4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/05/2001   
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National Crime and Safety Survey

]Testing is underway for the 2002 National Crime and Safety Survey. Most of the core items from the 1998 survey will be repeated in the 2002 survey and at this stage it is likely that this survey will include questions on sexual assault for adult males and females. A small number of other data items including fear of crime, offence seriousness, age and sex of offender and what happened after the incident was reported to the police are currently being tested for possible inclusion.

ABS Population Census

A similar extract to the Prisoner Census will be provided for use in the 2001 Australian Census of Population and Housing. It is anticipated that the use of this extract will significantly reduce the cost for Corrective Services agencies of providing demographic data for the prisoner population to be used in the ABS Census.

Recorded Crime

Some of the key outcomes of the recent round of Police Practitioner and Advisory Group meetings were a commitment to further development of an Offender Based Statistics collection and an agreement to further expansion of the weapon use classification. A preliminary framework is almost completed for the Offender Based Statistics collection, and test data for this collection are anticipated for 2002.

The National Crime Statistics manual is also being revised. This version will have a new section relating to 'Outcome of Investigation' as well as a number of examples which will illustrate how the recorded crime classifications are to be applied.

Higher Criminal Courts

Development of offence information for the higher courts collection is continuing. Incorporating offence statistics into the national criminal courts collection is dependent on State/Territory agencies recording full offence information on their case management systems and providing this data in accordance with the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC).

The NCCSU has received 1999/2000 offence data for five of the eight States and Territories and is continuing to liaise with courts agencies to resolve apparent comparability issues impacting on the data. These stem from a number of factors including the use of different recording practices. It is anticipated that once these comparability issues are satisfactorily resolved and the data are adjusted accordingly, a limited set of offence tables will be produced and disseminated as supplementary tables. Consideration will then be given to including some offence statistics in next year's publication.