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4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/03/2010   
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TECHNICAL NOTE CHANGES TO OFFENCE DATA


INTRODUCTION

1 From this issue, offence data for 2008-09 and onwards will be compiled and presented according to revised offence classifications. In 2009, the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 2008 (Second edition) (cat. no. 1234.0) and the National Offence Index (NOI) 2009 (cat. no. 1234.0.55.001) were introduced into the Criminal Courts, Australia collection. The classification changes affect the Principal Offence that is used to describe the most serious offence type associated with a defendant. Previous issues of this publication were based on the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 1997 (cat. no. 1234.0) and the 2002 National Offence Index (NOI).

2 ASOC08 was adopted to provide a more contemporary classification system, taking into account significant legislative changes that have occurred at state and territory level since the first edition was released, as well as satisfying emerging user requirements for offence data. NOI was updated largely to reflect changes made to ASOC.


IMPACT ON 2008-09 DATA AND TIME SERIES

3 All jurisdictions implemented ASOC08 and NOI09 for the provision of offence data for the 2008-09 Criminal Courts collection. Introducing ASOC08 and NOI09 involved remapping local jurisdictional offence codes to the new classification and applying the updated NOI09 to select a Principal Offence for each defendant. This process has had some level of impact to the comparability of the time series for all jurisdictions individually as well as to the national time series.

4 The total number of offence divisions has not changed between the two versions of the ASOC, and only minor changes have been made to division titles. However, ASOC08 includes three additional subdivisions and 16 additional groups. A few subdivisions and groups have been moved and are now inclusions in other subdivisions and groups. Changes have also been made to the inclusions and exclusions of the classification to improve coding. Refer to Appendix 4 for the concordance between ASOC08 and ASOC97. Further detailed information relating to the conceptual changes between ASOC97 and ASOC08 is available in Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 2008 (Second edition) (cat. no. 1234.0). Changes to the NOI can also be found in National Offence Index, 2009 (cat. no. 1234.0.55.001). Table 1 below provides a summary view of the major expected changes between divisions, some subdivisions and groups.

Table 1 - Expected major ASOC changes(a)

ASOC Division Expected change Reason

01 Homicide and related offences nil -
011 Murder ASOC: Inclusion of conspiracy to murder (from Subdivision 012).
02 Acts intended to cause injury + ASOC: Inclusion of stalking (from Division 16).
+ NOI: Relative change in rankings of serious assault resulting in injury (0211) and aggravated robbery (0611). Expect increase in assaults if they co-occur with aggravated robbery, and a decrease in robbery counts.
021 Assault + As above.
0291 Stalking + ASOC: New group in ASOC08 (from Division 16).
03 Sexual assault and related offences + ASOC: Inclusion of child pornography (from Division 13) and sexual servitude offences (potentially from Divisions 5, 6, 13 and 16).
0311 Aggravated sexual assault + ASOC: Inclusion of 'committed against a child' as an aggravating factor, from non-aggravated sexual assault (0312)
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault - ASOC: Indecent assaults committed against a child moved to ASOC 0311.
0322 Child pornography offences + ASOC: New group in ASOC08 (from Division 13).
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons + NOI: Increase where driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance (0411) and dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle (0412) co-occurs with other offences such as 0611, 0711, 0812 and 0829, as NOI rankings have moved from 89 and 90 to 37 and 38 respectively.
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person + ASOC: Inclusion of harassment and private nuisance and threatening behaviour (from Division 16). This is not expected to be offset by the exclusion of sexual servitude (from Divisions 5, 6, 13 and 16).
+ NOI: Expect some increase in Abduction/kidnapping (051) and Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment (052) where aggravated assault (0211 in 1997) has been remapped to 0212. ASOC 0511 and 0521 are ranked above 0212 on the NOI, and are likely to be selected as the most serious offence when offences are remapped and co-occur.
- NOI: Conversely, may decrease where 0531 co-occurs with offences in Divisions 07, 08, 09 or 11, or groups 1211, 1542, 1559, 1561, 1612, 1631, 1694 or 1695. Has moved from rank 39 to 82.
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences - ASOC: Decrease due to the exclusion of sexual servitude offences (from Divisions 05, 06, 13 and 16).
- NOI: Decrease also expected where co-occurs with serious assault offences or abduction and kidnapping (0511) as both offences resulting in injury are now ranked above aggravated robbery in the NOI.
07 Unlawful entry with intent - NOI: Decrease where co-occurs with driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance (0411) and dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle (0412) as these have moved from NOI rankings of 89 and 90 to 37 and 38 respectively.
08 Theft and related offences + (change expected for MCC & CCC only) ASOC: Inclusion of fare evasion (from Division 09). Further possible increases where theft from retail premises (0823) co-occurs with other offences, as it has moved from a NOI ranking of 138 to 74 (impacts on some co-occurring offences in Divisions 10, 13, 15 and 16).
- NOI: May be balanced by decreases where theft co-occurs with driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance (0411) and dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle (0412), as these have moved from NOI rankings of 89 and 90 to 37 and 38 respectively.
09 Fraud, deception and related offences - (change expected for MCC & CCC only) ASOC: Removal of fare evasion (to Division 08) and bribery involving government officials (to Division 15).
0991 Dishonest conversion nil -
10 Illicit drug offences nil -
101 Import or export illicit drugs nil -
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs - NOI: Decrease where deal or traffic in illicit drugs non-commercial quantity (1022) co-occurs with manufacture or cultivate (103) offences due to a change in ranking of these offences.
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs + NOI: Increase where co-occurs with deal or traffic in illicit drugs non-commercial quantity (1022) offences due to a change in ranking of these offences.
104 Possess and/or use illicit drugs - NOI: Decrease where co-occurs with theft from retail premises (0823) as ranking has moved from 138 to 74.
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences nil -
12 Property damage and environmental pollution nil -
1211 Property damage by fire or explosion - NOI: Decrease where co-occurs with driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance (0411) and dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle (0412) as these have moved from NOI rankings of 89 & 90 to 37 & 38 respectively.
1212 Graffiti nil -
13 Public order offences - ASOC: Removal of child pornography and sexual servitude (both to Division 03) and conspiracy offences to other divisions (important to note that not all conspiracy offences have moved out of Division 13 with some recoded to 1312).
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences nil -
141 Driver licence offences nil -
143 Regulatory driving offences nil -
1431 Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit nil -
1432 Exceed the legal speed limit nil -
15 Offences against justice procedures, govt. security and operations + ASOC: From Division 16 - Inclusion of immigration offences; from Division 09 - Bribery involving government officials.
153 Breach of violence and non-violence orders nil -
16 Miscellaneous offences - ASOC: Removal of harassment and private nuisance (to Divisions 02 or 05), threatening behaviour (to Division 05), and immigration offences (Divisions 03 or 15).

