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4524.0 - In Focus: Crime and Justice Statistics, September 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/09/2011  First Issue
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GLOSSARY


Acts intended to cause injury
Acts, excluding attempted murder and those resulting in death, which are intended to cause non-fatal injury or harm to another person and where there is no sexual or acquisitive element. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following subdivisions: Assault (021) and Other acts intended to cause injury (029).

Age (Crime Victimisation, Australia)
This is the person's age on their last birthday at the time of the survey.

Age (Recorded Crime - Offenders)
Age is calculated at the earliest date a person was proceeded against by police during the reference period.

Fraud, deception, and related offences
Offences involving a dishonest act or omission carried out with the purpose of deceiving to obtain a benefit. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Obtain benefit by deception (091), Forgery and counterfeiting (092), Deceptive business/government practices (093), and Other fraud and deception offences (099).

Homicide and related offences
Unlawfully kill, attempt to unlawfully kill or conspiracy to kill another person. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Murder (011), Attempted murder (012), and Manslaughter and driving causing death (013).

Illicit drug offences
The possessing, selling, dealing or trafficking, importing or exporting, manufacturing or cultivating of drugs or other substances prohibited under legislation. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Import or export illicit drugs (101), Deal or traffic in illicit drugs (102), Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs (103), Possess and/or use illicit drugs (104) and Other illicit drug offences (109).

Incident
A single occurrence of a crime event, such as a break-in, attempted break-in, theft of a motor vehicle, or act of robbery, assault or sexual assault. Single respondents can report multiple incidents, which means the total number of victims and total number of incidents may differ.

Medical treatment
Includes incidents where a respondent was admitted to hospital, or incidents where a respondent was seen by a doctor or other medical practitioner in a hospital emergency room but not admitted to hospital.

Method of proceeding
The method of proceeding describes the type of legal action (court or non-court) initiated by police against a person as a result of an investigation of an offence(s).

Offence
Any act or omission by a person or persons for which a penalty could be imposed by the Australian legal system.

Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations
An act or omission that is deemed to be prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations. This includes general government operations as well as those specifically concerned with maintaining government security. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Breach of custodial order offences (151), Breach of community-based orders (152), Breach of violence and non-violence orders (153), Offences against government operations (154), Offences against government security (155), and Offences against justice procedures (156). Breach of bail offences (ASOC group 1523) are excluded from the data in this publication.

Offender
A person aged 10 years or over who is proceeded against and recorded by police for one or more criminal offences. An offender is only counted once during the reference period irrespective of the number of offences committed or the number of separate occasions that police proceeded against that offender.

Offender rates
Offender rates are expressed as the number of offenders per 100,000 of the relevant Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

Personal crime
Specifically, a robbery, physical assault, threatened assault or sexual assault, in which an individual is considered to be the victim of the crime.

Physical assault
An incident where anyone used physical force or violence against a respondent. Physical force or violence includes being: pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, hit with an open hand or fist, kicked or bitten. It also includes being hit with something else that could hurt a respondent i.e. a bat, hammer, belt, pot, ruler, etc. It includes being beaten, choked, stabbed, shot, burnt, dragged or hit deliberately by a vehicle. Includes assault in a respondent's line of work. It excludes incidents that occurred during the course of play on a sporting field, verbal abuse, and incidents of sexual assault or threatened sexual assault which also involved physical assault.

Police proceeding
A proceeding is a legal action initiated against an alleged offender for an offence(s). Police proceedings represent a count for each separate occasion on which police initiate a legal action against an offender. Each proceeding is classified to a principal offence and principal method of proceeding. It does not represent a count of offences.

Police proceedings – court actions
A type of legal action initiated by police against an offender. Court actions largely comprise the laying of charges against an alleged offender that must be answered in court. Offenders may be taken into custody, granted bail or issued with a summons for these charges pending an appearance in court.

