4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2016-17  
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EXPERIMENTAL FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS

INTRODUCTION

This chapter presents experimental data about Offenders of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV)-related offences1. The data presented in this release were drawn from police crime recording systems. Offenders of selected offences were determined to be FDV-related based on an FDV flag as recorded by police, supplemented in some instances by information on relationship of offender to victim.

The use of the FDV flag varies across jurisdictions based on relevant state and territory legislation. Police policy can also vary, from professional judgement through to the use of screening tools as part of risk assessment frameworks. As there is no uniform process to identify FDV events across states and territories, caution should be exercised when interpreting the experimental FDV data presented in this publication. In particular, care should be taken to ensure the differences resulting from these variations across the states and territories are considered. For further information see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 31–42.

FDV-related data referred to in this chapter were drawn from the data cube: Offenders of Family and Domestic Violence, Experimental data, selected states and territories. The total offender population referred to in this chapter was drawn from the data cube: Offenders, states and territories.


KEY FINDINGS

Around one in five offenders proceeded against by police in 2016-17 had at least one FDV-related offence. This was the case across all states and territories for which FDV data were collected, with the exception of Tasmania.

In Tasmania, about 11% (1,178) of offenders were proceeded against by police for at least one FDV-related offence. Tasmanian data are restricted to only court actions against a partner/spouse/husband/wife (including former) or boyfriend/girlfriend (including ex-boyfriend/girlfriend). (FDV Table 5)

For the remaining states and territories, the numbers of offenders with at least one FDV-related offence were as follows:
  • New South Wales (19% or 24,002 offenders)
  • Victoria (22% or 16,629 offenders)
  • Western Australia (20% or 8,522 offenders)
  • The Northern Territory (23% or 2,672 offenders)
  • The Australian Capital Territory (22% or 605 offenders) (FDV Tables 1, 2–4, 6–7)


MOST FDV-RELATED OFFENDERS WERE MALE, AGED BETWEEN 20-39 YEARS

In 2016–17, the majority of FDV-related offenders were male (ranging from 81% in New South Wales to 84% in Victoria, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory). There were five times more male than female offenders proceeded against for FDV-related offences, except in New South Wales where the number of male offenders was four times the number of female offenders. (FDV Table 1)

Graph Image for FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS(a), Proportion by sex, Selected states and territories, 2016-17

Footnote(s): (a) For the definition of Offenders of Family and Domestic Violence, see Explanatory Notes 31–42. Comparability over time and/or with other states and territories may be affected by differences in legislation, reporting behaviour, police operational procedures or data availability. (b) Tasmanian data relate only to Court actions against a partner/spouse/husband/wife (including former) or boyfriend/girlfriend (including ex-boyfriend/girlfriend) (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 39).

Source(s): Recoreded Crime - Offenders



The median age was higher for offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence compared to the median age of the total offender population in all jurisdictions except for the Northern Territory, where it was the same (both 32 years). The median age ranged from 32 years in Western Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, to 34 years in Victoria. (Table 15 and FDV Tables 2–7)

Graph Image for FDV OFFENDERS(a) AND ALL OFFENDERS, Median age by selected states and territories, 2016-17

Footnote(s): (a) For the definition of Offenders of Family and Domestic Violence, see Explanatory Notes 31–42. Comparability over time and/or with other states and territories may be affected by differences in legislation, reporting behaviour, police operational procedures or data availability. (b) Tasmanian data relate only to Court actions against a partner/spouse/husband/wife (including former) or boyfriend/girlfriend (including ex-boyfriend/girlfriend) (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 39).

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders



ACTS INTENDED TO CAUSE INJURY WAS THE MOST COMMON PRINCIPAL FDV-RELATED OFFENCE

Across the selected states and territories, the most common principal FDV-related offence amongst both male and female offenders was Acts intended to cause injury. Proportionally, the number of FDV-related offenders proceeded against for this offence ranged from 52% of males and 50% of females in Western Australia to 79% of males and 80% of females in New South Wales.

Within each jurisdiction, males were more likely than females to have a principal FDV-related offence of Sexual assault and related offences. In contrast, females had a higher proportion of offenders with a principal FDV-related offence of Property damage in all selected states and territories, except the Australian Capital Territory.

However, the male offender rate for FDV-related Property damage was at least three times higher than the rate for females across all the selected jurisdictions except for the Northern Territory where it was nearly two times higher. (FDV Tables 2–7)

New South Wales

In New South Wales, the FDV flag is recorded for every proceeding (as opposed to every offence), which may result in a small number of offences being flagged as FDV-related that did not occur within an FDV relationship (see paragraph 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail). In New South Wales, the identification of FDV-related offences was further refined by incorporating the relationship of offender to victim variable for the 2016–17 data. Consequently, 2016-17 data are not directly comparable with previous years.

There were 24,002 offenders with an FDV-related offence in New South Wales in 2016–17, which equated to 353 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Over three quarters of these offenders had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (18,930 offenders).

