1 This publication presents national statistics relating to victimisation incidents for a selected range of offences recorded by police during the 2006 calendar year. These offences may have been reported by a victim, witness or other person, or they may have been detected by police. They provide indicators of the level and nature of these offence incidents as well as changes over time.
2 These statistics are not designed to provide counts of either the total number of victims nor the total number of individual offences that come to the attention of police as:
- The same victim may be counted more than once in incidents involving multiple offences where these offences are of different types (i.e. belong to different Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) divisions) or if the same person is a victim on more than one occasion in the same reference year and reports these incidents to police on separate occasions. (The exception to the latter is sexual assault. For further information see paragraph 103.)
- Conversely, for an incident involving multiple offences that belong to the same ASOC division offence category, only the most serious offence within that ASOC division will be counted. For further information refer to paragraphs 100 to 105.
3 The scope of this collection includes victims of attempted and completed offences classified to divisions and/or subdivisions of ASOC. Selected offences include:
4 National data for assault and sexual assault are not available for recorded crime, however national data for these offences are available from the 2005 National Crime and Safety Survey and the 2005 National Personal Safety Survey. For further information see paragraphs 12 to 19.
- homicide and related offences (including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and driving causing death)
- sexual assault
- unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)
- motor vehicle theft
- other theft.
5 The scope excludes the following:
6 A victim can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle depending on the type of offence.
- conspiracy offences. The local offence classifications used in jurisdictions do not generally enable the identification of the substantive offence category to which the conspiracy relates
- threats to commit an offence. These differ from offences like robbery, kidnapping/abduction and blackmail/extortion wherein an element of threat is implicit in the nature of the crime. An exception to the exclusion is assault and sexual assault, where threats are included in counts of assault and sexual assault offences
- aid, abet and accessory offences
- deprivation of liberty offences.
7 With the exception of motor vehicle theft, statistics relate to both completed and attempted offences, i.e. those where the intent is not fulfilled. Attempted motor vehicle thefts are excluded from the scope of the collection due to difficulties in distinguishing these offences from criminal damage.
8 Attempts to commit an offence are classified to the same ASOC subdivision/group as completed offences. The exception to this is murder, where murder and attempted murder are distinguished as separate offence categories.
9 Offences may include those which at a later point in time are determined to be unfounded, i.e. false or baseless.
10 Some victims of minor offences may not be recorded on crime recording systems by police in all states and territories.
11 Statistics in this publication are derived from information on victimisation incidents collected by the ABS in aggregate form from administrative records held by police agencies within each state and territory.
12 National statistics require a level of uniformity when compiling data from different states and territories. A number of standards, classifications and counting rules have been developed since the inception of this collection to improve national comparability. However, over time significant changes in the business rules, procedures, systems, policies and recording practices of police agencies across Australia have resulted in some discrepancies in data between states and territories for some offence types.
13 Findings from the Differences in Recorded Crime Statistics (DiRCS) project released in 2005 indicated that data for assault and sexual assault were not comparable across all states and territories. Testing of these offence types highlighted that there were inconsistent recording practices across the states and territories. Some jurisdictions almost always record a reported criminal incident on their crime recording system, whereas other jurisdictions apply a threshold test prior to a record being made (e.g. whether the victim wishes to proceed against the offender, or the seriousness of the incident). These thresholds varied across jurisdictions and were not guided by national standards.
14 The project also concluded that once a crime had been recorded in a crime recording system there was no evidence to suggest that processes within any state or territory had a significant impact on differences in recorded crime statistics.
15 In considering other aspects of recorded crime statistics, the DiRCS project concluded that information for offence types other than assault and sexual assault were satisfactory for the level of comparison presented in this publication. Where there are known specific issues for individual states and territories, these are described in paragraphs 20 to 96.
16 A paper outlining the conduct and outcomes of the DiRCS project is available on the National Statistical Service web site <http://www.nss.gov.au>. The paper was prepared by the ABS National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU) on behalf of the NCSU Board of Management.
17 As a consequence of the lack of data comparability for assault and sexual assault, national data for these offence types are not available and the data provided in this publication for individual states and territories should not be used for cross-jurisdiction comparisons. Indexes are provided to assist in interpreting change over time within each jurisdiction. These indexes show movements in victimisation rates over time by comparing each offence group for each year with that offence group in a base year. For further information on indexes see paragraphs 109 to 113.
18 The ABS NCSU is currently working with police agencies to develop a National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) to further improve the national comparability of the recorded crime collection. The standard is aimed at developing a uniform set of guidelines and scenarios to enable consistency in recording. This will complement the already established national counting rules and classifications.
19 National requirements specify that offences should be counted in the state or territory in which the offence occurred, regardless of which law enforcement agency completes the crime report or undertakes the investigation. There is some indication that this may not always be the case, particularly for offences such as motor vehicle thefts which occur near state and territory borders. However, investigations suggest that the number of offences counted against a state or territory other than where the offence occurred is small.
State/territory significant events and specific issues
20 The following information highlights events or processes unique to a jurisdiction that may have had an impact on the data for this collection. This may include specific initiatives, recording practices, changes to legislation or policy to combat particular types of crime. This information has been supplied by each police agency.
New South Wales
21 New South Wales robbery counts are no longer comparable prior to 2005 as these are understated. Improved quality assurance procedures have identified further victims of offences that are now included as part of the offence of robbery. Offences that were previously deemed unarmed robbery are now correctly classified to armed robbery. Given the significance of the contribution of New South Wales to the Australian estimate, national data are also not comparable prior to 2005.
22 Unlawful entry with intent counts are no longer comparable prior to 2006 as data were previously overstated. Given the significance of the contribution of New South Wales to the Australian estimate, national data are also not comparable prior to 2006. Improved quality assurance procedures have ensured that the data reflects the counting rules as described in Explanatory Notes paragraph 104.
23 Improvements to quality assurance processes during 2006 have resulted in a reduction of weapons 'not further defined' and a reclassification of these data to other weapon use categories. Care should be taken when comparing data prior to 2006 for weapon use categories as the data are not strictly comparable.
24 Care should be taken when comparing location data from 2006 to prior years as quality assurance improvements have been made to certain categories. A number of 'not further defined' categories for the offence category of other theft which previously appeared in total residential are now accurately being recorded under outbuilding/residential land. Transport locations prior to 2006 for other theft were also previously overstated; other theft from car parks are now categorised to the appropriate location category.
25 Caution should be exercised in interpreting driving causing death figures as the data have been estimated from 2003-2005. Driving causing death is no longer an incident type on the New South Wales COPS computer system. Data from 2006 are no longer available.
26 Counts of kidnapping/abduction may be inflated slightly. 'Deprivation of liberty' (which is out of scope for this collection) is not separately identifiable on the COPS system; therefore counts of this offence type are also included in the kidnapping/abduction offence category.
27 Leaving restaurants without paying and failing to pay for petrol form part of the offence category of other theft for this collection. New South Wales, however, has excluded these offence types from this category, as they are categorised as fraud.
28 All family and domestic violence related assaults are recorded even if the victim does not want to proceed.
29 An assault will still be recorded if there are no signs of injury and the victim does not wish to take the matter further.
30 There is a propensity in New South Wales to record assault as part of public disturbances (e.g. a pub brawl).
31 Sexual assault counts include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
32 If after a report of a sexual assault further investigation reveals no grounds to suggest a crime took place, a record of the original incident will remain and will be included in the counts.
33 A motor vehicle theft is recorded even if it is later determined that the motor vehicle had not been stolen.
34 Since 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.
35 Victoria may record an offence (where the facts indicate that a crime has been committed) if the victim does not wish to proceed, depending on the severity of that offence.
36 The Family Violence Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence was introduced in August 2004, and continues to have an impact on the assault data resulting in an increase from 2005. This initiative involved a proactive approach by police and prosecutions in gathering evidence, investigation and laying charges, where appropriate, relating to family violence, and it also may have led to more victims feeling confident in reporting family violence to police. The code of practice also introduced mandatory reporting of alleged offenders. All family and domestic violence related assaults are recorded even if the victim does not want to proceed.
37 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
38 Property taken in association with UEWI may not always be identified due to limitations in recording options in the Victoria Police LEAP computer system. The total count for UEWI is correct, however further disaggregation results in an undercount for 'UEWI - involving the taking of property' and an over count of 'UEWI - other'.
39 In July 2004, there was a change to the procedures for recording theft of bicycle offences. Bicycles stolen during the commission of another offence such as burglary are no longer counted separately and therefore the bicycles are recorded as property items attached to the burglary. This change brings Victoria's recording practices in line with national standards. This change may have contributed to the reduction in other theft offences from 2004 onwards.
40 In December 2003, the Compstat process was implemented across Victoria Police with a focus on divisional accountability for performance. It is anticipated that over time, the Compstat process will create a greater focus on police activity aimed at reducing and/or preventing crime at a local level.
41 Queensland's Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989 was amended by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Regulation, which commenced on 10 March 2003. The relevant chapter of Queensland Police policies and procedures requires police to take action where an investigating officer determines that there is sufficient evidence to do so. Charges may be pursued under the Criminal Code or other Acts in addition to proceedings under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. In addition, an investigation is to be made where a police officer has a 'reasonable suspicion' that domestic violence is occurring or has occurred.
42 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
43 The increase in kidnapping/abduction offences for 2004 was possibly a result of increased public awareness of these types of offences. The media and the police had established a working partnership to encourage immediate reporting of kidnapping/abduction offences and thereby increase the chances of apprehending the offenders responsible.
44 Leaving a restaurant without paying forms part of the offence category of other theft for this collection. Queensland, however, has excluded this offence type from this category, but may include it in categories out of scope of this collection.
45 Data for offences that are deemed after investigation to be 'unsubstantiated' are excluded.
46 While assault is defined in legislation, the definitions of an offence at common law are relied upon.
47 South Australia does not record an assault or any other offence (when evidence suggests an assault or another offence has taken place) if they cannot locate a victim or their representative.
48 The Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Aggravated Offences) Act 2005 was introduced with effect 15 May 2006. This has widened the scope for offences such as assault and kidnapping/abduction.
49 Offences that are of a threatening nature, such as threat to endanger life or threat to injure, are out of scope of the assault offences, however changes to SA legislation in May 2006 may have resulted in an increase in assaults as the legislation now includes minor assault offences that are of a threatening manner.
50 South Australia record all family and domestic violence related assaults even if the victim does not want to proceed.
51 The legal age of consent (that is, when it is legal for young people to consent to sex) for South Australia and Tasmania is 17 years of age. The legal age of consent in all other states and territories is 16.
52 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
53 The South Australian Domestic Violence Act 1994 was amended in 2001 (stalking) and in 2004 (problem gambling family protection orders).
54 Police have continued a strong policing presence in the APY Lands in the far north-west of the state, which has lead to increased reporting. The effect is one of increased and improved reporting of mainly personal crimes amongst Indigenous people in remote areas, rather than a significant actual increase in crime.
55 Operation Mandrake, which has been conducted since September 2004, targets offenders of vehicle crime. This operation may influence the level of reported crime and outcomes of investigation for motor vehicle theft.
56 South Australia Police record a single victim in instances where multiple vehicles belonging to that victim are stolen in a single incident. However, this is likely to be very minimal.
57 The reduction in other theft offences from 2003 to 2004 may be a result of the maturation of the decentralised Local Service Area structure, the South Australia policing model, the Performance Outcome Review process and the setting of reduction targets.
58 Leaving restaurants without paying and failing to pay for petrol form part of the offence category of other theft for this collection, while taxi fare evasion is out of scope. Prior to 2006, South Australia excluded these offence types from this category, but may have included them in categories out of scope of this collection. Taxi fare evasions, which are out of scope, are included in other theft for 2006 as they could not be separated out.
59 Since the Royal Commission findings into police corruption in March 2004, there have been significant flow on effects as a major reform project started to increase accountability and oversight into police procedures.
60 The Western Australian Acts Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence) Act 2004 was passed on 19 October 2004 and came into operation on the proclamation date of 1 December 2004. Police have a statutory obligation to investigate if they have a 'reasonable suspicion' a person is committing an act of family and domestic violence that is also a criminal offence or has put the safety of a person with whom they have a family or domestic relationship at risk. The definition of a 'family and domestic relationship' is very broad and the definition of an 'act of family and domestic violence' provides broad grounds for intervention.
61 Western Australia records all family and domestic violence related assaults even if the victim does not want to proceed.
62 Western Australia does not record an assault or any other offence (when evidence suggests an assault has taken place) if they cannot locate a victim or their representative and when the evidence suggests that the assault is minor.
63 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
64 A new offence recording system, the Incident Management System (IMS), was implemented and rolled-out between September 2002 and August 2004, and gradually replaced the Offence Information System (OIS) over that period.
65 The transition to a new recording system resulted in incomplete counts for driving causing death offences in 2003. In 2004 the IMS could not distinguish driving causing death from driving causing grievous bodily harm offences, and this contributed to the increase in driving causing death for that year. This is no longer the case from 2005.
66 There was a focus on burglary offences throughout 2004 which has continued through to 2006. 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.
67 The Police Assistance Centre was established in December 2004 to take non-emergency calls via a '131444' number and a major advertising and public awareness campaign about the use of the number was conducted in May 2005.
68 The blackmail/extortion data may be understated prior to 2003 as the previous recording system was unable to include those offences related to blackmail/extortion with no monetary influence. The IMS is able to provide both pecuniary and non-pecuniary offences for extortion.
69 The increased re-licensing of second-hand vehicles 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 2006.
70 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 during 2006.
71 Caution should be exercised with driving causing death counts as Tasmania does not fully comply with the scope of this offence. Counts for the traffic offence Death by Negligent Driving (Traffic Act 1925) are excluded from the driving causing death total as such offences are not entered on an Offence Report, from which national counts are derived.
72 In 2004 the Tasmanian Government introduced the Safe at Home initiative. The initiative is intended to achieve a reduction in the level of family violence in the medium to long term and, in the shorter term, improve safety for adult and child victims as well as change the offending behaviour of those responsible for the violence.
73 The Family Violence Act 2004 was proclaimed in Tasmania on 30 March 2005 and is the legislative basis under which Tasmania Police operates in matters of family violence. Family violence means any of a number of specified types of conduct (including assault and sexual assault) committed by a person, directly or indirectly, against that person's spouse or partner (including ex-spouse or ex-partner), including same-sex relationships. The legislation provides enhanced police powers in relation to entry, search and arrest in family violence cases and mandates certain professions (doctors, dentists, psychologists, teachers, etc.) to report to Police the occurrence or suspicion of family violence. Assaults relating to family violence are recorded even if the victim does not want to proceed.
74 Sexual assault counts include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to Police in that reference period; 29% of sexual assaults reported in 2006 relate to earlier time periods.
75 The legal age of consent (that is, when it is legal for young people to consent to sex) for South Australia and Tasmania is 17 years of age. The legal age of consent in all other states and territories is 16.
76 Prior to 2005, all counts of demanding property with menaces were included in the category of robbery. From 2005 (revised data), these offences were either classified to robbery or blackmail/extortion, depending on the circumstances of the incident.
77 A motor vehicle theft is recorded even if later it is determined that the motor vehicle had not been stolen.
78 The reduction in property offences in recent years is due, in part, to a number of Police initiatives. 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.
The Northern Territory
79 Driving causing death is not an offence defined by law in the Northern Territory, therefore a count is not derived for national reporting from 2000 onwards.
80 The increase between 2003-2004 murder offences for Northern Territory has been caused by deaths that were initially deemed non-suspicious.
81 Assault in the Northern Territory is clearly defined under sections 187-188 of the NT Criminal Code Act and therefore does not rely on common law definitions.
82 The Northern Territory Domestic Violence Act 1992 has been amended several times, most recently in October 2005. It provides a broad definition of 'domestic relationship'. A General Order issued to Northern Territory Police in November 2005, Domestic Violence - Response, Investigation and Prevention, sets out processes and procedures for police response to, and investigation of, domestic violence incidents and related criminal offences. It details procedures for initiating civil and criminal action in these matters, including 'taking positive action in every case even where victims are reluctant to act'. All family and domestic violence related assaults are recorded even if the victim does not want to proceed.
83 There has been a large increase in assault victims from 2004 to 2005 which is partly related to the introduction of domestic violence initiatives in the Northern Territory. Domestic violence remains a high priority for service as evidenced by the formation of the Persons Domestic Violence Protection Unit, the training of all operational members in related issues, and the enhanced domestic violence investigation training provided to key members in investigative, supervisory and support positions. As a result of this police have been working hard on domestic violence initiatives to encourage victims to come forward to the police.
84 If after a report of an assault further investigation reveals no grounds to suggest a crime took place, a record of an assault is still likely to be made on the Northern Territory police administrative recording system (PROMIS) with an outcome code of 'insufficient evidence'.
85 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
86 Crime reports entered in the case management system (PROMIS) are subjected to continuous quality assurance processes which ensure the incident is properly managed and investigated. Daily internal reports are compiled for senior officers to make sure prompt actions are taken for all recorded incidents. A Business Practices Unit has been established to develop business practices, market and provide quality assurance in relation to the reporting and recording of crime. Corporate strategies have been established, including the Violent Crime Reduction Strategy and the Property Crime Reduction Strategy and the Missing Person Policy. These provide quality assurance in relation to the investigating, reporting and recording of particular offences. Victims of Crime Procedures have been introduced to improve service to victims and encourage people to report crime.
87 In June 2006 the Child Abuse Taskforce was established, in addition to the Sexual Crime Unit. The Taskforce was created to deal with offences against children especially in remote localities.
88 Alcohol Courts have been established for the purpose of issuing prohibition orders and alcohol intervention orders. The intention is to reduce the number of causal factors of crime.
89 In 2004, the implementation of intelligence-led policing initiatives such as the Tactical and Coordination Group (TCG) response to crime across the Northern Territory, led to early identification of crime trends such as motor vehicle theft. The decrease in motor vehicle theft between 2003 and 2004 may also have been 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.
The Australian Capital Territory
90 The Australian Capital Territory amended the Domestic Violence & Protection Orders Act 2001, with amendments coming into force in March 2005. Some definitions have changed, including the definition of what constitutes a 'domestic partner', which has been extended. These definitional changes were not expected to impact on the type or rate of offences recorded on Australian Capital Territory operational IT systems. The decision to charge is made by investigating police based on the evidence available to them.
91 Sexual assault counts may include incidents committed prior to the reference period but reported to police in that reference period.
92 Due to improved data capture and quality assurance techniques applied to 2006 data, any comparisons made with previous years should be interpreted with caution. This is particularly applicable to person-related offences such as assault, sexual assault and robbery.
93 With the introduction of the new PROMIS Case Management System (CMS) on 29 November 2005, there has been a significant change in how offences are recorded in the Australian Capital Territory. Prior to the update of the PROMIS Case Management System (CMS), the data provided were mainly based on the primary victim (often the complainant) as only one victim's details could be recorded against a particular offence. In the new version of PROMIS, offences can have multiple victims recorded against them, so 2006 is a more accurate reflection of the number of victims associated with reported offences.
94 As a result of the introduction of the new PROMIS Case Management System, 2005 data cannot be revised.
95 Care should be taken when comparing UEWI prior to 2006 as a number of data quality improvements associated with the update of PROMIS have been made to this offence category which has seen a redistribution between 'UEWI - property' and 'UEWI - other'. Data are not comparable to previous years.
96 Motor vehicles that are stolen in the Australian Capital Territory but recovered in another state/territory are recorded on Australian Capital Territory operational IT systems and are included in the counts.
97 The offence categories used for national crime statistics in this publication are based on ASOC. The ASOC was implemented in the recorded crime statistics collection from 1 January 1999 and provides a uniform national statistical framework for classifying offences. The national offence definitions are descriptive and may not correspond with legal or police offence definitions in a particular jurisdiction. For further information on the mapping of national offence categories to the ASOC refer to Appendix 3.
98 The following provides an explanation as to how victims are treated and counted in this collection.
99 Data are compiled on the basis of the date an offence is reported to police and recorded within a reference period. This corresponds to either the date the offence was reported to police by a member of the public or when it was detected by police. The report date may not necessarily be the date when the offence occurred. This is particularly the case for homicide and related offences and sexual assault offences, where in some instances the time difference between when the offence(s) occurred and the report/detection date may be substantial.
100 A victim of a criminal incident is classified to the most serious offence of one of the offence categories in scope of this collection (see paragraphs 3 to 10 for offences in scope). Victims of multiple offences may be counted more than once if the offences fall into separate ASOC divisions. The most serious offence within an ASOC division is the one with the lowest ASOC code. For example, Murder (0111) is a more serious offence than Manslaughter (0131).
101 A victim can be a person, premises, organisation or motor vehicle depending on the type of offence.
Counting within an ASOC Division category
102 If multiple offences per victim fall within the same ASOC division the victim is counted only once to the most serious offence within that division.
103 Examples of where a victim of multiple offences would be counted once in the same ASOC division are:
104 For the offence of UEWI the following applies:
- If a person is indecently assaulted (one form of sexual assault) and then raped (another form of sexual assault), one victim would be counted for aggravated sexual assault, i.e. the rape. The indecent assault offence would not be counted.
- A victim of an attack by several offenders or a victim repeatedly assaulted by the same offender would be counted once for assault.
- The same victim is repeatedly abused over a period of time (i.e. long term abuse) and reports all instances of abuse to police at a point in time. The exception to this rule is where the victim reports these incidents to police at different times, then a count is made for each separate report.
- If a bank with several customers present is robbed one robbery is counted with the victim being the bank. If personal property is also taken from two customers there would be three victims; the bank and the two customers.
- 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.
- One victim is counted for each person/organisation victimised for other theft.
Counting across national offence categories
105 If a victim is subjected to multiple offences during the same criminal incident the victim may be counted more than once. If the multiple offences fall under different ASOC divisions then the victim will be counted under the most serious offence of each relevant ASOC division category. For example, a person kidnapped and murdered will be counted twice under the national counting rule; once in the kidnapping/abduction ASOC category and once in the murder ASOC category.
- One victim is counted for each place/premises victimised. A place/premises 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.
- For multiple structures on the same property with the same occupant(s), one victim is counted regardless of the number of separate structures unlawfully entered with intent. This would apply to a house with attached or unattached garage and a backyard shed located on the one property; and warehouses occupied by a sole organisation located on the same property.
- For multiple structures on the same property, but occupied by more than one household or organisation, one victim is counted for each separate household or organisation. Where a business premises has an attached residence that is occupied by the same person(s), the registered business is considered to be a separate victim.
- In the case of UEWI to individual areas in a building that is rented, leased or occupied separately, one victim is counted for each separate tenant/owner. For example, in a block of 10 flats leased by 10 different tenants where three flats are unlawfully entered, there would be a count of three UEWIs. If unlawful entry to the building itself is recorded, an additional offence of UEWI to that building is counted. This instance would apply to apartments in one building; offices of several commercial firms in one business building; shops in a shopping complex; hotel rooms; and lodging houses.
106 Rates per 100,000 of the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) are presented in tables 1 and 3 (refer to Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2006 (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 2006 have been calculated on the basis of the preliminary June 2006 ERP estimates, while rates for the period 1 January to 31 December 2005 have been recalculated based on revised June 2005 ERP estimates. Rates expressed per 100,000 persons generally accord with international and state and territory practice.
107 Results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing have been used to benchmark the ERP data for 2001-2005. ERP estimates for 1997-2000 have been benchmarked on the 1996 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.
108 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 3. These are calculated using estimates of the age and sex breakdown of the population. For the offence categories of robbery and blackmail/extortion, where the victim may be a person or an organisation, victimisation rates have been provided for person victims only in table 3.
109 An index is a convenient way of comparing values over time. The index allows comparison of two values of recorded crime for a common offence within a jurisdiction. Indexes are provided to assist in interpreting change over time within jurisdictions. Indexes should not be used to make direct comparisons between jurisdictions.
110 In order to compare two values of recorded crime it is necessary to designate one of the time periods as the ‘reference’ period and setting its value to 100.0. (This period is referred to as the base period or year as it is the first period for constructing the index). The index for all other periods (i.e. the comparison values) is calculated by determining the ratio of the comparison period value to the reference period value and then multiplying by 100.0. For example, suppose the recorded crime rate was 200 victims per 100,000 population for a particular offence at 2001 (period 1), and for 2002 (period 2) it was 300 victims per 100,000 population. 2001 (period 1) would be designated as the reference value or base year giving an index of 100.0 (200/200x100). The index value for 2002 (period 2) or the comparison value becomes 150.0 (300/200x100). The movement between 2001 (base year) and 2002 (comparison value) would be 50%.
111 For this publication, the indexes refer to victimisation rates per 100,000 persons and 2001 has been selected as the base year.
112 Movements in indexes from one period to another can be expressed either as changes in index points or as percentage changes. Index rates are not published where the numbers are very small as apparent large movements can be misleading.
113 Indexed rates for 2005 have been revised using the June 2005 Estimated Resident Population (ERP).
114 The data presented in this publication have been confidentialised to prevent identification of victims. Cells with small values have been randomly adjusted. These adjustments do not impair the value of the tables as a whole.
115 Statistics produced on the basis of date reported may be affected over time by lags in completing and/or processing some crime reports. Where offences reported in the reference year are not processed for inclusion in the national statistics until the following year, revised data are included in subsequent publications and noted accordingly. Revisions for 2005 have occurred for Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory. New South Wales provided only revised robbery counts for 2005. South Australia and Australian Capital Territory did not provide revisions. The introduction of a new computer system for the Australian Capital Territory precluded revisions to 2005 data.
COMPARISONS TO OTHER ABS DATA
116 Another major source of measuring crime is the ABS 2005 National Crime and Safety Survey which is complementary to the Recorded Crime - Victims collection. This survey collects information directly from individuals and households about their experiences of crime, the extent to which incidents of crime were subsequently reported to police and perceptions of neighbourhood problems and feelings of safety for a broad selected set of offences (see Crime and Safety, Australia, 2005 (cat.no. 4509.0)).
117 A further source of crime victimisation which measures peoples experience of violence, harassment and stalking is the ABS 2005 Personal Safety Survey. This survey is conducted by personal interview and provides detailed information collected from individuals about: their experiences of threats/attempts or actual physical assault or sexual assault; the type of perpetrator; feelings of safety; experience of harassment and stalking; reporting of incidents to police; and includes a range of characteristics about some of these incidents of violence (see Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0)).
118 As different methods are used, caution should be exercised in making any direct comparisons. 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.
COMPARISONS TO OTHER SOURCES
119 The statistics presented in this publication may be different from those published by police forces in individual states and territories. Different definitions of offences (see Glossary) and counting methodology (see paragraphs 98 to 105) will result in variations. National recorded crime victims statistics are compiled on a victim basis in that they count the number of victims for each individual ASOC division offence category, rather than the number of breaches of the criminal law.
120 National crime statistics are produced annually on a calendar year basis. The reference period for this publication relates to offences that have been reported to police between 1 January and 31 December 2006. Data compiled on a financial year basis are also available from the ABS.
121 A set of additional tables containing state and territory wafers of some of the tables in this publication are available free of charge on the ABS website under the 'Details' tab for this product. Financial year data for 2005-06 are available on request. For further information, contact the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics (NCCJS) by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
122 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:
123 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 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 NCCJS releases a biannual newsletter that is published on the ABS web site.
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) - irregular
Criminal Courts, Australia (cat. no. 4513.0) - issued annually
Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 30 June 1991 to 30 June 2009 (cat. no. 3238.0) - issued five yearly
General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia (cat. no. 4159.0) - four yearly
Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia: The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies (cat. no. 4522.0.55.001) - irregular
Information Paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) - single issue
Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0) - issued biennially
Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (cat. no. 9309.0) - issued annually
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (cat. no. 4714.0) - irregular
Personal Safety Survey (cat. no. 4906.0) - irregular
Prisoners in Australia (cat. no. 4517.0) - issued annually
Sexual Assault in Australia: A Statistical Overview (cat. no. 4523.0) - single issue
Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) - issued annually
124 Non-ABS sources which may be of interest include:
Australian Crime Commission, Australian Illicit Drug Report
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 Public Safety, Annual Report
Victoria Police, Crime Statistics
This page last updated 25 June 2008