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4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, Selected states and territories, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/09/2009  First Issue
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Data Quality Declaration - Recorded Crime - Offenders, Selected states and territories

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

In November 1990 an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was made between the Commonwealth and the states and territories concerning the establishment of the National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU) as a National Common Police Service, with a role to initiate, coordinate and oversee the development and production of national uniform crime statistics. The statistics contained in this publication are derived from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police. Data have been compiled according to national standards in order to maximise consistency between the states and territories.

RELEVANCE

Recorded Crime - Offenders (cat no. 4519.0) presents statistics for the first time about the characteristics of alleged offenders, aged 10 years and over, who were proceeded against by police during the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008.

The scope of the collection includes all criminal offences that police agencies have the authority to take legal action against an individual by way of a court or non-court action. Depending on the type of offence committed the 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. The proceeding may be withdrawn or changed from a court to a non-court action. Non-court actions comprise legal actions such as informal or formal cautions/warnings, conferencing, counselling such as drug diversionary schemes, or the issuing of penalty or infringement notices, which do not require an appearance in court.

Offences are classified to divisions of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), first edition 1997. Specifically the following offence types are included in the collection:

  • substantive offences (e.g. robbery, murder, assault)
  • attempted offences (e.g. attempted robbery)
  • aid and abet offences
  • conspiracy offences.
            The scope excludes the following:
          • person aged less than 10 years of age
          • organisations
          • offences that come under the authority of agencies other than state and territory police such as Environmental Protection Authorities, etc.
          • proceedings initiated by federal police.

            Due to quality and/or comparability issues, the statistics presented exclude the following:
          • Data for Western Australia
          • Traffic offence information, specifically related to ASOC Division 14 - Road Traffic and Motor Vehicle Regulatory Offences and Sub-division 041- Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle
          • ASOC Group 1512 - Breach of Bail
          • Police initiated non-court proceedings for the police proceeding population
          • Indigenous offenders for Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

                    Outputs include:
                  • Offender counts by principal offence
                  • Offender characteristics (age , sex and Indigenous status)
                  • Offender rates per 100,000 persons, either aged 10 years or more, or age specific offender rates
                  • Police initiated court proceeding counts by principal offence

                    Due to issues associated with the extraction of offender information from Western Australia's police information systems in accordance with the requirements of this collection, data are not available presented for Western Australia. The absence of data for Western Australia has resulted in no national totals being available for the 2007-08 reference period.
    TIMELINESS

    The Recorded Crime - Offenders collection is conducted annually for offenders who were proceeded against and recorded by police during the period 1 July to 30 June. Information from future cycles of the collection will be released within 7 months of the reference period.

    ACCURACY

    National offender statistics are compiled in order to maximise comparability across states and territories. The collection has been designed to facilitate comparisons of states and territories though the application of common national statistical standards and counting rules. However, some legislative and processing differences remain which may include different recording practices, legislation or policy across the various jurisdictions to combat particular types of crime. Further information about such differences for each state and territory, where relevant, are available in the Explanatory Notes section of the publication.

    COHERENCE

    Due to differing scope and counting rules, the data in the Recorded Crime - Offenders publication are not strictly comparable to data published in other national and state/territory publications, but broad comparisons can be made.

    As this is a first release publication there are no comparable previous releases.

    INTERPRETABILITY

    The Offender statistics publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Appendices and Glossary that provide information on the data sources, counting rules, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

    ACCESSIBILITY

    In addition to the information provided in the publication, data cubes are also available for free on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au> providing the following data:
  • Offenders - Single year age groups by sex; number, proportion and offender rates for selected states and territories
  • Offenders - Single year age groups by principal offence; number for selected states and territories

    If the information you require is not available from the publication or the data cubes, then the ABS may be able to help you with a customised service to suit your needs. Email: <crime.justice@abs.gov.au>

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