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4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2010   
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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY

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 the state and territory police. Although national standards and classifications are used, differences over time in the level of recorded crime may reflect factors other than a change in the incidence of crime.

RELEVANCE

Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia (cat. no. 4510.0) presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by police during the period 1 January 2009 to 30 December 2009.

The scope of this collection includes victims of attempted and completed offences classified to divisions and/or subdivisions of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), revised edition 2008. Prior to the 2009 reference period, offence data are based on the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), first edition 1997. Depending on the type of offence, a victim can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. Selected offences include:

homicide and related offences (including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter)
assault
sexual assault
kidnapping/abduction
robbery
blackmail/extortion
unlawful entry with intent
motor vehicle theft
other theft.

Outputs include:

victim counts for selected offences (for Australia and states/territories)
victim details (age of victim, sex of victim) for offences where the victim is a person
Indigenous status and relationship of offender to victim is included for selected offences and selected states/territories
type of location where the criminal incident occurred
use of weapon in the commission of the offence
victim counts for selected offences by outcome of investigation at 30 days

Comparable statistics are provided for each of the states and territories. National data are available for all offences excluding assault. Assault data are available for the individual states and territories, however, assault data should not be compared across jurisdictions due to a lack of comparability.

TIMELINESS

The Recorded Crime - Victims collection is conducted annually for a selected range of offences recorded by police during the reference period of 1 January - 31 December. Information from the collection is generally released within six months of the reference period.

ACCURACY

The collection has been designed to facilitate comparisons of states and territories through the application of 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, including pro-active policing campaigns to encourage reporting by the public.

Findings from the Differences in Recorded Crime Statistics (DiRCS) project released in 2005 indicated that data for assault were not comparable across all states and territories. As a consequence of the lack of data comparability for assault, national data for this offence type are not available and the data provided in this publication for individual states and territories should not be used for cross-jurisdiction comparisons. Indexes are provided to assist in interpreting change over time within each jurisdiction. These indexes show movements in victimisation rates over time by comparing each offence group for each year with that offence group with a base year.

Where offences reported in the reference year are not processed for inclusion in the national statistics until the following year, revised data are included in subsequent publications and noted accordingly. Revisions to historical data are made when new information about the comparability of data over time is identified. This may occur when errors or omissions are identified in the administrative data supplied to the ABS in prior years.

COHERENCE

A National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) has been developed to address the lack of a uniform standard in the initial police recording processes. This standard complements the already established classifications and counting rules for the Recorded Crime - Victims collection to improve the level of comparability of these statistics across jurisdictions.

The collection uses the ASOC (2008) to classify offences for the 2009 reference period and applies a set of national counting rules to establish the number of victims. Due to differing scope and counting rules the data in the Recorded Crime - Victims publication may not be comparable to data published in other national and state/territory publications. A number of legislative and administrative system changes have occurred over time and the statistical impact of these changes are detailed in the Explanatory Notes.


INTERPRETABILITY

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

The implementation of the revised offence classification (ASOC 2008), the rectification of the mappings of previously miscoded local offence codes identified as part of the ASOC 2008 implementation process, and the exclusion of those victim counts in 2009 where the outcome of investigation indicated that 'no crime' had occurred, may have resulted in the published movements in victim counts between 2008 and 2009 being different to the actual movements. A Technical Note which identifies the different aspects of the components of the overall change, including the actual change in victimisation (ie excluding the business process impacts), has been included.

ACCESSIBILITY

In addition to the information provided in the publication, a series of supplementary data cubes providing detailed breakdowns by states and territories will also be available two weeks after the release of the publication.

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



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