For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
Data on Crime Victimisation were collected as part of the 2011–12 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The MPHS is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect annual statistics on a small number of self-contained topics. The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2010–11 MPHS excluded people living in very remote parts of Australia and people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities).
In the Crime Victimisation Survey component of the MPHS, respondents aged 15 years and over (or 18 years and over for incidents of sexual assault) were asked questions about their experiences of crime victimisation. The type of information collected included their experience of selected personal crimes (physical assault, threatened assault, robbery and sexual assault), selected household crimes (break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft) and perceptions of, and contact with, the criminal justice system (police, criminal courts and prisons). Information was collected from one person selected at random in each selected household.
The MPHS is collected annually with enumeration undertaken over the financial year period from July to June. The Crime Victimisation topic is collected annually via the MPHS with the first of the series collected in 2008–09. As the survey reference period was the 12 months prior to the survey interview during 2011–12, the data relate to crimes occurring at some time between July 2011 and June 2012. Generally, data from the MPHS are released approximately 6–8 months after they have been collected.
The Crime Victimisation Survey questions comprised a sample of 26,382 fully responding households, which represented a response rate of 80%.
Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.
Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error (SE). There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two SEs. Measures of the relative standard errors (RSE) of the estimates for this survey are included with this release.
The ABS conducted National Crime and Safety Surveys in 1975, 1983, 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2005. In 2006–07, a review of these crime surveys found the need for more timely and regular crime victimisation headline indicators (on an annual basis), and the need for flexibility to cater for new and emerging areas of crime.
In 2008–09, a redesigned ABS Crime Victimisation Survey was conducted (via the MPHS) which sought information on people's experiences as victims of both personal and household crimes. In addition, a module seeking information on people's feelings of safety in particular situations was also included. This survey was largely repeated for 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12. 2008–09 contained a module on feelings of safety, 2009–10 and 2010–11 contained a module on perceptions of social disorder and 2011–12 contained a module on perceptions of the justice system. All data except for these topics can be compared between 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12.
In 2010–11, for the first time victims of physical assault and face-to-face threatened assault aged 15 and over who were personally interviewed were asked whether they believed alcohol or any other substance contributed to their most recent incident of assault (see Data Collection section of the Explanatory Notes for more information). These questions were repeated in 2011–12.
Differences in survey methodology and enumeration periods, as well as changes to many of the questions being asked, means that data from the 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12 Crime Victimisation Surveys are not comparable with earlier ABS crime surveys. These differences mean that a time series is only possible for the period 2008–09 and beyond.
Consistent with the findings of the review of ABS crime surveys, the national Crime Victimisation Survey is expected to be conducted annually from 2008–09 using the MPHS.
The terms used to describe the various types of offences in this publication may not necessarily correspond with legal or police definitions.
To aid in the interpretation of the crime victimisation data, detailed information on concepts, definitions, terminology and other technical aspects of the survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.
All tables and associated RSEs are available in Excel spreadsheets and can be accessed from Downloads.
Additional tables may also be available on request. Downloads also includes an Excel spreadsheet containing a complete list of the data items available. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.
In addition to the data available in the Excel spreadsheets, other tables will be able to be produced using Survey TableBuilder (STB), an online tool for creating tables and graphs. STB for the 2011–12 Crime Victimisation topic is expected to be available in mid 2013.
For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.