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Crime in Sydney

Sydney's crime rate is higher than Melbourne's, for instance, but it's not inordinately high by world standards. Nonetheless, it remains a noteworthy crime spot in Australia.

From its earliest days with a prison camp Sydney has maintained a healthy scepticism of authority. The Rum corps[?] was probably Sydney's first taste of organised crime.

Sydney developed into a major sea port. The combination of penal colonies, corrupt authorities and gold rushes, and increasing wealth encouraged the growth of a criminal element.

Criminal behaviour remains a problem in many parts of Sydney today. Perhaps the most notorious place in Sydney in terms of criminal history is King's Cross in inner eastern Sydney. It has a long history of illegal gambling clubs, sex clubs, paedophilia, drug dealing, "shooting galleries", police corruption and murder. It remains the backdrop of the mysterious disappearance in 1975 of Juanita Nielson, an heiress who opposed high-rise development there. The Wood Royal Commission in the 1990s found widespread corruption amongst the police at King's Cross, and several were forced to resign.

Other problem areas in Sydney include the western suburbs of Cabramatta (which became notorious in the 1990s for illegal drugs being openly sold in its streets and at its railway station by juvenile drug dealers and for a political assassination in 1994) and Punchbowl[?] and Lakemba[?] ( focal points of much ethnic tension and ethnic-based crime) and the inner southern suburb of Redfern[?] (known for a politically-sensitive failure called the 'Block' and where the streets can be so hostile that taxi drivers and pizza delivery drivers have refused to go there).

In the summer of 2000 a series of four gang rapes occurred, in which gangs of up to 18 men violently abducted and raped women. In every case, the men were of Lebanese Muslim descent, and the women of European descent. The incidents polarized the city and led to harsh new sentences for gang rape[?] in New South Wales.

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