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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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Contents >> Youth victimisation and offending: A statistical snapshot >> Characteristics of criminal incidents

CHARACTERISTICS OF CRIMINAL INCIDENTS

The characteristics of criminal incidents provide contextual information about the environment and circumstances in which youth may be at an increased risk of victimisation and/or offending. The following section describes a) the location of the most recent incident, b) the relationship of the victim to the offender at the time of the most recent incident, c) whether or not formal medical treatment was sought, d) weapon use in the most recent incident, e) repeat offending during a 12 month period, and f) police action against offenders.

    a) Location

For persons aged 15-17, the most common location for an incident of physical assault to occur was at work/place of study (31.8%). In comparison, for persons aged 18-24, the highest proportion of physical assault victimisation was reported to occur at a place of entertainment/recreation (25.4%).

VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT, SELECTED LOCATION OF INCIDENT, 2009-10


Source: ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4530.0).

The most common location for a face-to-face incident of threatened assault to occur for persons aged 15-17 and 18-24 was at work/place of study (61.6% and 24.2% respectively).
    b) Relationship of victim to offender

Persons aged 18-24 were more likely than persons aged 15-17 to report that they did not know their offender (49.2% and 20.1% respectively).

The tendency for persons aged 18-24 to not know their offender can be further understood when combined with information about the most common location for an incident to occur. For physical assault incidents, the most common location for an incident to occur was at a place of entertainment/recreation (25.4%). Similarly for persons aged 15-17 years old, a pattern emerged between the location of the incident and the relationship to the offender. The offender was most commonly reported as being a colleague/school student/professional relationship (38.0%), and the incident most commonly occurred at a work/place of study location (31.8%).

VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT, SELECTED RELATIONSHIP TO OFFENDER, 2009-10

Source: ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4530.0)

People aged 18-24 were also more likely than those aged 15-17 to report not knowing their offender in their most recent incident of face-to-face threatened assault (57.6% for those aged 18-24 years old compared with 34.4% for those aged 15-17 years old).

    c) Whether formal medical treatment was sought

Over half of the victims of physical assault aged between 15 and 24 reported being physically injured in their most recent incident of physical assault (57.0% for 15-17 year olds and 55.4% for 18 to 24 year olds). In addition, approximately 1 in 5 persons reported seeking formal medical treatment (20.6% of 15-17 year olds and 19.4% of 18-24 year olds).

    d) Weapon use

Of persons aged between 15 and 17, 11.4% reported that they experienced a physical assault where a weapon was used, compared with 16.3% of persons aged 18-24.

VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT, SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS, 2009-10

Source: ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4530.0).


For face-to-face threatened assault, of persons aged 15-17 years old, 15.9% reported that a weapon was used in the most recent incident. This is in comparison to 7.3% of those aged 18-24 years.


    e) Repeat offenders
The proportion of youth offenders that were proceeded against by police more than once did not vary considerably from age 10 to age 24. In 2009-10, the highest proportion of repeat offenders was for persons aged 15 to 19 years (29.3% of persons aged 15-19 were proceeded against by police more than once).

PROPORTION OF YOUTH OFFENDERS PROCEEDED AGAINST BY POLICE
TWICE OR MORE BY AGE - COMBINED SELECTED STATES AND TERRITORIES(a)

Source: ABS Recorded Crime–Offenders, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4519.0).

    f) Police action against offenders

Police may initiate either a court or non-court action against an alleged offender. The proportion of total police initiated actions that were court actions against youth offenders in 2009-10 increased with age (39.4% of offenders aged 10-14, 55.0% for offenders aged 15-19, and 66.4% for offenders aged 20-24).


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