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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Jul 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/07/2009   
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RECORDED CRIME - VICTIMS, QUEENSLAND, 2008

Introduction
Number of victims
Sex and age of victim
Location of offence
Weapon use
Outcome of investigation
Relationship of offender to victim
Further information
End notes


INTRODUCTION

This article presents crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by Queensland police in the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008. These statistics provide indicators of the level and nature of recorded crime victimisation in Queensland and a basis for measuring change over time. As not all crimes are reported to or recorded by police, other data sources can assist in providing a more comprehensive view of crime levels in society.

Depending on the type of offence, a victim in the recorded crime collection can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. A person reporting a crime with multiple offences in the same incident may either be counted multiple times, or may be counted only once, depending on the types of offences committed during the incident. For example, a victim who was robbed and abducted in the same incident would be counted separately as a victim under the offences of robbery and kidnapping/abduction. Conversely, a victim of multiple assaults in the same incident would be counted only once as the offences committed fall within the same offence group. For these reasons, it is not meaningful to aggregate the number of victims across each offence type and produce a 'total number of victims'; it is only meaningful to look at victim counts within each offence category.

For scope and coverage issues and a comprehensive list of terms and concepts used in this article please refer to the Explanatory Notes and Glossary in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 4510.0).


NUMBER OF VICTIMS1

Compared with 2007, the number of victims recorded by Queensland police in 2008 decreased for manslaughter, kidnapping/abduction, blackmail/extortion, motor vehicle theft and other theft. The offence categories recording the largest declines were manslaughter (down 50%) and kidnapping/abduction (down 13%). Conversely, there was an increase in the number of victims of murder (up 5.8%), attempted murder (up 4.3%), assault (up 0.6%) and sexual assault (up 1.4%). Robbery and unlawful entry with intent also increased during this period.
VICTIMS(a), Offence category, Queensland, 1999 - 2008

1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007(b)
2008

Homicide and related offences(c)
Murder
64
78
66
59
63
56
47
59
52
55
Attempted murder
112
123
156
128
113
95
82
67
70
73
Manslaughter
14
7
14
18
4
13
3
9
6
3
Total homicide and related offences
190
208
236
205
180
164
132
135
128
131
Assault
18,425
18,707
20,237
20,849
19,009
18,798
19,233
19,709
19,298
19,423
Sexual assault
3,550
3,752
4,086
4,797
3,792
4,256
4,155
4,606
4,377
4,440
Kidnapping/abduction(d)
93
95
76
75
92
109
85
59
69
60
Robbery
Armed robbery
1,257
1,198
1,168
886
957
855
845
930
750
846
Unarmed robbery
1,213
1,159
1,382
1,160
1,111
1,036
1,058
995
1,018
960
Total robbery
2,470
2,357
2,550
2,046
2,068
1,891
1,903
1,925
1,768
1,806
Blackmail/extortion
70
63
89
57
63
58
59
78
58
54
Unlawful entry with intent
Involving the taking of property
56,361
58,750
55,590
51,659
47,547
42,581
37,827
37,304
32,071
31,719
Other
17,828
18,533
18,133
16,595
15,015
13,977
12,847
13,246
12,117
12,699
Total unlawful entry with intent
74,189
77,283
73,723
68,254
62,562
56,558
50,674
50,550
44,188
44,418
Motor vehicle theft
18,249
18,623
17,468
15,854
13,333
12,407
11,300
10,191
9,128
8,468
Other theft(e)
105,169
112,319
116,820
116,989
112,297
100,267
93,386
89,365
77,738
77,364

(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence. Please refer to End Note 1.
(b) Property offences are no longer comparable from 2007. Please refer to End Note 2.
(c) The offence of driving causing death is excluded as it is no longer available at the national level as not all jurisdictions can supply this information.
(d) The increase from 2003 to 2004 is possibly a result of increased public awareness of these types of offences. The media and the police had established a working partnership to encourage immediate reporting of kidnapping/abduction offences and thereby increase the chances of apprehending the offenders responsible.
(e) Leaving a restaurant without paying forms part of the offence category of other theft for this collection. Queensland, however, has excluded this offence type from this category, but may include it in categories out of scope of this collection.
Source: Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4510.0)

SEX AND AGE OF VICTIM

In Queensland in 2008, more males than females were victims of homicide and related offences (61% were male), assault (62%), robbery (73%) and blackmail/extortion (64%). For sexual assault the majority of victims were female (83%).
VICTIMS(a), Selected offences by sex, Queensland, 2008
Graph: VICTIMS, Selected offences by sex, Queensland, 2008

During 2008, 28% (37 victims) of homicide and related offences were aged 45 years and over. Persons aged 25 - 34 years contributed a further 23%.

Nearly one in three (29%) victims of assault were aged 15 - 24 years. Persons aged 25 - 34 years contributed a further 25%.

Nearly one half (48%) of victims of sexual assault in Queensland were aged 0 - 14 years. Persons aged 15 - 24 years contributed a further 34%.

Over one half (53%) of victims of robbery were aged 15 - 24 years.

Nearly two-thirds of victims of blackmail/extortion were aged over 35 years (26% for persons aged 35 - 44 years and 40% for persons aged 45 years and over).
VICTIMS(a), Selected offences by age, Queensland, 2008
Graph: VICTIMS, Selected Offences by Age, Queensland, 2008

LOCATION OF OFFENCE3

Residential locations were the most likely place of occurrence for homicide and related offences. Over two-thirds (67%) of murders and nearly three out of four (74%) attempted murders occurred in a residential location.

Assault victims were most likely to be subject to this offence in either a community location (39% of assault victims) or a residential location (37%). Over two-thirds (67%) of sexual assault offences occurred in a residential location.

