Writing a blog can be fun. Post something up one day, get someone writing in with a good tip about another subject for the next day.
The notion that immigrants are criminal has been described as a stereotype. As you know, a stereotype is a preliminary insight, the first step in noticing differences and encapsulating them into an association. Holding a stereotype about immigrants being criminals could be wrong and unfair. It could also be accurate and prudent.
How accurate are stereotypes about immigrants and crime? Here is a relevant paper from the United Kingdom.
Noah Carl. NET OPPOSITION TO IMMIGRANTS OF DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES CORRELATES STRONGLY WITH THEIR ARREST RATES IN THE UK. Open Quantitative Sociology and Political Science. 10th November, 2016
The author says: Public beliefs about immigrants and immigration are widely regarded as erroneous. For example, members of the public typically overestimate the immigrant fraction of the population by ~10–15 percentage points. On the other hand, popular stereotypes about the respective characteristics of different groups (e.g., sexes, races, nationalities) are generally found to be quite accurate.
The present study shows that, in the UK, net opposition to immigrants of different nationalities correlates strongly with the log of immigrant arrests rates (r= .77; p= 0.00002; 95% CI = [.52, .90]) and with the log of their arrest rates for violent crime (r= .77; p= 0.00001; 95% CI = [.52, .90]).
This is particularly noteworthy given that Britons reportedly think that an immigrant’s criminal history should be one of the most important characteristics when considering whether he or she should be allowed in to the country. Moreover, the associations are not accounted for by a general opposition to non-Whites, non-Westerners, foreigners who do not speak English, Muslims, or those from countries with low average IQ. While circumstantial in nature, the study’s findings suggest that public beliefs about immigrants are more accurate than is often assumed.
He adds: In Europe, immigrants from the West and East Asia tend to have lower crime rates, while those from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia tend to have higher crime rates (Kirkegaard, 2014; Kirkegaard, 2015). Note that this disparity is probably due to a combination of factors: relatively stable country-of-origin characteristics, the selectivity of immigrants with respect to their countries-of-origin, and perhaps differences in the treatment of immigrant groups upon arrival.
Crime figures from the Metropolitan Police for arrests 2008-2012 were used as the comparison.
Public beliefs about immigrants and immigration are widely regarded as erroneous. Yet popular stereotypes about the respective characteristics of different groups are generally found to be quite accurate. The present study has shown that, in the UK, net opposition to immigrants of different nationalities correlates strongly with the log of immigrant arrests rates and the log of their arrest rates for violent crime.
Indeed, they are consistent with a model of immigration preferences in which individuals’ expressed support or opposition to immigrants from different nationalities is informed by rational beliefs about the respective characteristics of those immigrant groups. The main limitation of this study is the lack of data on other characteristics of immigrant groups living in the UK, such as education, income or welfare usage (see Kirkegaard, 2014; Kirkegaard, 2015).
Read the whole paper here: