The "African gangs" story has been reported on extensively this year and numerous statistics have been employed by media outlets to support the claim that young Sudanese men in Melbourne are behaving lawlessly and violently.
However, crime statistics are more complex than they might seem at face value and they're influenced by a number of factors that may not be entirely obvious at first glance.
So, how could the "African gangs" stories be employing skewed data?
One of the most widely reported statistics has been the number of people that make up the Sudanese community as compared to the proportion of crimes that they appear to commit.
For reference, Australian-born people make up 72.7% of the alleged offender population and make up 64.9% of the population.
While this might seem like a clear overrepresentation of Sudanese and South Sudanese people in crime statistics, there are other factors to take into consideration.
Dr Kate Seymour, a social science and criminology researcher from Flinders University, told BuzzFeed News that these numbers are too small to be helpful in creating a broad picture of Victorian crime.
"They're very small numbers... so it's risky to make grand statements or grand conclusions on the bases of these very small numbers because it's not necessarily statistically meaningful."
In 2017, 846 Sudanese-born people were alleged offenders, as compared to 59,048 Australian-born people that were alleged offenders.
Age demographics can also contribute to this overrepresentation of Sudanese-born people in the crime statistics.
The South Sudanese population has the youngest average age of any other population analysed according to country of birth in Australia, according to 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics Data.
The average age of South Sudanese in Australia is 30.5 years old and Sudanese aren't too much older, with an average population of 31.7 years old.
The age of the average Australian-born person is 33.8 years old.
For a bit more context, the average age is 41 years old for New Zealand born people and 55.5 for people born in the United Kingdom.
Why is this important?
Alleged offender statistics are overwhelmingly dominated by young adults, so populations with more young adults on average should logically commit more crimes.
According to the latest data from the Victorian crime statistics agency, 23.5% of the alleged crimes committed in the last 12 months in Victoria have been committed by males between the ages of 25 to 34.
"What the other statistics show is that the age distribution in the Sudanese population is disproportionately young... what we know is that youth tend to be more visible," said Seymour.
It is also important to note that these statistics are alleged crimes and not convictions.
Seymour states that an increase in alleged crime numbers does not necessarily capture just the number of crimes committed, it also captures the number of times there was simply police involvement.
This number is influenced by how conspicuous a group is as well as the perception of their behaviour and tendencies.
This effect can be seen in young people (who also tend to occupy public spaces more than other age demographics) as well as ethnic minorities.
"On the most obvious level, Sudanese people and young people stand out for the very reason that they look different, so there's that visibility already and then anything on top of that is then interpreted through a frame of deviance," said Seymour.
This effect can be heightened by the media flaring up interest in a subset of people, notes Seymour.
"It's more likely that people will notice things that they otherwise would not have noticed and it's more likely that they will interpret them as potentially worrying," said Seymour.
These alleged offender statistics have led to some grandiose claims from certain media outlets.
Last year, Andrew Bolt reported in the Herald Sun the statistic that Sudanese people make up "4.8% of aggravated burglary offences".
Bolt then concluded that "makes them 44 times more likely to break the law".
According to 2016 data from the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency, Sudanese people account for 4.8% of alleged aggravated burglary (this is not a conviction statistic).
However, Associate Professor Rebecca Wickes, a researcher in criminology from Monash University, told BuzzFeed News that Bolt is "speaking beyond the data and making analyses that wouldn't stand up in an introductory stats [sic] class".
Last month, Tony Abbott told 2GB that Sudanese immigrants are "57 times more likely to commit aggravated robbery than the general community. So there is a problem."
While Sudanese people do appear to account for larger proportions of alleged aggravated burglary and riot and affray (6%), they do not significantly contribute to the statistics for rape or indecent assault, or homicide.
Seymour says that "African gangs" stories highlight a need for more attention to the complexities of crime statistics in general when reporting in the media.
"It's fairly widely accepted that stats can be used for whatever purpose you want really...you can pull out one statistic and use it to say a whole lot of things it wasn't necessarily intended to," she said.
Wickes believes that it is also impossible to draw a true portrait of Sudanese crime in Victoria without taking into account the social factors that might make crimes such as aggravated burglary more common amongst Sudanese offenders.
"My guess is if you compared like with like and did a proper analysis of the predictors of offending, you would find that the drivers of Sudanese offending are remarkably similar to other groups, including Australian-born," she said.
"The differences lie in their visibility, their own experiences of discrimination and exclusion and their incredibly impoverished situation."