Australian Bureau of Statistics
4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2005
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27 Data for 2003 presented in this publication have been revised by Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, 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 (see paragraphs 44 to 72).
28 For all the national offence categories, rates per 100,000 of the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) are presented in a number of tables (refer to Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2004 (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 2004 have been calculated on the basis of the preliminary June 2004 ERP estimates, while rates for the period 1 January to 31 December 2003 have been recalculated based on revised June 2003 ERP estimates.
29 Results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing have been used to benchmark the ERP data for 2001-2004. ERP estimates for 1996-2000 have been benchmarked on the 1996 Census of Population and Housing and ERP estimates for 1995 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.
30 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.
31 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 in table 4. 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 4.
32 The data presented in this publication have been confidentialised to prevent identification of victims. Cells with very small values have been randomly adjusted. These adjustments do not impair the value of the tables as a whole.
33 Tables which have been randomly adjusted will be internally consistent, however comparisons with other tables containing similar data may show minor discrepancies. These small variances can, for the most part, be ignored.
34 Since 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.
35 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
36 For criminal incidents involving homicide and related offences or kidnapping/abduction offences, one victim is counted within each national offence category. Where a victim is subjected to multiple offences of the same type within a distinct criminal incident, e.g. in the case of robbery this may be due to attacks by several offenders, the victim is counted only once.
37 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.
38 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of blackmail/extortion, one victim is counted for each person/organisation victimised.
39 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.
40 For each criminal incident involving the national offence category of motor vehicle theft, one victim is counted for each motor vehicle stolen. For example, if five cars are stolen from a car yard, this is counted as five motor vehicle thefts.
41 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
42 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 and murdered will be counted twice according to the national counting rule; once in the kidnapping/abduction offence category and once in the homicide and related offences offence category.
43 Note that the national crime statistics do not measure:
DATA COMPARABILITY AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
44 As part of its ongoing quality assurance program the ABS, in conjunction with statistical staff from state and territory police forces, have identified significant events relating to the 2004 reference period that impact on state and territory numbers.
New South Wales
45 The method for extracting counts of victims of driving causing death offences from the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) changed in 2003. Since then, 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. Because this process is unreliable, driving causing death figures for 2003 and 2004 may be incomplete and may not be consistent with earlier years.
46 During 2004, general police operations have focused on high risk offenders and hot spot areas which may have contributed to the decrease in most offence categories from 2003 to 2004.
47 There were no revisions to the 2003 data for New South Wales.
48 In December 2003, Compstat was implemented across Victoria Police with a focus on divisional accountability for performance. It is anticipated that over time, Compstat will create a greater focus on police activity aimed at reducing and/or preventing crime at the local level.
49 In July 2004, there was a change to the procedure for recording theft of bicycle offences in Victoria. If one or more bicycles are stolen during a burglary or other offence, then the bicycles are recorded as property items attached to the burglary or other offence. This change may have contributed to the reduction in other theft offences from 2003 to 2004.
50 Revised 2003 data were supplied by Victoria for all offence categories except driving causing death.
51 The 2004 and revised 2003 data did not include 'not substantiated' offences, which are in scope of RCVS collection. This has led to a small reduction in numbers across most offence counts when comparing the revised 2003 data with the original data published.
52 The increase in kidnapping/abduction offences for 2004 is possibly a result of increased public awareness of these types of offences. The media and the police have established a working partnership to encourage immediate reporting of kidnapping/abduction offences and thereby increase the chances of apprehending the offenders responsible.
53 Operation Mandrake 2, which commenced in September 2004, targets offenders of vehicle crime in five metropolitan Local Service Areas. This Operation may influence the level of reported crime and Outcomes of Investigation for motor vehicle theft.
54 The reduction in other theft offences from 2003 to 2004 may be a result of the maturation of the Local Service Area policing model, the Performance Outcome Review process and the setting of reduction targets.
55 Care should be taken when considering data presented for UEWI offences. The DiRCS project indicated that in some instances UEWI offences may be recorded by police as trespass, which is out of scope for this collection. This project also indicated that some instances of UEWI had also been incorrectly classified as other theft offences. The revised 2003 and 2004 data have been adjusted to take account of the latter issue.
