Australian Bureau of Statistics
4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2003
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2004
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20 Data for 2002 were revised by Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Data errors, processing time frames, extraction revisions as well as other processing, editing and general update procedures are all possible causes of revision.
21 For all the national offence categories, rates are presented per 100,000 of the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for each of the states and territories (refer Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2003 (cat. no. 3101.0)). As the population changes over time, the denominator used for the calculation of rates will vary, depending on the reference period. The ERP for the midpoint of each reference period is used to calculate the rates. Rates for the period 1 January to 31 December 2003 have been calculated on the basis of the preliminary June 2003 ERP estimates, while rates for the period 1 January to 31 December 2002 have been recalculated based on revised June 2002 ERP estimates.
22 Results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing are used to benchmark the ERP data for 2001 and 2002. ERP estimates for 1996-2000 are benchmarked on the 1996 Census of Population and Housing and ERP estimates for 1993-1995 are benchmarked on the 1991 Census of Population and Housing. It is not anticipated that the different benchmarks will have a noticeable impact on the victimisation rates at the national and state and territory levels.
23 Rates enable comparisons of national offence categories to be made across the states and territories. Rates expressed per 100,000 persons generally accord with international and state and territory practice.
24 The risk of victimisation varies depending on the age and sex of the victim. These statistics include details of the age and sex of the victim, and age and sex specific victimisation rates have been included. These are calculated using estimates of the age and sex breakdown of the population. For offence categories such as robbery and blackmail/extortion, where the victim may be a person or an organisation, victimisation rates have been provided for person victims only for the age and sex breakdown in table 3.
25 In some instances rates and proportions have not been published. Where this occurs, the cell concerned contains the symbol 'np'. This happens where either the number of victims is less than 10 or where the denominator population on which a rate is calculated is less than 5,000. This has been done because such rates and proportions are significantly impacted upon by relatively small movements in the numbers from year to year.
26 With the implementation of the ASOC beginning with Recorded Crime, Australia, 1999 (cat. no. 4510.0), data have been presented at the national offence category level (refer to Glossary), without further disaggregation to the ASOC Group level.
27 The statistics in the national crime statistics collection measure the number of victims per national offence category for offences recorded by police during the reference period. The national counting rule is that each victim within a distinct criminal incident is counted once to the most serious offence within each national offence category. The most serious offence within the national offence category is the one with the lowest ASOC code. For example, Murder (0111) is a more serious offence than Manslaughter (0131).
Counting within a national offence category
28 For criminal incidents involving homicide and related offences, assault, sexual assault or kidnapping/abduction offences, one victim is counted within each national offence category. For example, if a person is indecently assaulted (one form of sexual assault) and then raped (another form of sexual assault), only one victim of sexual assault is counted.
29 Where a victim is subjected to multiple offences of the same type within a distinct criminal incident (e.g. in the case of assault this may be due to attacks by several offenders or being repeatedly assaulted by the same offender) the victim is counted only once. Similarly, the victim is also counted once where multiple offences of the same type (e.g. long-term abuse) occur to the same victim repeatedly over a period of time. However, if the victim reports the offences to police at different times, then a count is made for each separate report.
30 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of robbery, one victim is counted for each person/organisation victimised. For example, if a bank with several customers present is robbed, this is counted as one robbery with the victim being the bank. If personal property is also taken from two customers, there are three victims, the bank and the two customers, hence the number of robberies counted is three.
31 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of blackmail/extortion, one victim is counted for each person/organisation victimised.
32 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of UEWI, one victim is counted for each place/premise victimised. A place/premise can consist of either a single structure (e.g. house), part of a single structure (e.g. flat) or multiple structures (e.g. farmstead with house, barns and sheds). The same property containing the same structure(s) can be counted differently depending on the occupancy arrangements at the time. The following guidelines relate to the counting of UEWI offences.
34 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of other theft, one victim is counted for each person/organisation victimised.
Counting across national offence categories
35 If a victim is subjected to multiple offences belonging to different national offence categories during the same criminal incident, the victim is counted once under each category. For example, someone who has been kidnapped, raped and murdered, will be counted three times according to the national counting rule; once in the kidnapping/abduction offence category, once in the sexual assault offence category, and once in the homicide and related offences offence category.
36 Note that the national crime statistics do not measure:
37 National recorded crime statistics are compiled in order to maximise comparability of statistics across jurisdictions. Although jurisdictional differences have been mainly overcome through the introduction of national standards, some legislative, interpretive and processing differences inevitably remain. As part of its quality assurance program the ABS, in conjunction with statistical staff from state and territory police forces, have identified data comparability issues and significant events relating to the 2003 reference period. In addition, the ABS is undertaking a project to investigate the differences in recorded crime statistics between state and territory police agencies.