(a) All divisions other than Division 01 and Division 13 may experience some increase due to inclusion of conspiracy offences with actual offences. Further changes may have also impacted on Division counts in addition to those major changes represented here.



Analysis of impacts - Higher Courts

5 Seven jurisdictions (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) supplied 2008-09 Higher Courts data coded to both ASOC97 and ASOC08 which met ABS requirements for analysis of the impact of the changes to the classification for this court level. It should be noted that as part of the migration to ASOC08, jurisdictions also rectified a number of local offence codes that were discovered as being miscoded to ASOC in previous years.

6 Table 2 below shows the results of the analysis of the dual coded extracts for Higher Courts, providing estimated changes to the total movement for selected Principal Offence categories, summed across the jurisdictions mentioned above. Data was analysed by comparing selected state and territory 2008-09 finalised defendants by selected Principal Offence categories, comparing counts based on what the data would have looked like using ASOC97 and what the data are now reflecting using ASOC08. The differences between the two populations largely reflects the impact of the change from ASOC97 to ASOC08 and some changes as a result of correcting miscoding errors in ASOC97.

TABLE 2 - ESTIMATED IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Higher Courts, Defendants finalised(a) - combined selected states and territories(b)

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(c)
DIVISION, SUBDIVISION AND GROUP CHANGE(d)
ASOC97
ASOC08
no.
no.
no.
%

01 Homicide and related offences
011 Murder
104
103
-1
-1.0
Other(e)
246
247
1
0.4
Total
350
350
-
-
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
3 116
3 257
141
4.5
0291 Stalking(e)
. .
52
52
. .
Other(e)
12
10
-2
-16.7
Total(e)
3 128
3 319
191
6.1
03 Sexual assault and related offences
0311 Aggravated sexual assault
1 457
2 097
(f)640
(f)43.9
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault
506
149
(f)-357
(f)-70.6
0322 Child pornography offences(e)
. .
242
242
. .
Other(e)
479
142
(f)-339
(f)-70.8
Total(e)
2 442
2 633
191
7.8
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
391
472
(f)81
(f)20.7
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person(e)
141
382
241
170.9
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
0611 Aggravated robbery
1 446
1 298
-148
-10.2
Other(e)
185
171
-14
-7.6
Total
1 631
1 469
-162
-9.9
07 Unlawful entry with intent
1 466
1 411
-55
-3.8
08 Theft and related offences(e)
443
414
-29
-6.5
09 Fraud, deception and related offences
0991 Dishonest conversion
215
214
-1
-0.5
Other(e)
518
498
-20
-3.9
Total(e)
733
712
-21
-2.9
10 Illicit drug offences
101 Import or export illicit drugs
109
118
9
8.3
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs
1 976
1 911
-65
-3.3
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs
443
523
80
18.1
Other(e)
259
253
-6
-2.3
Total
2 787
2 805
18
0.6
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
156
152
-4
-2.6
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
353
344
-9
-2.5
13 Public order offences(e)
333
105
-228
-68.5
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences(e)
13
17
4
30.8
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations(e)
285
306
21
7.4
16 Miscellaneous offences(e)
296
56
-240
-81.1
Total defendants finalised(e)
14 951
14 951
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Includes New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
(c) Represents 2008-09 data based on the old and new ASOC classification.
(d) Represents difference due directly as a result of ASOC08, NOI09 and rectification of miscoding errors.
(e) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.
(f) There were substantial impacts in these offence categories due to the rectification of miscoding errors, in addition to the classification changes. However these cannot be quantified.


