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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Crime

CRIME GLOSSARY

Age

Of the person at the time of the survey interview.

Age standardisation

A statistical method that adjusts crude rates to account for age differences between populations with different age structures.

Alone

The definition of this term was left to the interpretation of the respondent. However, if respondents queried whether having a baby, young child (under 12 years of age) or pet at home was the same as being alone, they were informed that it was.

Assault

Assault is comprised of physical assault and threatened assault (definitions below).

Attempted break-in

An incident where an attempt was made to break into the respondent's home, garage or shed.

  • Includes incidents where the respondent (or another person) saw someone acting suspiciously around the property if it was suspected that his or her intent was to steal property.
  • Excludes any attempted break-in that resulted in an actual break-in (e.g. attempted to break in through a door but then gained entry through a window).
  • Also excludes attempted break-ins to a respondent's car.

    Break-in

    An incident where the respondent's home (primary residence) was broken into. Includes break-ins to garage, shed or any detached secure building such as games/hobby room etc. Caravans were only included if it was the respondent's permanent residence. Break-in incidents relating to a respondent's car or front or rear yard were excluded.

    Cannabis Expiation Notices (CEN) - South Australia

    Data relating to offenders issued with Cannabis Expiation Notices (CEN), relating to illicit drug offences, are stored on a separate infringements database and this information cannot be linked to other databases that store information about offenders who were proceeded against by police. Offenders with CENs are effectively assigned a principal offence of illicit drugs. As offenders cannot be linked across the databases, if an offender has committed an offence in addition to a CEN then that offender may be counted as two separate offenders (i.e. counted twice).

    Country of birth

    Country of birth has been classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (Revision 2.03) (cat. no. 1269.0). Main English speaking countries include Canada, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America.

    Face-to-face threatened assault

    See 'Threatened assault'.

    Feelings of safety

    Relates to people's feelings of safety in selected situations when they are alone. If a person had a young child with them or a pet they were treated as being alone. Questions about feelings of safety were asked of all respondents aged 18 years or over, and of all 15 to 17 year olds where a parent/guardian gave permission for a personal interview.

    General Expiation Notices (GEN) - South Australia


    General Expiation Notices (GEN), usually issued for public order and justice offences, are stored in an infringement database and cannot be linked with other police databases that contain information about offender who were proceeded against by police. As offenders cannot be linked across the databases, if an offender has committed an offence in addition to a GEN then that offender may be counted as two separate offenders (i.e. counted twice).

    Household

    A group of people resident in a private dwelling who share common facilities and meals and who consider themselves to be a household. It is possible for a dwelling to contain more than one household, for example, where regular provision is made for groups to take meals separately and where people consider their households to be separate.

    Household crime


    Specifically, a break-in, attempted break-in, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, incident of malicious property damage, or other theft, in which a household is considered to be the victim of the crime.

    Imprisonment rates


    Imprisonment rates enable comparison of prisoner populations across states and territories at a point in time, as well as over time. Prisoner rates are expressed as the number of persons in prison per 100,000 adult population.

    Incident

    A single occurrence of a crime event, such as a break-in, attempted break-in, theft of a motor vehicle, or act of robbery, assault or sexual assault. Single respondents can report multiple incidents, which means the total number of victims and total number of incidents may differ.

    Infringement notices (Victoria)


    A two-year trial Infringement Notice Project commenced in Victoria Police in July 2008 following the introduction of the Infringements and Other Acts Amendment Act 2008. It listed a number of additional offences which were able to be dealt with by way of an infringement notice by police. In addition, police had the ability to issue new official warning notices for most offences in the trial. The offences included: failure of a person who is drunk to leave a licensed premises when requested; consuming or having liquor on unlicensed premises; shop theft under $600; wilful damage; indecent / obscene language; and offensive behaviour.

    Victoria has a lower rate of public order offences, property damage and environmental pollution, and offences against justice than most other jurisdictions as the above Victorian penalty/infringement notices are not included in data for this collection. These data are not included as the data resides with a third party (not Victoria Police) and are unable to be matched with offender data maintained by Victoria Police. Offender counts and rates for Victoria are underestimated as a result and caution should be exercised when comparing these offence types with other jurisdictions. Victorian traffic offence data are also maintained by an external party and are not available.

    Malicious property damage


    Intentional or wilful (not accidental) damage, defacement or destruction of any part of the respondent's home or anything usually kept at his or her home. The questions on malicious property damage relate to the respondent's home and any property belonging to the respondent or a member of his or her household, excluding any rental, investment or holiday properties that he or she owns. Property is something tangible in nature including land, conveyances, animals or other objects capable of being privately owned. Destruction can mean any alteration that may render something imperfect or inoperative. It can include destruction of property, graffiti or vandalism, partial destruction, killing or harming an owned animal, and removing or destroying a plant or other part of an owned landscape. Excludes turning off water meters and flicking safety switches etc. if no damage to the meter occurred.

    Motor vehicle theft


    An incident where a motor vehicle was stolen from any member of the household. Includes cars, utes, motorcycles, buses and trucks. Excludes boats and trailers. Only includes vehicles where the primary use is for private purposes (i.e. excludes commercial vehicles). Motor vehicle theft incidents are collected as household-level data.

