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4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2014   
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INTRODUCTION

This publication presents findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2012–13 Crime Victimisation Survey, which was conducted throughout Australia from July 2012 to June 2013. This is the fifth annual national survey of crime victimisation in Australia, with the first Crime Victimisation Survey conducted in 2008–09. The publication presents estimates of the extent of victimisation experienced by Australians aged 15 years and over of selected types of crime and whether or not the most recent incident of each crime type was reported to police. The survey also collects information about selected characteristics of incidents of victimisation (such as the location of the incident and the victim’s relationship to the offender) and socio-demographic details of victims (such as age, sex and education). The data referred to within this commentary are available to download as data cubes from the Download tab within this publication.

WHAT 'CRIMES' WERE INCLUDED IN THE CRIME VICTIMISATION SURVEY?

The types of crime collected in the survey included both personal crimes and household crimes. Definitions of the individual crime types can be found in the Glossary.

The personal crimes included in the survey were:


The household crimes included in the survey were:
WHAT IS A 'VICTIM'?

For the Crime Victimisation Survey, a victim is a person or household who has experienced at least one incident of a selected type of crime in the 12 months prior to interview in 2012–13. While state and territory legislative definitions of these crime types differ, the survey questions focused on specific actions and events to ensure consistency in definitions and responses across jurisdictions. For example, a respondent was counted as a victim of physical assault if they reported they had experienced 'physical force or violence' against their person. Responses therefore reflect individual respondents' subjective understanding of the survey questions and their own interpretation of their experiences.

A victim may report multiple incidents of a type of crime within the reference period, however for this survey, a victim is only counted once for each type of crime experienced.

WHAT IS AN 'INCIDENT'?

An incident is a single occurrence of a crime event, such as a break-in to a household or an assault of a person. In any particular incident, a number of different types of crimes may be committed against a person or household. The Crime Victimisation Survey collects each relevant type of crime within an incident separately.

For instance, a person might confront someone breaking into their home and deliberately damaging property and subsequently be assaulted during that same incident. In this example, the person would be counted once for break-in (as a household victim), once for malicious property damage (as a household victim) and once for physical assault (as a person victim) (as demonstrated in Diagram 1).

Diagram 1: Breakdown of incident recording

Image: diagram showing incident recording for example described above.
WHAT IS MULTIPLE VICTIMISATION?

People and households may experience multiple incidents in the 12 months prior to interview, which may involve the same crime type or differing crime types. For the Crime Victimisation Survey, 'multiple victimisation' refers to victims who experienced more than one instance of the same crime type within the 12 months prior to interview. For example, a person reporting being a victim of assault on three separate occasions within the reference period is considered, for the purposes of the survey, as having experienced multiple victimisation for assault. Where a victim reports experiencing multiple victimisation, specific details (e.g. location of crime, relationship to offender, whether alcohol or other substance was involved in the incident) are only collected for the most recent instance of that crime type experienced by the victim.

Data on multiple victimisation is presented in this publication as a categorical variable, based on the number of incidents of each crime type experienced by victims.

HOW DOES THE CRIME VICTIMISATION SURVEY CONTRIBUTE TO UNDERSTANDING VICTIMISATION IN AUSTRALIA?

Estimates from the Crime Victimisation Survey provide important information for the community about the extent of crime in Australia. This includes not only incidents that are reported to the police, but also those that are not brought to the attention of the police. This differs from available administrative data sourced from state and territory police, which capture only those incidents which are reported to and recorded by police. More information about the differences between administrative data and survey data when measuring victims of crime can be found in the ABS information paper Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey Data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).

Data from the Crime Victimisation Survey is used by police, the justice sector, researchers and the wider Australian community to better understand the extent and nature of certain types of crime in Australia and the proportion of crime that is reported to the police. This knowledge contributes to a range of community, police and public policy initiatives, such as operational planning, evaluation of services, education programs and prevention policies.

WHAT INFORMATION ABOUT DATA QUALITY IS INCLUDED IN THIS PUBLICATION?

Estimates with a relative standard error (RSE) of less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most purposes and only estimates of such precision are referred to in the analysis. Due to the relatively small numbers of persons experiencing certain types of crime, some of the estimates provided with the data cubes are subject to high sampling error; these are indicated by footnotes when presented in figures and through the use of cell comments in data cubes.

All differences and changes mentioned have been tested for statistical significance with a 95% level of confidence that there is a real difference between the two populations being tested. More information about significance testing can be found in the Technical Note.

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