7 Table 2 illustrates that some finalised defendant counts have moved between Principal offence categories as a result of the classification and rectification of miscoding changes; however it also illustrates that the total number of finalised defendants in the Higher Courts for the combined selected states and territories has not been impacted by the classification changes.

8 The following ASOC Divisions recorded changes of 15% or greater:
  • 04 dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons;
  • 05 abduction, harassment and other offences against the person;
  • 13 public order offences;
  • 14 traffic and motor vehicle regulatory offences; and
  • 16 miscellaneous offences.

9 The movements in division 14 were largely due to rectification of miscoding errors and small numbers. All other divisions recorded changes below 15%.

10 At the Subdivision level and/or Group level, four ASOC categories recorded changes of 15% or greater: acts intended to cause injury - other; Groups 0311-0312 and Subdivision 103. Acts intended to cause injury is negligible due to small number counts. Aggravated and non-aggravated sexual assault were largely impacted by miscoding errors between these two categories, as well as ASOC changes.

11 Overall six Divisions had impacts of less than 5%; and a further five divisions had impacts less than 10%.

12 Table 3 below provides an overview of the changes to the Principal Offence counts for all finalised defendants between 2007-08 and 2008-09 with and without the classification changes. The table shows that the number of Higher Courts finalised defendants in 2008-09 increased by 2.8% from 2007-08 (from 16,735 defendants in 2007-08 to 17,202 defendants in 2008-09). The increase in finalised defendant numbers has not been impacted by the classificatory changes.

13 However, given that changes have occurred across divisions, subdivision and groups as a result of changes to ASOC08 and NOI09, the allocation of Principal Offence in some cases will be different than if they were classified to ASOC97 and NOI02. The correction of miscoding errors in 2008-09 could also have resulted in changes between published offence categories, however these were not significant in most cases.

14 To illustrate, Table 3 shows that the number of Higher Courts finalised defendants with a Principal Offence of dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons increased by 31.5%. Approximately 20.7% of this change can be attributed to changes to the classification and/or miscoding rather than an actual increase in defendants for this offence category. Excluding these classification changes, the estimated increase in defendants for this offence category from 2007-08 to 2008-09 would be approximately 10.8%, rather than 31.5%.

15 The interpretation of these movements is further complicated as estimates could not be based on data from all states and territories. As Victoria was unable to provide dual coded data that met ABS analysis requirements for all court levels, the full classificatory impacts could not be measured. Caution should therefore be exercised when using these estimates as the accuracy of the level of movement cannot be fully ascertained as the movements do not reflect any measures for Victoria's Higher Courts. The data should only be used as a guide to interpret the level of movements for Principal Offences between 2008-09 and previous years.

TABLE 3 - INDICATIVE IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Higher Courts defendants finalised(a) - Australia

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(b)
CHANGE FROM 2007-08 TO 2008-09
2007-08
2008-09
Classification Impacts ASOC97 to ASOC08
Indicative change (excluding classification impacts) 2007-08 to 2008-09
no.
no.
no.
%
%
%

