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4515.0 - Federal Defendants, Selected States and Territories, 2008-09  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2010  First Issue
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May 27, 2010
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
Defendants with federal offences most commonly charged with fraud: ABS

Just under a third of federal defendants finalised in Australia's Criminal Courts during 2008-09, were charged with fraud, deception and related offences, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A further 29% of federal defendants were charged with offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations.

A total of 35,600 offences committed against Commonwealth legislation were finalised for 14,000 defendants in 2008-09. Just under two thirds of defendants (63%) were male, while 27% were female.

Those aged 35-39 years had the highest proportion of finalised defendants for all combined court levels (16%). Within this age group there were more women than men (18% compared to 16%).

There were 13,200 people charged with at least one federal offence in in the Magistrates' Courts; 600 in the Higher Courts; and 170 in the Children's Courts.

Across all three court levels, 77% of defendants finalised were proven guilty of at least one federal offence. Of those proven guilty, 17% (1,800) were sentenced to a custodial order.

New South Wales had the highest proportion of federal defendants (35%), followed by Victoria (24%) and Queensland (22%).

Abduction, harassment and related offences had the highest proportion of finalised defendants in the Children's Courts (38% or 64 defendants).

Media Note: This publication is the first release of detailed statistics relating to the number of finalised defendants charged with at least one federal offence in Australia's Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's Criminal Courts.

For further details and glossary please see: Federal Defendants, Selected States and Territories, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4515.0).

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