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4524.0 - In Focus: Crime and Justice Statistics, September 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/09/2011  First Issue
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INTRODUCTION

Youth involvement in crime is a perennial issue of interest for the media, government and researchers. The 2010 House of Representatives Standing Committee report Avoid the Harm - Stay Calm (Endnote 1) explored the difficulties in identifying the realities of youth violence in Australia within public debate. Bringing together various statistical data sources to create a cohesive picture of youth involvement in crime and justice has been identified as a key priority in addressing this issue.

The consequences of youth offending and youth victimisation can have broad and far reaching effects. Youth victims and offenders can be affected adversely in terms of their development such as loss of education and loss of opportunities. This in turn can affect whole families and the wider community through, for example, increased costs of health and welfare services and reduced employment and educational opportunities (Endnote 2).

The ABS conducts several statistical collections that provide information relating to crime victimisation and the offending patterns of young people. These statistical collections provide selected information on the prevalence, nature and severity of criminal incidents which enable the monitoring of broad trends over time. This article collates findings from these collections and provides an overview of youth victims and youth offenders. In doing so, this article contributes to an improved evidence base on the impact of violence and crime on young Australians.

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