01 Homicide and related offences
011 Murder
153
147
-6
-3.9
-0.7
-3.3
Other(c)
r359
335
-24
-6.7
0.3
-7.0
Total
r512
487
-25
-4.9
-
-4.9
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
r3 797
3 822
25
0.7
3.7
-3.1
0291 Stalking(c)
. .
54
. .
. .
. .
. .
Other(c)
42
10
-32
-76.2
-4.8
-71.4
Total(c)
r3 839
3 891
52
1.4
5.0
-3.6
03 Sexual assault and related offences
0311 Aggravated sexual assault
r1 754
2 456
702
40.0
36.5
3.5
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault
531
219
-312
-58.8
-67.2
8.5
0322 Child pornography(c)
. .
243
. .
. .
. .
. .
Other(c)
402
162
-240
-59.7
-83.8
24.1
Total(c)
r2 687
3 083
396
14.7
7.1
7.6
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
r397
522
125
31.5
20.4
11.1
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person(c)
r161
419
258
160.2
149.7
10.6
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
0611 Aggravated robbery
r1 614
1 466
-148
-9.2
-9.2
-
Other(c)
r207
221
14
6.8
-6.8
13.5
Total
r1 821
1 687
-134
-7.4
-8.9
1.5
07 Unlawful entry with intent
1 484
1 469
-15
-1.0
-3.7
2.7
08 Theft and related offences(c)
r529
459
-70
-13.2
-5.5
-7.8
09 Fraud, deception and related offences
0991 Dishonest conversion
r262
214
-48
-18.3
-0.4
-17.9
Other(c)
r650
639
-11
-1.7
-3.1
1.4
Total(c)
r912
853
-59
-6.5
-2.3
-4.2
10 Illicit drug offences
101 Import or export illicit drugs
r128
141
13
10.2
7.0
3.1
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs
r1 933
2 092
159
8.2
-3.4
11.6
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs
522
637
115
22.0
15.3
6.7
Other(c)
r250
265
15
6.0
-2.4
8.4
Total
r2 833
3 135
302
10.7
0.6
10.0
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
r205
180
-25
-12.2
-2.0
-10.2
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
388
370
-18
-4.6
-2.3
-2.3
13 Public order offences(c)
326
178
-148
-45.4
-69.9
24.5
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences(c)
7
20
13
185.7
57.1
128.6
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations(c)
298
354
56
18.8
7.0
11.7
16 Miscellaneous offences(c)
315
95
-220
-69.8
-76.2
6.3
Total(c)
16 735
17 202
467
2.8
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
r revised
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Represents published counts for 2007-08 based on ASOC97 and 2008-09 based on ASOC08.
(c) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.



Analysis of impacts - Magistrates' Courts

16 The same analysis undertaken for the Higher Courts was applied to the Magistrates' Courts data. Six jurisdictions (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory) supplied 2008-09 Magistrates' Courts data dual coded to both ASOC97 and ASOC08 which met analysis requirements.

17 Table 4 below shows the results of the analysis for Magistrates' Courts of the dual coded Courts extracts, providing estimated changes to the total movement for selected principal offence categories summed across the six jurisdictions mentioned above to measure movements that represent classification changes for this court level. The differences largely reflect the impact of changes between ASOC97 and ASOC08, and some change as a result of correcting miscoding errors in ASOC97.

TABLE 4 - ESTIMATED IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Magistrates' Courts, Defendants finalised(a) - combined selected states and territories(b)

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(c)
DIVISION, SUBDIVISION AND GROUP CHANGE(d)
ASOC97
ASOC08
ASOC Division, Subdivision and Group
no.
no.
no.
%

01 Homicide and related offences
494
495
1
0.2
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
48 164
48 392
228
0.5
0291 Stalking(e)
. .
2 332
2 332
. .
Total(e)
48 223
50 784
2 561
5.3
03 Sexual assault and related offences
0311 Aggravated sexual assault
2 114
2 580
466
22.0
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault
684
423
-261
-38.2
0322 Child pornography offences(e)
. .
440
440
. .
Total(e)
3 303
3 738
435
13.2
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
47 559
34 602
(f)-12 957
(f)-27.2
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person(e)
183
2 208
2 025
1 106.6
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
2 222
1 937
-285
-12.8
07 Unlawful entry with intent
8 876
8 642
-234
-2.6
08 Theft and related offences
Theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle(e)
2 903
1 621
-1 282
-44.2
Other(e)
23 734
26 737
3 003
12.7
Total(e)
26 641
28 764
2 123
8.0
09 Fraud, deception and related offences(e)
17 480
12 074
-5 406
-30.9
10 Illicit drug offences
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs
4 945
4 685
-260
-5.3
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs
3 670
3 987
317
8.6
104 Possess and/or use illicit drugs
20 221
19 980
-241
-1.2
Total(e)
32 797
32 607
-190
-0.6
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
6 562
6 393
-169
-2.6
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
14 068
13 870
-198
-1.4
13 Public order offences
132 Regulated public order offences(e)
5 331
6 393
1 062
19.9
Other(e)
46 551
43 661
-2 890
-6.2
Total(e)
51 882
50 054
-1 828
-3.5
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences
141 Driver licence offences
82 468
84 048
1 580
1.9
1431 Exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit(e)
59 080
73 650
(f)14 570
(f)24.7
1432 Exceeding legal speed limit
18 597
18 599
2
-
Other(e)
61 317
63 226
1 909
3.1
Total(e)
221 477
239 523
18 046
8.1
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations
Breach of violence and non-violence orders(e)
10 426
10 391
-35
-0.3
Other(e)
21 891
22 341
450
2.1
Total(e)
32 317
32 732
415
1.3
16 Miscellaneous offences(e)
12 116
7 722
-4 394
-36.3
Total defendants finalised(e)
526 226
526 226
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Includes New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
(c) Represents 2008-09 data based on the old and new ASOC classification.
(d) Represents difference due directly as a result of ASOC08, NOI09 and rectification of miscoding errors.
(e) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.
(f) There were substantial impacts in these offence categories due to the rectification of miscoding errors, in addition to the classification changes. However these cannot be quantified.


