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4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2010   
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Offending rates peaked in the 15 to 19 year age group with a rate of 5,484 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 15 to 19 years in 2008-09. After the age of 15 to 19 years, offending rates decreased in a consistent manner as the offender's age increased. Between 2007-08 and 2008-09, offender rates increased across all age groups.

Offender rate(a), Age
Graph: Offender rate(a), Age

For all age groups, males had higher rates of offending than females. Males aged 15 to 19 years had the highest rate at 8,057 offenders per 100,000 males aged 15 to 19 years. The highest rate for females was also for those aged 15 to 19 years at 2,738 offenders per 100,000 females aged 15 to 19 years.

Offender rate(a), Age and sex
Graph: Offender rate(a), Age and sex

Although offender rates decreased for both males and females after the age of 15 to 19 years, for all subsequent age groups the offender rates for males were at least three times higher than those for females. For persons aged 50 years and over, the ratio of male to female offender rates progressively increased until offender rates of males aged 65 years and over were nearly five times higher than those for females aged 65 years and over.

Apart from being a factor in the extent to which a person was an offender, age was also a factor when considering the type of principal offence that someone was proceeded against by police. Based on the median age of offenders by each principal offence type, offenders were younger for the offences of unlawful entry with intent (median age 18 years), and property damage and robbery (median age of 20 years for both offence types), while much older for sexual assault (median age 32 years), miscellaneous offences (median age 31 years) and fraud and deception (median age 29 years).

Offenders, Selected principal offence by median age(a)
Graph: Offenders, Selected principal offence by median age(a)

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