    Neighbourhood


    The definition of this term was left to the interpretation of respondents. It can be the street they live in or include the whole suburb they live in.

    Non face-to-face threatened assault

    See 'Threatened assault'.

    Non-victim


    A household or person that has not reported at least one of the crimes surveyed.

    OECD

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    Offenders of crime

    A person aged 10 years and over allegedly involved in a criminal incident who is proceeded against and recorded by police for one or more offences. An offender is only counted once during the reference period irrespective of the number of offences committed or the number of separate occasions that police proceeded against that offender.

    Offender rates

    Offender rates are expressed as the number of offenders per 100,000 of the relevant Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

    Other theft


    Any unlawful taking or obtaining of money or goods other than from motor vehicles owned by the respondent or a household member, without the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods. Includes any theft of property belonging to a respondent or a member of the respondent's household not mentioned previously in the survey by the respondent. Includes property belonging to a household member stolen from a vehicle not owned by a household member. Also includes property stolen from a yard or garden (e.g. statues, plants). Excludes any incidents involving theft covered in other sections of the survey such as break-ins or robberies. Other theft incidents are collected as household-level data.

    Personal crime


    Specifically, a robbery, physical assault, threatened assault or sexual assault, in which an individual is considered to be the victim of the crime.

    Physical assault


    An incident where anyone used physical force or violence against a respondent. Physical force or violence includes being: pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, hit with an open hand or fist, kicked or bitten. It also includes being hit with something else that could hurt a respondent i.e. a bat, hammer, belt, pot, ruler, etc. It includes being beaten, choked, stabbed, shot, burnt, dragged or hit deliberately by a vehicle. Includes assault in a respondent's line of work. It excludes incidents that occurred during the course of play on a sporting field, verbal abuse, and incidents of sexual assault or threatened sexual assault which also involved physical assault.

    Police proceeding

    A proceeding is a legal action initiated against an alleged offender for an offence(s). Police proceedings represent a count for each separate occasion on which police initiate a legal action against an offender. Each proceeding is classified to a principal offence and principal method of proceeding. It does not represent a count of offences.

    Police proceedings - court actions

    A type of legal action initiated by police against an offender. Court actions largely comprise the laying of charges against an alleged offender that must be answered in court. Offenders may be taken into custody, granted bail or issued with a summons for these charges pending an appearance in court.

    Police proceedings - non-court actions

    A type of legal action initiated by police against an offender. Non-court actions comprise legal actions such as informal or formal cautions/warnings, conferencing, counselling such as drug diversionary schemes, or the issuing of penalty or infringement notices, which do not require an appearance in court.

    Public transport


    Includes buses, trains, trams, ferries and taxis.

    Reporting rate


    The proportion of victims who reported the most recent incident of a crime to police.

    Robbery


    An incident where someone stole (or tried to steal) property from a respondent by physically attacking them or threatening him or her with force or violence. Includes incidents of physical assault and threatened assault which also involved robbery or attempted robbery.

    Sexual assault


    The definition of sexual assault was left to the interpretation of the respondent for the Crime Victimisation Survey. Only people aged 18 years and over were asked questions about sexual assault.

    Theft from a motor vehicle


    An incident where property owned by a respondent or any member of that respondent's household was stolen from a motor vehicle owned by that respondent or any member of that respondent's household for private use. It includes property owned by a respondent or another member of a respondent's household that was in a vehicle owned by the respondent or a household member when that vehicle was stolen, in instances where the property was never returned.

    It excludes property stolen that belonged to someone not living in the household (e.g. friend, other relative), and property owned by a business/employer (e.g. computer, mobile phone, work tools). Also excludes property stolen from commercial vehicles (this includes a self-employed business operator whose vehicle is mainly used for work purposes), and any break-in to a motor vehicle if nothing was stolen. Incidents of theft from a motor vehicle are collected as household-level data.

    Threatened assault


    Includes any verbal and/or physical intent or suggestion of intent to inflict physical harm, which the person believed was able and likely to be carried out. Includes a threat or attempt to hit with a fist or anything else that could hurt, threats or attempts to slap, punch, spank or hit in any way with a fist or weapon such as a bat, hammer or pot, situations where a gun was left in an obvious place or if the person knew that the perpetrator had access to a gun. Includes toy guns, starter pistols etc. if the respondent believed they were real. Also includes incidents where a respondent was threatened in their line of work (e.g. while working as a security guard).

    Includes both face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assault.

    Unemployed


    People aged 15 years or over who were not employed during the reference week, and:
  • had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week;
  • or were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.

    Using and waiting for public transport alone after dark


    Includes using and waiting for buses, trains, trams, taxis and ferries.

    Victim


    A household or person reporting at least one of the crimes surveyed. Victims were counted once only for each type of crime, regardless of the number of incidents of that type.

    Victimisation rate


    The total number of victims of a given crime in a given population (who have been a victim of the crime at least once in the reference period) expressed as a percentage of that population. This is the most common measure derived from crime victim surveys.
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