18 Table 4 shows that the following ASOC Divisions recorded changes of 15% or greater:
  • 04 dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons;
  • 05 abduction, harassment and other offences against the person;
  • 09 fraud, deception and related offences; and
  • 16 miscellaneous offences.

19 The largest impact was Division 05 and most of this was due to ASOC.

20 At the Subdivision and Group level five ASOC categories recorded changes of 15% or greater: aggravated and non-aggravated sexual assault; theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle; regulated public order offences; and exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit.

21 Table 5 below provides an overview of the changes to the Principal Offence counts for all finalised defendants between 2007-08 and 2008-09 with and without the classification changes. To illustrate, the table shows that the number of Magistrates' Courts finalised defendants in 2008-09 increased by 2.6% from 2007-08 (from 619,544 defendants in 2007-08 to 635,924 defendants in 2008-09). The increase in finalised defendant numbers has not been impacted by the classificatory changes.

22 However, given that changes have occurred across divisions, subdivision and groups as a result of changes to ASOC08 and NOI09, the allocation of Principal Offence in some cases will be different than if they were classified to ASOC97 and NOI02. The correction of miscoding errors in 2008-09 could also have resulted in changes between published offence categories, however these were not significant in most cases.

23 For example, Table 5 shows that the number of Magistrates' Courts finalised defendants with a Principal Offence of sexual assault and related offences increased by 14.3%. Approximately 11.4% of this change can be attributed to changes to the classification and/or miscoding rather than an actual increase in defendants for this offence category. Excluding these classification changes, the estimated increase in defendants for this offence category from 2007-08 to 2008-09 would be approximately 2.9%, rather than 14.3%.

24 The interpretation of these movements is further complicated as estimates could not be based on data from all states and territories. As Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory were unable to provide dual coded data that met ABS analysis requirements for all court levels, the full classificatory impacts could not be measured. Caution should therefore be exercised when using these estimates as the accuracy of the level of movement cannot be fully ascertained as the movements do not reflect any measures for Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory's Magistrate's Courts. The data should only be used as a guide to interpret the level of movements in Principal Offence between 2008-09 and previous years.

TABLE 5 - INDICATIVE IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Magistrates' Courts, Defendants finalised(a) - Australia

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(b)
CHANGE FROM 2007-08 TO 2008-09
Defendants 2007-08
Defendants 2008-09
Classification Impacts ASOC97 to ASOC08(c)
Indicative change (excluding classification impacts) 2007-08 to 2008-09
ASOC Division, Subdivision and Group
no.
no.
no.
%
%
%

01 Homicide and related offences
555
525
-30
-5.4
0.2
-5.6
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
53 080
57 031
3 951
7.4
0.4
7.0
0291 Stalking(d)
. .
2 564
2 564
. .
. .
. .
Total(d)
53 221
59 663
6 442
12.1
4.8
7.3
03 Sexual assault and related offences
0311 Aggravated sexual assault
2 211
2 719
508
23.0
21.1
1.9
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault
967
638
-329
-34.0
-27.0
-7.0
0322 Child pornography(d)
. .
510
510
. .
. .
. .
Total(d)
3 812
4 356
544
14.3
11.4
2.9
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
51 737
42 467
-9 270
-17.9
-25.0
7.1
05 Harassment, abduction and related offences(d)
251
2 883
2 632
1 048.6
806.8
241.8
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
2 358
2 133
-225
-9.5
-12.1
2.5
07 Unlawful entry with intent
9 840
10 261
421
4.3
-2.4
6.7
08 Theft and related offences
Theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle(d)
3 586
2 084
-1 502
-41.9
-35.8
-6.1
Other(d)
28 931
34 231
5 300
18.3
10.4
7.9
Total(d)
32 520
36 721
4 201
12.9
6.5
6.4
09 Fraud, deception and related offences(d)
20 352
15 736
-4 616
-22.7
-26.6
3.9
10 Illicit drug offences
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs
5 107
5 510
403
7.9
-5.1
13.0
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs
4 349
4 932
583
13.4
7.3
6.1
104 Possess and/or use illicit drugs
19 724
21 478
1 754
8.9
-1.2
10.1
Total(d)
33 135
35 890
2 755
8.3
-0.6
8.9
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
8 367
8 377
10
0.1
-2.0
2.1
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
15 699
16 041
342
2.2
-1.3
3.4
13 Public order offences
132 Regulated public order offences(d)
4 218
6 642
2 424
57.5
25.2
32.3
Other(d)
60 181
63 763
3 582
6.0
-4.8
10.8
Total(d)
64 399
70 405
6 006
9.3
-2.8
12.2
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences
141 Driving licence offences
86 434
95 144
8 710
10.1
1.8
8.2
1431 Exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit(d)
64 403
81 968
17 565
27.3
22.6
4.7
1432 Exceeding legal speed limit
32 515
22 713
-9 802
-30.1
-
-30.2
Other(d)
87 004
79 328
-7 676
-8.8
2.2
-11.0
Total(d)
270 411
279 153
8 742
3.2
6.7
-3.4
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations
Breach of violence and non-violence orders(d)
11 012
11 640
628
5.7
-0.3
6.0
Other(d)
23 172
25 791
2 619
11.3
1.9
9.4
Total(d)
34 184
37 431
3 247
9.5
1.2
8.3
16 Miscellaneous offences(d)
17 842
13 570
-4 272
-23.9
-24.6
0.7
Total(d)
619 544
635 924
16 380
2.6
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Represents published counts for 2007-08 based on ASOC97 and 2008-09 published data based on ASOC08.
(c) Classification impacts are based on the change observed across the six combined jurisdictions who provided dual-coded extracts, and include changes due to miscoding.
(d) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.



