have lived in Sydney (from Newcastle) .

My parents were immigrants coming from Lebanon and former Yugoslavia during the 1970’s, where a huge wave of migration had flooded in to Australia and surprisingly the “White Australia Policy” had recently ceased. We started off living in the lovely coastal area of Brighton in Sydney’s South, then we moved slightly inland to Arncliffe and as the years went by the affordability of Sydney had diminished and my family and I saw ourselves living in the infamous “South West” region of Sydney, in the Canterbury/Bankstown council areas.

During this period, the tension was ending between Sydney’s Vietnamese community and the countries “fight” against its increasing drug crimes in Sydney’s Western Suburb of Cabramatta. As a high influx of predominately Lebanese people moved in to Sydney they settled in the Bankstown region in Sydney’s South West. Slowly, but surely the new crime wave focus was against the Lebanese community and this has been the case since the 1990’s. For over the past decade my area, affectionately known as “Banksy” has built itself a reputation. One of extreme crime, racial tension, drive by shootings and being likened to something like Compton or the Bronx in the United States.


My migrant parents. 1980’s Sydney.

Indeed, like many suburbs it has faced its issues, particularly in the past- yet it appears that the notion of the Bankstown region being the crime capital of Sydney has really stuck. It is as if the area has a permanent stain on it and is focused on living in the past and many people seem to have no problem labelling it as such, yet as with most cases many of these “testimonies” come from outsiders. People who had visited briefly, or heard their friends talk about it or perhaps are influenced by the news reports.

I have lived in the Canterbury/Bankstown region of South West Sydney for approximately 20 years. In this time I have personally witnessed three street fights, our car  getting stolen-  twice, one attempted robbery (of our neighbour) and that is about it. Considering the length of time I was in the heart of this “crime capital” my experiences don’t sound overly excessive. The truth of the matter is evidence provided by the New South Wales Bureau Of Crime Statistics and Research supports my claim, in that this “crime hub” of Sydney is stuck in time and is sadly having its potential ripped out of it based on misinformation and a certain implausible “fear factor”.

The ADL, or “Australian Defence League” have been making sweeping public statements about Lebanese immigrants, in particular the Muslims to media outlets that further cause this social tension and distrust of a community. Ralph Cerminara the “president” of the Australian Defence League said in a recent ABC 7:30pm report interview:


Australian Defence League accused Muslims of “Raping our women- raping our families and coming after us!”


Well of course. They [Middle Eastern Muslims] are coming after us. They’re raping our children. They’re raping our families. They are – now in the west, it’s pretty much a crime capital of Sydney and we all know what’s going on down there.”

This then tends to cause a stigma of the area in the public eye, even potential home buyers are being turned off from the area by reviews such as these below:

Crime dense area, (heard of people getting raped here)” and “Infested by Middle Easterners, crime has gone up“.


Real Estate sites even promote the mythology of Bankstown being a “rape hub” “infested” by Middle Easterners.


Is this correlation between “race/religion” and crime justified? Does it match up with the statistics readily available to us? Well let us see because upon investigating I came to realize that sensationalism is a huge thing and people tend to go with the flow when it comes to trends and the trend which has been running for years is that I live in the “Crime Capital” of Sydney that is riddled with rape, drugs and violent crime. Before I get to the statistics themselves the response that I get when I tell people where I live is often raised eyebrows, hefty deep breaths of sympathy and sneering condescending giggles.


Yet I often bring friends of mine down to my “dangerous suburb” and what they often find is a place of rich cultural diversity, numerous races living together in harmony. Restaurants that are the envy of the city that encompass nations some haven’t even heard of. Close proximity to the heart of Sydney and a vibrant young population with a rich interest in education, activism, the arts and community harmony. It is my town that hosts the monthly “Poetry Slam” where artists from around the country and the globe come to contribute with. It is my town that recently held a fantastic “Harmony Festival” and many great activities in its Art Centre- not to mention major boxing matches and international singers.!



Bankstown: Is It really the crime capital of Sydney?

Despite its flaws, I am proud to be part of this community in Sydney. Sure, it is no Utopia, yet show me a Sydney that is. Yet what I have found is that my area holds a certain weight that it needs to shake off and the best way to shake it off is with cold hard facts, we must investigate if indeed the Bankstown area is the “Crime Capital” of Sydney and if there is a connection between Middle Eastern populations and an increase in crime rates. Below is an assessment of Sydney’s crime rates as of 2013/2014 based on Council.



Bankstown council rates 8th for Assaults in Sydney.

ASSAULT: (Violent and Non Violent) Per 100,000 population.

1. Sydney Central-  2,560 assaults per 100,000.
2. Campbelltown Council- 1,254 assaults per 100,000.
3. Auburn Council- 987 assaults per 100,000.
4. Liverpool Council- 971 assaults per 100,000.
5. Marrickville Council- 898 assaults per 100,000.
8. BANKSTOWN council- 819 assaults per 100,000.


Bankstown council rates 4th for Homicide in Sydney.

HOMICIDE: (Murder/Manslaughter etc.)  Per 100,000 population.

1.  Auburn Council- 7.6 homicide cases per 100,000.
2. Botany Bay Council- 7.4 homicide cases per 100,000.
3. Hunters Hill Council- 6.9 homicide cases per 100,000.
4. BANKSTOWN Council- 5.3 homicide cases per 100,000.
5. Sydney City Council- 2.7 homicide cases per 100,000.