The majority of victims of kidnapping/abduction were taken from a community location, namely a street/footpath (60%).

Nearly one half (46%) of robberies occurred in a community location and a further 34% occurred in a retail location. There were differences in location of offence for armed and unarmed robbery. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of unarmed robbery occurred in a community location compared with 27% of armed robberies. Over one half of armed robberies occurred in a retail location compared with 20% of unarmed robberies.

For the offence unlawful entry with intent, the most common type of location was residential locations (63%), followed by retail locations (13%).

Motor vehicle theft was most likely to occur in a residential location (45% of motor vehicle thefts) or a community location (36%) while other theft was most likely to occur in a retail location (36% of other thefts).
VICTIMS(a), Selected offences by selected locations, Queensland, 2008
Graph: VICTIMS, Selected Offences by Selected Locations, Queensland, 2008

WEAPON USE

In Queensland in 2008, a weapon was used in 80% of murders, 77% of attempted murders and 47% of robberies. A knife was the most common type of weapon used in committing these offences: 36% of murder victims, 33% of attempted murder victims and 24% of robbery victims were subjected to an offence involving a knife. A firearm was involved in 18% of attempted murder offences, 7.3% of murder offences and 6.3% of robbery offences.

In the committing of sexual assaults, 1.4% of these offences involved the use of a weapon.

A weapon was not involved in 88% of kidnapping/abduction offences and 82% of assaults.
VICTIMS(a), Weapon used in commission of offence, Queensland, 2008
Graph: Weapon Used in Commission of Offence, Queensland, 2008

OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION

In Queensland in 2008, 82% of the police investigations into homicide and related offences and 58% for assault were finalised within 30 days of the recording of the incident by police.

The lowest proportions of finalisations at 30 days were for victims of unlawful entry with intent (15%), other theft (22%) and motor vehicle theft (23%).
VICTIMS(a), Outcome of investigation at 30 days, Queensland, 2008
Graph: VICTIMS, Outcome of Investigation at 30 Days, Queensland, 2008


Of the 6,474 unlawful entry with intent offences finalised, 96% had an offender proceeded against. Other theft (91%) and robbery (89%) also had high proportions of finalised investigations where the offender was proceeded against. Sexual assault (63%) and blackmail/extortion (70%) had the lowest proportions of finalised investigations where the offender was proceeded against.
RELATIONSHIP OF OFFENDER TO VICTIM

In Queensland in 2008, over half (55%) the victims of homicide and related offences knew their offender. Their current partner was reported to be the offender in 11% of cases.

Of the 19,423 victims of assaults recorded by Queensland police, nearly half (49%) knew their offender. Victims of assault reported the offender to be their current partner in 6.5% of cases (1,268 victims). Male victims of assault were most likely to not know the offender (59% or 7,096 victims).

In 2008 there were 4,440 sexual assault victims; most victims knew the offender (64% or 2,847 victims). The offender was a partner for 131 victims (3.0%) and another family member in the case of 404 victims (9.1%).

Kidnapping/ abduction victims (total of 60 victims) did not know the offender in 79% of cases.

The vast majority (87% or 1,096 victims) of robbery victims indicated that the offender was unknown to them.
VICTIMS, Selected offences by relationship of offender to victim, Queensland, 2008
Graph: VICTIMS, Selected Offences by Relationship of Offender to Victim, Queensland, 2008

FURTHER INFORMATION

Further information on this topic can be accessed in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 4510.0).

In addition to recorded crime statistics, the ABS collects information in household surveys from members of the public on their experiences of crime.

Information for assault and sexual assault, as well as data for a range of other offences, are available from the 2005 ABS National Crime and Safety Survey (NCSS) and the 2005 ABS Personal Safety Survey (PSS). The NCSS measured people's perceptions of crime in the community and whether or not the crimes were reported to police. Detailed information about the survey results can be found in Crime and Safety, Australia, Apr 2005 (cat. no. 4509.0). The PSS measured people's experience of violence, harassment or stalking. Detailed information about the survey results can be found in Personal Safety Survey, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4906.0).
Caution should be exercised in making any direct comparisons between recorded crime statistics and data from ABS household surveys due to the different scope and coverage, methods of measurement and sources of error.
END NOTES

1. The definition of a victim varies according to the offence category:
  • For murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction, the victim is an individual person.
  • For robbery, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation. Where the robbery involves an organisation or business, the element of property ownership is the key to determining the number and type of robbery victims. If the robbery only involves property belonging to an organisation, then one victim (i.e. the organisation) is counted regardless of the number of employees from which the property is taken. However, if robbery of an organisation also involves personal property in an employee's custody, then both the organisation and employee(s) are counted as victims.
  • For blackmail/extortion, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation.
  • For unlawful entry with intent, the victim is the place/premise which is defined as a single connected property that is owned, rented or occupied by the same person or group of people.
  • For motor vehicle theft, the victim is the motor vehicle.
  • For other theft, the victim is either an individual person or an organisation.

2. Victim counts for property offences prior to 2007 are no longer comparable and should not be compared. A new IT system, QPRIME was introduced in June 2007 resulting in changes to the way in which victim counts were recorded. Data from 2007 are likely to be undercounted for property offences, however, this cannot be quantified. Related offence information such as weapons, location and Indigenous status have also been affected.

3. Location of offence is the initial site where an offence occurred, determined on the basis of use or function. Any surrounding land, yard or parking area connected to the building or facility, as well as any other structures existing at the location are assigned to the same category of use. Locations which are multifunctional are categorised according to their primary function, with the exception of a multifunctional location which includes the provision of residential accommodation. Those parts used for residential purposes are classified to 'residential' regardless of the main function of the location.

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