Analysis of impacts - Children's Courts

25 The same analysis undertaken for the Higher and Magistrates' Courts was applied to the Children's Courts data. Six jurisdictions (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory) supplied 2008-09 Children's Courts data coded to both ASOC97 and ASOC08 which met analysis requirements of the impact of the changes to the classification for this court level.

26 Table 6 below shows the results of the analysis of the dual coded Children's Courts extracts, providing estimated changes to the total movement for selected principal offence categories summed across the six jurisdictions mentioned above to measure movements that reflect classification changes for this court level. The differences largely reflect changes between ASOC97 and ASOC08, and some change as a result of correcting miscoding errors in ASOC97.

TABLE 6 - ESTIMATED IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Children's Courts, Defendants finalised(a) - combined selected states and territories(b)

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(c)
DIVISION, SUBDIVISION AND GROUP CHANGE(d)
ASOC97
ASOC08
ASOC Division, Subdivision and Group
no.
no.
no.
%

01 Homicide and related offences
40
40
-
-
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
5 708
5 896
188
3.3
0291Stalking(e)
. .
169
169
. .
Other(e)
27
27
-
-
Total(e)
5 735
6 092
357
6.2
03 Sexual assault and related offences(e)
547
563
16
2.9
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
2 029
1 771
(f)-258
(f)-12.7
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person(e)
12
192
180
1 500.0
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
1 656
1 461
-195
-11.8
07 Unlawful entry with intent
4 756
4 626
-130
-2.7
08 Theft and related offences
Theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle(e)
1 388
1 194
-194
-14.0
Other(e)
3 858
4 361
503
13.0
Total(e)
5 246
5 555
309
5.9
09 Fraud, deception and related offences(e)
564
245
-319
-56.6
10 Illicit drug offences
855
846
-9
-1.1
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
418
423
5
1.2
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
1211 Property damage by fire or explosion
271
264
-7
-2.6
1212 Graffiti
276
256
-20
-7.2
Other(e)
2 025
1 930
-95
-4.7
Total
2 572
2 450
-122
-4.7
13 Public order offences
132 Regulated public order offences(e)
252
231
-21
-8.3
Other(e)
3 067
2 924
-143
-4.7
Total(e)
3 319
3 155
-164
-4.9
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences
141 Driver licence offences
2 530
2 556
26
1.0
143 Regulatory driving offences(e)
617
1 224
(f)607
(f)98.4
Other(e)
288
291
3
1.0
Total(e)
3 435
4 071
(f)636
(f)18.5
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations(e)
1 086
1 089
3
0.3
16 Miscellaneous offences(e)
490
149
-341
-69.6
Total defendants finalised(e)
32 761
32 761
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Includes New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
(c) Represents 2008-09 data based on the old and the new ASOC classification.
(d) Represents difference due directly as a result of ASOC08, NOI09 and rectification of miscoding errors.
(e) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.
(f) There were substantial impacts in these offence categories due to the rectification of miscoding errors, in addition to the classification changes. However these cannot be quantified.


27 Table 7 shows that the following ASOC divisions recorded changes of 15% or greater:
  • 05 abduction, harassment and other offences against the person;
  • 09 fraud, deception and related offences;
  • 14 traffic and vehicle regulatory offences; and
  • 16 miscellaneous offences.