Bankstown Council ranks 7th for Robbery in Sydney.

ROBBERY (With/Without Weapons) Per 100,000 population.

1. Sydney City Council- 323 robberies per 100,000.
2. Auburn Council- 165 robberies per 100,000.
3. Marrickville Council- 88 robberies per 100,000.
4. Liverpool Council- 86 robberies per 100,000.
5.  Botany Bay Council- 81 robberies per 100,000.
7. BANKSTOWN COUNCIL- 65 robberies per 100,000.


Bankstown rates 6th for Sexual Offenses in Sydney.

SEXUAL OFFENCES (Assault/Rape Etc.) Per 100,000 population.

1. Sydney City Council- 273 sexual offences per 100,000.
2. Campbelltown Council- 170 sexual offences per 100,000.
3. Wollongong Council- 141 sexual offences per 100,000.
4. Liverpool Council- 141 sexual offences per 100,000.
5. Marrickville Council-  133 sexual offences per 100,000.
6. BANKSTOWN COUNCIL- 119 sexual offences per 100,000.


Bankstown council ranks 6th for theft in Sydney.

THEFT (Break/Enter, Fraud Etc.) Per 100,000 population.

1.  Sydney City Council- 12,995 theft cases per 100,000.
2. Marrickville Council- 4,293 theft cases per 100,000.
3. Liverpool Council- 3,951 theft cases per 100,000.
4. Botany Bay Council- 3,865 theft cases per 100,000.
5. Campbelltown Council- 3,793 theft cases per 100,000.
6. BANKSTOWN COUNCIL- 3,613 theft cases per 100,000.


Bankstown ranks 8th for Malicious Property Damage/Vandalism in Sydney

MALICIOUS PROPERTY DAMAGE Per 100,000 population.

1. Sydney City Council- 1,834 cases per 1000,000.
2. Campbelltown Council- 1,416 cases per 100,000.
3. Marrickville Council- 1,117 cases per 100,000.
4. Wollongong Council- 1,082 cases per 100,000.
5. Liverpool Council- 864 cases per 100,000.
8. BANKSTOWN COUNCIL- 760 cases per 100,000.


Bankstown ranks 6th for Illegal weapon use/possession (Guns etc.) in Sydney and surprisingly ranks 78th in the state of New South Wales.

(Guns etc.) Per 100,000 population.

1. Sydney City Council- 298 cases per 100,000.
2. Parramatta Council- 167 cases per 100,000.
3. Campbelltown Council- 159 cases per 100,000.
4. Penrith Council- 154 cases per 100,000.
5. Liverpool Council- 146 cases per 100,000.
6. BANKSTOWN COUNCIL- 127 cases per 100,000.

Based on the statistics above we see a very interesting pattern. All of these offenses that Baboons at the “Australian Defence League” accuse Lebanese populations committing such as Rape, Theft and Hooligan Behaviour (Vandalism etc) find their highest rates in councils that have extremely low populations of Lebanese and Muslim people. What we see is they are using the Middle Easterners and the Muslims as scapegoats to claim the title for criminal activity, when logically that simply cannot  be the case considering the Lebanese/Muslim populations of such areas. For example:

The Highest Councils with rates of Sexual Offences are:

1. Sydney City (Approximately 50% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and  under 2.0% of the Population are Muslim)
2. Campbelltown Council (Approximately 60% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and 5.7% of the Population are Muslim)
3. Wollongong (Approximately 80% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and 2.1% of the population are Muslim)

The Highest Councils with rates of Theft are:

1. Sydney City Council- (Approximately 50% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and < 2.0% of the Population are Muslim)
2. Marrickville Council- (Approximately 53% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and under 4.0% of the Population are Muslim)
3.  Liverpool Council- (Approximately 5% of the population are Lebanese and 10.7% of the population are Muslim)

The Highest Councils with rates of Illegal Firearm (Gun) use are:

1. Sydney City Council- (Approximately 50% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and < 2.0% of the Population are Muslim)
2. Parramatta Council- (Approximately 8% are of Lebanese heritage and 9% of the population are Muslim)
3. Campbelltown Council- (Approximately 60% English/Irish/Scottish Heritage and 5.7% of the Population are Muslim)

Now am I blaming Caucasians for crime rates? No, not at all. Yet people are actively accusing the Lebanese Population of Sydney and in Particular the Muslims to be criminals. Yet when you carefully examine the statistics that are available to the public, we find that in the “hub” of Sydney’s Lebanese and Muslim communities crime rates  are “relatively” low in aspects, compared to many other councils. To me, and to anyone with a reasonable mind frame we can see there is no clear or reputable case to claim that Bankstown is the “crime capital” of Sydney. We also find extremely limited evidence to suggest that the Lebanese population engage in higher crime rates than any other racial counterpart and there is also insufficient evidence to suggest Muslims are engaged in higher levels of crime in Sydney based on suburb demographics.

I am waiting for the day where I can proudly say where I am from and that this “hood” in Sydney’s south west is ultimately Good. An enjoyable and vibrant place to live that essentially is no more dangerous than any other town in this massive city called Sydney. If you live in the region, please share this article and show to your fellow countrymen that Bankstown isn’t the bad guy, he is just misunderstood and misrepresented and we have the facts to prove it. Can’t argue with facts can we now? Feel free to forward these facts to all bigots, including the Australian Defence League.

Peace, Salam.