Police proceedings – non-court actions
A type of legal action initiated by police against an offender. Non-court actions comprise legal actions such as informal or formal cautions/warnings, conferencing, counselling such as drug diversionary schemes, or the issuing of penalty or infringement notices, which do not require an appearance in court.

Principal method of proceeding
The main legal action (court or non-court) initiated by police for an offender based on the hierarchy of the Method of Proceeding Classification.

Principal offence
The offence category, based on ASOC (2008), that describes the most serious offence type that a person has been proceeded against by police during the reference period. The principal offence is determined by the rankings in the NOI.

Property damage and environmental pollution
The wilful and unlawful destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, or the pollution of property or a definable entity held in common by the community. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Property damage (121) and Environmental pollution (122).

Public order offences
Offences involving personal conduct that involves, or may lead to, a breach of public order or decency, or that is indicative of criminal intent, or that is otherwise regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. In general these offences do not involve a specific victim or victims; however some offences, such as offensive language and offensive behaviour, may be directed towards a single victim. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Disorderly conduct (131), Regulated public order offences (132), and Offensive conduct (133).

Relationship to offender
The person's relationship to a perpetrator at the time of the incident. More than one response was allowed if there were multiple offenders involved in the incident.

Robbery, extortion and related offences
Acts intended to unlawfully gain money, property or any other thing of value from, or to cause detriment to, another person by using the threat of force or any other coercive measure. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Robbery (061) and Blackmail and extortion (062).

Sexual assault
There are three different definitions of sexual assault included in this paper which depend on the data source.

In Crime Victimisation Australia sexual assault was left to the interpretation of the respondent. Only people aged 18 years and over were asked questions about sexual assault.

In Recorded Crime - Victims sexual assault included physical contact, or intent of contact, of a sexual nature directed toward another person where that person does not give consent, gives consent as a result of intimidation or deception, or consent is proscribed (i.e. the person is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth, temporary/permanent (mental) incapacity or there is a familial relationship).

In Recorded Crime - Offenders sexual assault included acts, or intent of acts, of a sexual nature against another person, which are non-consensual or where consent is proscribed. This offence category is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Sexual assault (031) and Non-assaultive sexual offences (032).

Theft and related offences
The unlawful taking or obtaining of money or goods, not involving the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods, or the receiving or handling of money or goods obtained unlawfully. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivisions: Motor vehicle theft and related offences (081), Theft (except motor vehicles) (082), Receive or handle proceeds of crime (083) and Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) (084).

Threatened assault
Includes any verbal and/or physical intent or suggestion of intent to inflict physical harm, which the person believed was able and likely to be carried out. Includes a threat or attempt to hit with a fist or anything else that could hurt, threats or attempts to slap, punch, spank or hit in any way with a fist or weapon such as a bat, hammer or pot, situations where a gun was left in an obvious place or if the person knew that the perpetrator had access to a gun. Includes toy guns, starter pistols etc. if the respondent believed they were real. Also includes incidents where a respondent was threatened in their line of work (e.g. while working as a security guard).

Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter
The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence, where the entry is either forced or unforced. This is a Division of ASOC which includes the following Subdivision: Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter (071).

Victim
There are two different definitions of a victim included in this paper and they depend on the source used. Crime Victimisation, Australia defines a victim as a household or person reporting at least one of the crimes surveyed. Victims were counted once only for each type of crime, regardless of the number of incidents of that type.

In Victim (Recorded Crime – Victims, Australia) the definition of a victim varies according to the offence category, and can either be a person, premise, organisation, or motor vehicle.

Victimisation rate
There are two types of victimisation rates used in this paper. In Crime Victimisation, Australia the total number of victims of a crime in a given population expressed as a percentage of that population.

In Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia the victimisation rate is defined as the number of victims per 100,000 of the Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

Weapon used
Includes incidents when the respondent was unsure whether a weapon was present but believed that there could have been one, or if they were threatened that a weapon would be used if necessary. Weapon includes knife, gun and syringe/hypodermic needle.


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