28 The most significant impact was division 5.

29 At the Subdivision/Group level one ASOC category recorded changes of 15% or greater: Subdivision 143 - Regulatory driving offences.

30 Table 7 below provides an overview of the changes to the Principal Offence counts for all finalised defendants between 2007-08 and 2008-09 with and without the classification changes. To illustrate, the table shows that the number of Children's Courts finalised defendants in 2008-09 increased by 7.1% from 2007-08 (from 39,412 defendants in 2007-08 to 42,197 defendants in 2008-09). The increase in finalised defendant numbers has not been impacted by the classificatory changes.

31 However, given that changes have occurred across divisions, subdivision and groups as a result of changes to ASOC08 and NOI09, the allocation of Principal Offence in some cases will be different than if they were classified to ASOC97 and NOI02. The correction of miscoding errors in 2008-09 could also have resulted in changes between published offence categories, however these were not significant in most cases.

32 For example, Table 7 shows that the number of Children's Courts finalised defendants with a Principal Offence of traffic and regulatory offences increased by 19.4%. Approximately 16.1% of this change can be attributed to changes to the classification and/or miscoding rather than an actual increase in defendants for this offence category. Excluding these classification changes, the estimated increase in defendants for this offence category from 2007-08 to 2008-09 would be approximately 3.3%, rather than 19.4%.

33 The interpretation of these movements is further complicated as estimates could not be based on data from all states and territories. As Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory were unable to provide dual coded data that met ABS analysis requirements for all court levels, the full classificatory impacts could not be measured. Caution should therefore be exercised when using these estimates as the accuracy of the level of movement cannot be fully ascertained as the movements do not reflect any measures for Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory's Childrens' Courts. The data should only be used as a guide to interpret the level of movements in Principal Offence between 2008-09 and previous years.

TABLE 7 - INDICATIVE IMPACT OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES, 2008-09 Children's Courts, Defendants finalised(a) - Australia

DEFENDANTS FINALISED(b)
CHANGE FROM 2007-08 TO 2008-09
2007-08
2008-09
Classification impacts ASOC97 to ASOC08(c)
Indicative change (excluding classification impacts) 2008-08 to 2008-09
ASOC Division, Subdivision and Group
no.
no.
no.
%
%
%

01 Homicide and related offences
48
44
-4
-8.3
-
-8.3
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
6 065
7 563
1 498
24.7
3.1
21.6
0291 Stalking(d)
. .
180
180
. .
. .
. .
Other(d)
21
27
6
28.6
-
28.6
Total(d)
6 086
7 770
1 684
27.7
5.9
21.8
03 Sexual assault and related offences(d)
649
699
50
7.7
2.5
5.2
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
2 129
2 134
5
0.2
-12.1
12.4
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person(d)
18
245
227
1 261.1
1 000.0
261.1
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
1 957
1 706
-251
-12.8
-10.0
-2.9
07 Unlawful entry with intent
5 068
5 365
297
5.9
-2.6
8.4
08 Theft and related offences
Theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle(d)
1 710
1 527
-183
-10.7
-11.3
0.6
Other(d)
4 051
7 240
3 189
78.7
12.4
66.3
Total(d)
5 761
8 767
3 006
52.2
5.4
46.8
09 Fraud, deception and related offences(d)
4 052
400
-3 652
-90.1
-7.9
-82.3
10 Illicit drug offences
762
942
180
23.6
-1.2
24.8
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
563
653
90
16.0
0.9
15.1
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
1211 Property damage by fire or explosion
307
348
41
13.4
-2.3
15.6
1212 Graffiti
269
277
8
3.0
-7.4
10.4
Other(d)
2 044
2 406
362
17.7
-4.6
22.4
Total
2 620
3 031
411
15.7
-4.7
20.3
13 Public order offences
132 Regulated public order offences(d)
425
566
141
33.2
-4.9
38.1
Other(d)
3 092
3 472
380
12.3
-4.6
16.9
Total(d)
3 517
4 038
521
14.8
-4.7
19.5
14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences
141 Driving licence offences
2 691
2 979
288
10.7
1.0
9.7
143 Regulatory driving offences(d)
995
1 431
436
43.8
61.0
-17.2
Other(d)
270
314
44
16.3
1.1
15.2
Total(d)
3 956
4 724
768
19.4
16.1
3.3
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations(d)
1 105
1 193
88
8.0
0.3
7.7
16 Miscellaneous offences(d)
966
438
-528
-54.7
-35.3
-19.4
Total(d)
39 412
42 197
2 785
7.1
. .
. .

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes rectification of miscoding of records not a direct result of changes to ASOC and NOI.
(b) Represents published counts for 2007-08 based on ASOC07 and 2008-09 published data based on ASOC08.
(c) Classification impacts are based on the change observed across the six states/territories who provided dual coded analysis, and included changes due to miscoding.
(d) See table 8 for information as to what was included in these categories.

TABLE 8 - FOOTNOTES(a)

Division Subdivision Group Principal Offence Inclusions/Exclusions

01 Homicide and related offences
011 Murder
Other Includes ASOC Subdivisions 012 and 013 (Higher Courts only).
Total
02 Acts intended to cause injury
021 Assault
0291 Stalking ASOC08 only. Stalking is included in division 14 in ASOC97.
Other Includes ASOC Groups 0290 and 0299.
Total Stalking is excluded from ASOC97 total. Includes ASOC Groups 0290 and 0299 (Magistrates Courts only).
03 Sexual assault and related offences
0311 Aggravated sexual assault
0312 Non-aggravated sexual assault
0322 Child pornography offences ASOC08 only. Child pornography is included in ASOC97 division 13 (Higher and Magistrates' Courts only).
Other Includes ASOC08 groups 0321, 0323 and 0329. ASOC97 excludes sexual servitude offences, which are included in ASOC97 Division 13 (Higher Courts only)
Total Includes ASOC Group 0300. Child pornography offences and sexual servitude offences are excluded from ASOC97 total.
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person ASOC97 excludes Subdivision 053.
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences
0611 Aggravated robbery
Other Includes ASOC Subdivision 062 and Group 0612 (Higher Courts only).
Total
07 Unlawful entry with intent
08 Theft and related offences
Theft/illegal use of a motor vehicle Includes ASOC Groups 0811-0812 (Magistrates' and Children's Courts only).
Other Includes Subdivisions 082-084 and Group 0813 of the ASOC. ASOC97 excludes fare evasion. Fare evasion is included in ASOC97 Division 09 (Magistrates' and Children's Courts only).
Total Includes theft and related offences n.f.d. ASOC97 excludes fare evasion. Fare evasion is included in Division 09 in ASOC97.
09 Fraud, deception and related offences
0991 Dishonest conversion
Other Includes ASOC97 Subdivisions 091-092, 094, 099 and ASOC08 Subdivisions 091-093 and Group 0999. (Higher Courts only).
Total ASOC08 excludes Fare evasion. Fare evasion is included in Division 08 in ASOC08. ASOC08 excludes Bribery (excluding government officials). This is included in ASOC Division 16.
10 Illicit drug offences
101 Import or export illicit drugs
102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs
103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs
Other Includes ASOC Subdivisions 104 and 109 (Higher Courts only).
Total Includes ASOC Subdivisions 104 and 109 (Magistrates' Courts only).
11 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences
12 Property damage and environmental pollution
1211 Property damage by fire or explosion
1212 Graffiti
Other Includes ASOC Subdivision 122 and Group 1219.
Total
13 Public order offences
132 Regulated public order offences ASOC08 excludes child pornography offences and sexual servitude offences. These are in ASOC08 Division 3 (Magistrates' and Children's Courts only).
Other Includes Subdivisions 131 (ASOC97 and ASOC08) and 133 (ASOC08) (Magistrates' and Children's Courts only).
Total ASOC08 excludes child pornography offences and sexual servitude offences. These are in ASOC08 Division 3.
14 Traffic and regulatory offences (Magistrates' Courts)
141 Driver licence offences
143 Regulatory driving offences ASOC97 did not include 'exceed the prescribed content of other substances limit' (Children's Courts only).
1431 Exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit ASOC97 did not include 'exceed the prescribed content of other substances limit' (Magistrates' Courts only).
1432 Exceeding legal speed limit
Other Includes Subdivisions 142 and 144 and Groups 1433 and 1439 of the ASOC (Magistrates' Courts only).
Total Includes traffic and vehicle regulatory offences, n.f.d. (Magistrates' Courts only). Includes Subdivisions 142 and 144 of the ASOC. ASOC97 did not include 'exceed the prescribed content of other substances limit' .
15 Offences against justice procedures, gov't security and operations
Breach of violence and non-violence orders Includes ASOC97 Groups 1514 and 1515 and ASOC08 Group 1531 and 1532 (Magistrates' Courts only).
Other Includes ASOC97 Subdivisions 152-154 and Groups 1511 and 1519 and ASOC08 Subdivisions 151, 154-156 and Groups 1521, 1524, 1525 and 1529 (Magistrates' Courts only).
Total ASOC97 excludes Bribery involving government officials. This is included in ASOC97 Division 09. ASOC97 excludes Immigration offences. This is included in Division 16 in ASOC97.
16 Miscellaneous offences ASOC97 excludes Bribery (excluding government officials). This is included in ASOC97 Division 09. ASOC08 excludes Immigration offences. This is included in Division 15 in ASOC97.
Total Includes defendants for whom offence data are missing or a principal offence could not be determined.

(a) Footnotes for tables 2-7.



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