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1307.6 - Tasmanian State and Regional Indicators, Mar 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2010   
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Image: Crime and JusticeCRIME AND JUSTICE


HIGHER COURTS DEFENDANTS

The following information relates to defendants who were adjudicated, that is finalised via a plea of guilty, or a decision by a judge as to their guilt or innocence of the final charges.

In 2007-08 in Tasmania, there were 428 defendants adjudicated by higher courts, a decrease of 4.0% on the 446 defendants in 2006-07.

The most common case characteristic was 'acts intended to cause injury' which represented 22.9% of total cases. The next most common case characteristics were 'illicit drug offences' (16.8%), 'robbery, extortion and related offences' (13.1%), and 'sexual assault and related offences' (12.9%).


CASE CHARACTERISTICS, Tasmania, 2007-08

Graph: CASE CHARACTERISTICS, Tasmania, 2007-08



RECORDED CRIME - VICTIMS

The following information is about victims of all the crime incidents recorded by Tasmania Police. Note that in this context, a victim can be a person, a premise, an organisation or a motor vehicle.

In 2008 in Tasmania, there was a decline in all categories of recorded crime except for motor vehicle theft. More specifically, the changes were: robbery down by 35.0%, sexual assaults down by 23.0%, 'unlawful entry with intent' down by 12.6%, assaults down by 7.6%, and motor vehicle thefts up by 9.8% from 2007. There were no homicides and related offences in 2008 compared to 13 cases in 2007.


OFFENCE CATEGORY, Tasmania, 2008, percentage change from 2007

Graph: OFFENCE CATERGORY, Tasmania, 2008, percentage change from 2007



RECORDED CRIME - OFFENDERS

The following information is about the alleged offenders of crime incidents recorded by Tasmania Police.

In 2007-08, Tasmania Police proceeded against 13,255 alleged offenders.

Over three quarters of these offenders were male (77.5%).

Young people aged 10-19 years accounted for 31.3% of all offenders proceeded against, with a further 49.2% aged 20-39 years. The median age for male offenders was 25 years, while for female offenders the median age was 23 years.

The most common principal offences included: public order offences (25.0%), acts intended to cause injury (18.1%), illicit drug offences (14.2%), and theft and related offences (9.7%).

During 2007-08, the majority (66.7%) of all offenders were proceeded against by Tasmania Police on a single occasion, with a further 15.6% proceeded against on two separate occasions.


OFFENDERS, Tasmania, 2007-08

Graph: OFFENDERS, Tasmania, 2007-08



PRISON SENTENCING CHARACTERISTICS

In 2008 in Tasmania, there were a total of 408 prison sentences issued, an increase of 1.5% on the 402 issued sentences in 2007.

Of the total sentenced, 40.4% were sentenced to one to under five years detention, 27.5% to under one year and 13.0% to ten years and over.

The median period of detention was 2.0 years compared to 2.5 years in 2007.


NEW PRISON SENTENCES(a), Tasmania, 2006-2008

Graph: NEW PRISON SENTENCES, Tasmania, 2006-2008



PRISONERS

As at 30 June 2008 in Tasmania, the number of prisoners was 515, a decrease of 2.5% from the 528 on 30 June 2007.

Of all prisoners in 2008, females represented 8.5%, and Indigenous persons 12.6%.

In 2008, 66.4% of all prisoners had a prior imprisonment record, while 20.8% of all prisoners were remandees.


PRISONER CHARACTERISTICS

2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

All prisoners (no.)
447
551
512
528
515
Mean age (years)
34.0
34.6
34.9
35.0
35.8
Females (%)
4.9
5.1
7.4
6.1
8.5
Indigenous (%)
13.2
12.7
10.4
12.7
12.6
Prior imprisonment (%)
67.8
65.3
66.8
63.4
66.4
Remandees (%)
15.2
23.8
24.8
23.9
20.8

Source: Prisoners in Australia (ABS cat.no. 4517.0)


LEGAL AID

The Legal Aid Commission provides legal services to the Tasmanian community through grants of legal aid, free legal advice and minor assistance, duty solicitor services, and community education and information.

In 2008, there were 8,701 applications for legal assistance in Tasmania, an increase of 10.9% on the 7,848 requests in 2007. The majority of the applications in 2008 were for criminal matters (63.7%).

In 2008, the Legal Aid Commission approved 7,845 applications, an increase of 16.1% on the number of cases approved in 2007. At the same time, 860 cases were refused, a decrease of 14.1% from 2007.


APPLICATIONS FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE, Tasmania, 2004-2008

Graph: APPLICATIONS FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE, Tasmania, 2004-2008



TASMANIAN OMBUDSMAN

The Ombudsman's role is to investigate and help to resolve complaints about the administrative actions of government departments, councils and public authorities.

In 2007-08, the Tasmanian Ombudsman received 75 complaints against local governments, a decrease of 19% on the 63 complaints in 2006-07.

Most of the complaints were against local governments in the Greater Hobart-Southern region (39), followed by Northern (19) and Mersey-Lyell (17). There were 273 complaints against the Tasmanian State Government in 2007-08, a 20% increase on the 227 in 2006-07.

In 2007-08, of all the cases closed by the Tasmanian Ombudsman, 44% were included in the category of 'no defective administration' (cases resolved at either the preliminary inquiry stage or which proceeded through to an investigation). A further 26% of cases were 'declined' (complaints that did not meet the threshold required for acceptance by the Ombudsman). Another 17% of cases were 'discontinued' (cases that did not progress because the complainant did not provide additional information to identify the issue or complaint adequately), while a further 10% of cases were 'partly/fully substantiated' (complaints where the Ombudsman considered that the administrative action of the public authority was not appropriate or reasonable).


CLOSED COMPLAINTS TO OMBUDSMAN, by reason for closure, 2007-08

Graph: CLOSED COMPLAINTS TO OMBUDSMAN, by reason for closure, 2007-08



SOURCES

Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (ABS cat. no. 1216.0)

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) (ABS cat. no. 1234.0)

Corrective Services, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4512.0)

Criminal Courts, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4513.0)

Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania Annual Reports 2004 to 2008

Ombudsman Tasmania Ombudsman Annual Report 2007-08

Prisoners in Australia (ABS cat. no. 4517.0)

Recorded Crime - Offenders, Selected states and territories (ABS cat. no. 4519.0)

Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4510.0)

Further information can also be found on the Crime and Justice Statistics Theme Page of the ABS website.


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