Relationship of offender to victim
38 Data for the relationship of offender to victim is provided by some jurisdictions as the relationship at the time the offence is reported to police. Other jurisdictions provide relationship data as at the time the offence occurred. The date an offence is reported to police may not necessarily be the date the offence occurred (see paragraph 11). Differences in recording practices for this data and the propensity for a relationship to change between the date an offence occurs and the date of reporting are being investigated.
New South Wales
39 The method for extracting counts of victims of driving causing death offences from the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) changed in 2003. Information for driving causing death has been derived by reading the offence charged from the Charge Management module of the COPS and linking the charge back to the incident and victim(s) record. Therefore figures for 2003 may not be consistent with earlier years.
40 The Embona Taskforce in Victoria has continued to target armed robbery offences in 2003. Since 2001, there has been a reduction in the number of robbery offences in Victoria.
41 In March 2002, the Theft of Motor Car Task Force was introduced targeting motor vehicle theft. Since 2002 there has been a reduction in the number of motor vehicle theft offences in Victoria.
42 A Paedophile Task Force was established in May 2003, legislation was implemented in June 2003 to remove pre-1983 Paedophile Immunity, and in October 2003 there was a phone-in for sex offences committed prior to December 1982. During 2003 there was an increase in the number of sexual assault offences recorded.
43 Since the last quarter of 2002, the Western Australia Police Service has been progressively introducing the new Incident Management System (IMS) to replace its Offence Information System (OIS) in the Perth metropolitan area. The roll-out of IMS to rural areas commenced in December 2003. Under OIS the offence type is based on a Western Australia Police service offence classification. In IMS the offence type is statute based. The extent of any effect on data resulting from the IMS implementation was still being reviewed at the time the data was to be supplied to ABS. Accordingly, the Western Australia data are provisional and subject to revision.
44 Task Force Mosquito which operated from March 2003 aimed at reducing the number of instances of antisocial, group related violence and associated property and drug related crime occurring within or near places of public entertainment in the Greater Darwin Region. During 2003 the number of victims of unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft decreased.
Australian Capital Territory
45 Operation Halite, implemented by the Australian Capital Territory Police force in October 2002, has continued to target the progressive re-emergence of burglary and related offences. Since the introduction of Operation Halite there has been a decrease in unlawful entry with intent offences.
46 A standard set of additional tables containing state and territory wafers of the tables in this publication, as well as a financial year table for 2002-03, is available. Special tabulations can be produced on request to meet individual user requirements. For further information, contact the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics (NCCJS) by email at <email@example.com>.
47 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:
Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) - issued annually
Australian Standard Offence Classification (cat. no. 1234.0) - irregular
Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) - issued annually
Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0) - issued quarterly
Crime and Safety, Australia (cat. no. 4509.0) - irregular
Crime and Safety, New South Wales (cat. no. 4509.1) - issued annually
Criminal Courts, Australia (cat. no. 4513.0) - issued annually
General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia (cat. no. 4159.0) - irregular
Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia: The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies (cat. no. 4522.0.55.001) - single issue
Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0) - issued annually
Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (cat. no. 9309.0) - issued annually
Prisoners in Australia (cat. no. 4517.0) - issued annually
Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) - issued annually
48 The Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia : The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies (cat. no. 4522.0.55.001) was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2004. The main aim of this paper is to increase community understanding of the nature of crime measurement in Australia and why the findings from different data sources may differ. The paper outlines national crime victimisation statistics available from several different sources in the Australian context (including Recorded Crime - Victims) and draws comparisons between the statistics from these sources. The paper also describes methodological differences between survey sources and the possible impacts of the methodological differences between the survey vehicles.
49 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site http://www.abs.gov.au. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead. The National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics releases a biannual newsletter that is published on the ABS web site. The Centre can be contacted by email through firstname.lastname@example.org.
50 Non-ABS sources which may be of interest include:
Australian Institute of Criminology, List of Publications http://www.aic.gov.au
Crime Research Centre, University of Western Australia, Crime and Justice Statistics for Western Australia
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, New South Wales Recorded Crime Statistics
Office of Crime Prevention, Northern Territory Government, Northern Territory Quarterly Crime and Justice Statistics
Office of Crime Statistics and Research, South Australia, Crime and Justice in South Australia
Queensland Police Service, Statistical Review
Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision, Report on Government Services
South Australian Police Department, Statistical Review Annual Report
Tasmanian Department of Police and Emergency Services and the State Fire Commission, Annual Report
Victoria Police, Crime Statistics
Australian Crime Commission, Australian Illicit Drug Report 2002-03
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This page last updated 20 June 2006