56 Revised 2003 data were supplied by South Australia for the other theft offence category.
57 Since the Royal Commission findings into police corruption in March 2004, there has been significant flow on effects as a major reform project started to increase accountability and oversight into police procedures.
58 There was continued focus on burglary offences throughout 2004. This included significant use of media advertising against burglars (Burglar Beware) and numerous operations using additional staff and resources (e.g. Canine, Traffic) to reduce the incidence of burglary and apprehend offenders in areas with high burglary rates.
59 For most of 2004, the Information Management System (IMS) has been the primary data entry system (unlike 2003, where the Offence Information System (OIS) was also used).
60 There has been a significant increase in the use of DNA testing (and media advertising of this fact). This may have acted as a deterrent for offenders and therefore may provide some explanation for the decrease in some offence categories.
61 The increased re-licensing of second-hand vehicles has resulted in a significant increase in immobilisers being fitted to old vehicles. This may have contributed to the decrease of motor vehicle theft from 2003 to 2004.
62 Revised 2003 data were supplied by Western Australia for all offence categories except driving causing death.
63 The are several initiatives in place in Tasmania to reduce property type offences. These include focusing on early intervention strategies for young people and families 'at risk'; targeting volume crime; high visibility policing /crime reduction strategies; police working with other agencies to introduce more integrated strategies; greater accountability and improvements in planning, performance management and corporate reporting; and improvements in technological processes. Between 2003 and 2004, there was a reduction in property offences in Tasmania.
64 Care should be taken when considering UEWI offences as the DiRCS project indicated that in some instances UEWI offences may be recorded by police as trespass, which is out of scope for this collection.
65 Revised 2003 data were supplied by Tasmania for all offence categories except armed robbery and blackmail/extortion.
66 In 2004, the implementation of intelligence-led policing initiatives such as the Tactical and Coordination Group (TCG) response to crime across the Northern Territory, has lead to early identification of crime trends such as motor vehicle theft. The decrease in motor vehicle theft between 2003 and 2004 may also be due to forensic-led response to stolen/recovered motor vehicles, an improved response coordinated through the stolen motor vehicle unit to NEVDIS (National Exchange of Vehicles and Driver Identification System), reports of vehicle anomalies (including suspected vehicle re-births) and the continual improvement of vehicle security features.
67 Revised 2003 data were supplied by Northern Territory for the offence categories of attempted murder, kidnapping/abduction, unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft.
Australian Capital Territory
68 Operation Halite commenced in October 2002 and is still in operation. Operation Halite continues to target the progressive re-emergence of crime (specifically burglaries and stolen motor vehicles). Since the introduction of Operation Halite there has been a decrease in unlawful entry with intent offences.
69 Operation Gadoid, which commenced in 2004, was initiated to target armed and aggravated robberies.
70 The decrease in unarmed robbery numbers is possibly due to the decreased amount of funds needed to maintain a stable supply of illicit drugs. Heroin related overdose data suggest there has been a steady decrease in the quality, and possibly the quantity, of heroin in the Australian Capital Territory in 2004.
71 Care should be taken when considering UEWI offences as the DiRCS project indicated that in some instances UEWI offences may be recorded by police as trespass, which is out of scope for this collection.
72 Revised data were supplied by Australian Capital Territory for all offence categories except murder.
73 A set of additional tables containing state and territory wafers of some of the tables in this publication, as well as a financial year table for 2003-04, is available. For further information, contact the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics (NCCJS) by email at <email@example.com>.
74 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) - issued quarterly
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
75 The Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia : The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies (cat. no. 4522.0.55.001) was released by the 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.
76 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 on this site. 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 internet site. The Centre can be contacted by email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
77 Non-ABS sources which may be of interest include:
Australian Crime Commission, Australian Illicit Drug Report 2003-04
Australian Federal Police, Annual Report
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 Government 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
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This page last updated 20 June 2006