POLICE PROCEEDINGS - COURT ACTIONS
An offender may be proceeded against more than once by police during the financial year. Police proceedings represent a count for each separate occasion on which police initiate a legal action against an offender. Depending on the type of offence committed, police will either initiate a court or non-court action. Court actions largely comprise the laying of charges against an alleged offender that must be answered in court. Offenders may be taken into custody, granted bail or issued with a summons for these charges pending an appearance in court. It should be noted that not all court proceedings initiated by police will proceed to a criminal court. The proceeding may be withdrawn or changed from a court to a non-court action at a later stage.
Excluding Western Australia, police initiated 311,644 court actions against offenders during 2008-09, a 2% (6,638) increase from 2007-08. Acts intended to cause injury comprised the largest proportion of court proceedings for New South Wales (36%), South Australia (23%), Northern Territory (32%) and the Australian Capital Territory (28%). Court proceedings related to a principal offence of theft accounted for the largest proportion in Victoria (24%), public order offences was the most prevalent for Queensland court proceedings (28%) with 25% of court proceedings in Tasmania relating to a principal offence of offences against justice procedures.