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In 2009-10, in the 12 months prior to the survey, crime victimisation rates for physical or threatened physical assault were higher for males aged 15 years and over (6.5%) than for females (4.9%). Males and females aged 15-24 years more likely to be victims than were older age groups.
Crime takes many forms and can have a major impact on the wellbeing of victims, their families and friends, and the wider community. Those most directly affected may suffer financially, physically, psychologically or emotionally. Fear of crime can affect people by restricting community engagement, reducing levels of trust and impacting on social cohesion.
There are other costs of crime, including the provision of law enforcement services by the police, the courts and associated legal services, and corrective services. Although government agencies take on the major responsibility for law enforcement, many businesses and householders also bear costs in protecting against, or paying for, the consequences of crime. Such costs include insurance and security equipment and services. (Endnote 1)
To provide a more comprehensive view of the nature and extent of crime levels in Australia, the crime victimisation rates presented in the following commentary are sourced from two ABS collections. The first reflects the incidence of crime as reported in the ABS Crime Victimisation Survey, and published in ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia (cat. no. 4530.0). Additional information on crime victimisation is also provided for a selected range of offences that have been recorded by the police. These data, which are derived from administrative systems maintained by State and Territory police, are published in ABS Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia (cat. no. 4510.0).
Neither of these sources will provide a definitive measure of crime victimisation, but together they provide a more comprehensive picture of victimisation than either measure alone. Both sources have a number of limitations - for more information, refer to ABS Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey Data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).
VICTIMISATION RATE FOR PHYSICAL OR THREATENED PHYSICAL ASSAULT
In 2009-10, nearly one million Australians aged 15 years and over reported that they had been the victims of physical or threatened physical assault in the previous 12 months. The victimisation rate for physical or threatened physical assault was higher for males than females (6.5% and 4.9% respectively). Of all of these victims of physical and threatened physical assault, 57% were males.
In 2009-10, a higher proportion of both males and females reported as being victims of threatened physical assault than being victims of physical assault. Males were more likely to be victims of both physical and threatened physical assault. In the previous 12 months, 3.4% of males were victims of at least one physical assault, compared with 2.4% of females. For threatened physical assault, 3.8% of males and 2.9% of females were victims.
Young people were more likely to be victims of physical or threatened physical assault. In 2009-10 among the 15-19 year age group, 11.3% of males and 8.7% of females were victims of at least one such assault. The likelihood of being a victim of physical or threatened physical assault decreases with age. Of people aged 65 years and over, 2.4% of males and 1.2 % of females were victims of least one such assault.
VICTIMISATION RATE FOR ROBBERY
In 2009-10, around 71,500 adult Australians (0.4% of people aged 15 years and over) were the victim of at least one robbery. Of these victims, 61% were males. The victimisation rate for males was 0.5% compared to 0.3% for females.
The chance of being a victim of robbery decreased with age, with the victimisation rate for robbery falling from 1.0% for males aged 15-34 years to 0.3% for males aged 35 years and over. For females, the victimisation rate fell from 0.6% for younger age group to 0.2% for those aged 35 years and over.
RECORDED PERSONAL CRIMES
Recorded crimes are incidents that came to the attention of police and a subsequent decision-making process is carried out by police in accordance with criminal law.
According to recorded crime statistics in 2010, males of any age were almost twice as likely to be recorded by police as a victim of murder than were females, with 1.2 male victims per 100,000 males compared to 0.8 female victims per 100,000 females. In the case of attempted murder, males were also nearly twice as likely as females to be recorded as victims, with 1.1 male victims per 100,000 males compared to 0.6 female victims per 100,000 females.
In 2010, females accounted for higher proportion of recorded victims of kidnapping/abduction (58%), while males accounted more for recorded victims of murder (61% of murders), attempted murder (65%), robbery (76%) and blackmail/extortion (67%). (Endnote 3)
More females than males were recorded by police as being victims of sexual assault in 2010 (85% of the recorded victims were female). While the recorded rate for sexual assault was higher for female victims (134.2 per 100,000) compared to male victims (23.5 per 100,000), the majority of sexual assaults are not reported to police. The ABS Personal Safety Survey showed that in 2005 81% of the female victims of sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the survey did not report the incidence to the police. The survey also showed that more than 80% of victims of sexual assault since the age of 15 had not reported the incident to the police (82% of male victims and 84% of female victims).
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010, Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010, cat. no. 1370.0, ABS, Canberra, <www.abs.gov.au>.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011, Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009-10, cat. no. 4530.0, ABS, Canberra, <www.abs.gov.au>.
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011, Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2010, cat. no. 4510.0, ABS, Canberra, <www.abs.gov.au>.
SAFETY AND JUSTICE LINKS
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