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4509.0 - Crime and Safety, Australia, Apr 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/2003   
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Crime: 9% of households have a break-in, attempted break-in or vehicle stolen


A total of 9% of Australian households experienced a break-in, attempted break-in or motor vehicle theft in the 12 months to April 2002, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This rate has remained virtually unchanged since 1998.

Over half a million Australian households (553,500) experienced at least one break-in or attempted break-in to their homes in the 12 months to April 2002. In the same period 134,300 households had a motor vehicle stolen.

Household experience of crime varied across states and territories:
  • Victoria had the lowest level of victimisation, with 7% of households experiencing at least one break-in, attempted break-in or motor vehicle theft; and
  • Northern Territory had the highest level of victimisation, with an estimated 20% of households experiencing at least one break-in, attempted break-in or motor vehicle theft.

5% of people aged 15 years and over experienced robbery, assault or sexual assault at least once in the 12 months before the survey. This represented a slight increase from 4.8% in 1998. Of people aged 15 years and over:
  • 95,800 were victims of a robbery;
  • 717,900 were the victim of at least one assault; and
  • 33,000 people (aged 18 years and over) were the victim of a sexual assault.

The experience of individuals also varied across states and territories:
  • Queensland had the lowest level of victimisation, with approximately 5% of persons aged 15 years and over experiencing at least one robbery, assault or sexual assault; and
  • Northern Territory had the highest level of victimisation, with an estimated 8% of persons aged 15 years and over experiencing at least one robbery, assault or sexual assault.

More than two-thirds of victims of robbery were male (68%), with those aged 15-24 years accounting for 38% of all victims.

Over two and a half million (2,534,500) incidents of assault were experienced in the 12 months before the survey. The most common location for the assault was the victim's home, with the offender being known to the victim in 57% of incidents. People aged 65 years and over were least likely to be victims of assault (2% of victims).

Crime was not always reported to police and victims were more likely to report certain crimes. 95% of households that had a car stolen reported it to the police, compared with only 20% of female victims of sexual assault.

Most Australians feel their neighbourhoods are safe. 80% of people aged 15 years and over indicated they feel safe at home alone during the day, and 69% felt safe after dark.

Further information is in Crime and Safety, Australia, April 2002 (cat. no. 4509.0).

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