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4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/04/2005   
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National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics

The National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice (the Plan) is part of a collaborative approach by agencies with an interest in the field of crime and justice to improve the range, quality and availability of national crime and justice statistics.

A Steering Committee will be established to facilitate implementation of the Plan and to provide guidance and support to lead agencies. The Plan identifies twelve priority areas where the current supply of data has gaps, deficiencies and/or overlaps and where improvements will enhance the evidence base used to inform national policy questions and public debate.

A general theme throughout the Plan is the improvement of the comparability of data from different sources. The Plan proposes developments in administrative and survey data collections that will support comparisons of statistics between crime and justice sectors, across national and international jurisdictions and across time, and will enhance coherence with statistics collected in other fields. Examples of some of the activities intended to deliver more comparable data are the development of tools such as data dictionaries to support data collection; a common data quality framework to aid the explanation of differences between collections; and a review of survey methods and concepts to deliver better integrated national data on crime victimisation and safety.

A second theme evident in the Plan is a need for more detailed information about offenders, victims and criminal incidents. The populations of interest include juveniles, recidivists, and those with mental health or substance abuse issues. Other areas for development include family violence statistics, data regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultural diversity, and a better understanding of spatial statistical needs.

Recognition is also made in the Plan of the need for statistical information about transnational crimes, as well as new technology-oriented crimes. Data are sought to measure the size of the problem and to collect offender and victim information, including jurisdiction of origin.

A draft of the Plan was circulated for comment during February 2005. Subject to the extent of feedback and confirmation by lead agencies, it is anticipated that the Plan will be published in May 2005.

6th & 7th JUNE 2005

The Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics will conduct a two day conference at ABS House, Canberra ACT in June 2005. The conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to discuss the following topics: linking research, evaluation and policy; statistical methodologies; research and evaluation methodologies; data quality and improving the evidence base; and improving access to and use of the evidence base.

The conference program will include papers by plenary speakers, other invited speakers and selected papers from interested persons in plenary and concurrent sessions.

Detailed conference information is available from the web site <>.

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