NATIONAL CRIME STATISTICS UNIT (NCSU)
The NCSU is currently undergoing preparation of its annual publication Recorded Crime, Australia 1999, (ABS Cat. no. 4510.0), This will be the seventh in the series, but the first published in accordance with the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC).
This has involved much effort to map the police offences to ASOC codes across all police jurisdictions, and also to enhance the NatCrime processing system to incorporate all the changes. The NCSU has had strong involvement in the coordination and implementation of ASOC for the Recorded Crime Statistics (RCS) collection.
In February, the NCSU held a one day meeting with the National Crime Statistics Advisory Group and a three day meeting with Police/Crime Statisticians. In these forums, a number of key issues and new initiatives were raised for discussion. Some of the key achievements were:
- agreement on the expansion of the weapon use classification to include 'knife' and 'syringe';
- commitment to the implementation of ASOC into the RCS collection; and
In May, the NCSU Board of Management meeting was held in Perth. The NCSU budget has been held at the same level since the unit was established in 1990, so a proposal was put to the Board that, in order to maintain NCSU activity at its current level, the base NCSU budget should increase by approximately $50,000 p.a. commencing in 2000/2001. The Board agreed to this proposal.
The NCSU has previously sought and obtained in-principle Board approval for the development of statistics on indigenous victims and offenders. Discussions have now been initiated with Queensland Police Service and the Northern Territory Police Service for projects to establish indigenous data collections.
The Board also considered a proposal from the NCSU to establish a national working group to agree on a minimum dataset for illicit drugs and determine police agency implementation costs for this dataset. It was agreed that the NCSU (and through the Unit, the ABS generally) should be invited to participate in an existing working group under the auspice of the Australasian Centre for Policing Research.
In addition to this, the NCSU has been involved in a number of other activities, which include participation in the Police Working Group meetings, input into the Report on Government Services 2000 and continued liaison with other National Common Police Services.
- discussion on the possibility of an Offender Based Statistics collection.