The number of male offenders of FDV-related offences (19,418) was four times higher than the number of female offenders (4,583). (FDV Table 2)

The median age of offenders of FDV-related offences was 33 years, which was older than the median age of 27 years in the total offender population. However, the median age varied by offence type, ranging from 27 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Property damage, to 39 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Homicide and related offences. (Table 15 and FDV Table 2)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders accounted for 19% (or 4,576) of total offenders of FDV-related offences recorded in New South Wales in 2016–17. In comparison, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders represented 14% (or 11,756) of all New South Wales offenders.

The FDV-related offender rate was nine times higher amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders (2,563 offenders per 100,000 persons) than non-Indigenous offenders (282 offenders per 100,000 persons). The total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offender rate was more than six times higher (6,584 offenders per 100,000 persons) than non-Indigenous offenders (1,004 offenders per 100,000 persons). (Table 22 and FDV Table 2)

The offence profiles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders and non-Indigenous FDV offenders were similar, with Acts intended to cause injury the most common principal FDV-related offence for each population (both 79%).

The majority of FDV-related offenders in New South Wales (81%) were proceeded against only once for an FDV-related offence during the reference period (19,424 offenders). (FDV Table 2)

Approximately 98% of FDV-related proceedings were proceeded against via a court action. (FDV Table 8)

Victoria

In Victoria, the FDV flag is recorded for every proceeding (as opposed to every offence), which may result in a small number of offences being flagged as FDV-related that did not occur within an FDV relationship (see paragraph 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail). In Victoria, the identification of FDV-related offences was further refined by incorporating the relationship of offender to victim variable. This was applied to data from 2014–15 to 2016–17, maintaining comparability across the three year time series.

There were 16,629 offenders with an FDV-related offence in Victoria in 2016–17, equating to 305 offenders per 100,000 persons. This represents a second successive increase, with the rate increasing by 40 offenders per 100,000 persons over the three years (2014–15 to 2016–17).

Around three in five (60%) offenders had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (10,023 offenders). One in five (20%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Breach of violence and non-violence orders (3,325 offenders).

In 2016–17, the number of male offenders with an FDV-related offence (13,882) in Victoria was five times higher than the number of female offenders (2,722). (FDV Table 3)

The median age of offenders of FDV-related offences was 34 years; the highest across the selected jurisdictions. This was older than the median age of 30 years in the total Victorian offender population. The median age of offenders varied by offence type, ranging from 28 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Property damage, to 38 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Breach of violence and non-violence orders. (Table 15 and FDV Table 3)

The majority of offenders (77%) were proceeded against only once in Victoria for an FDV-related offence during the reference period (12,804 offenders). (FDV Table 3)

Approximately 99% of FDV-related proceedings were proceeded against via a court action. (FDV Table 9)

Western Australia

In Western Australia, the FDV flag is recorded for every proceeding (as opposed to every offence), which may result in a small number of offences being flagged as FDV-related that did not occur within an FDV relationship (see paragraph 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail). In Western Australia, the identification of FDV-related offences was further refined by incorporating the relationship of offender to victim variable. This was applied to the data for 2015–16 and 2016–17 only, meaning these data are not directly comparable with 2014–15.

There were 8,522 offenders of FDV-related offences in Western Australia in 2016–17, equating to 383 offenders per 100,000 persons. This represents an increase of 15% (1,125 offenders) from 2015–16.

More than half of these offenders (52%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (4,405 offenders); while just over one quarter (27%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Breach of violence and non-violence orders (2,309 offenders). (FDV Table 4)

In 2016–17, there were almost five times more male offenders (6,997) than female offenders (1,499) proceeded against in Western Australia for at least one FDV-related offence. Comparatively, there were nearly three times as many male offenders (30,524) than female offenders (10,980) in the total offender population in Western Australia. (Table 11 and FDV Table 4)

In Western Australia, the median age of offenders of FDV-related offences was 32 years, which was higher than the median age of total offenders (29 years). However, the median age varied by offence type from a low of 28 years amongst offenders with a principal FDV-related offence of Property damage, to 37 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Homicide and related offences. (Table 15 and FDV Table 4)

Tasmania

For Tasmania, data on offenders of FDV-related offences relates only to court actions and only for the following relationships:
  • Partner/spouse/husband/wife (including former)
  • Boyfriend/girlfriend (including ex-boyfriend/girlfriend)

Between 2015–16 and 2016–17, the number of offenders of FDV-related offences in Tasmania remained stable, increasing by less than 1% to a total of 1,178 offenders. This equated to 258 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Nearly two thirds of these offenders (65%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (762 offenders), while Breach of violence and non-violence order was the second most prevalent principal FDV-related offence in Tasmania (28% or 333 offenders). (FDV Table 5)

The number of male offenders of FDV-related offences (972) was nearly five times higher than the number of female offenders (204). For the total offender population, there were three times more male offenders (8,026) than female offenders (2,389). (Table 12 and FDV Table 5)

The median age of offenders of FDV-related offences in Tasmania was 33 years, which was higher than the median age of the total offender population (28 years). (Table 15 and FDV Table 5)

The majority of offenders in Tasmania (70%) were proceeded against only once for a selected FDV-related offence during the reference period (820 offenders). (FDV Table 5)

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, the FDV flag is recorded for every proceeding (as opposed to every offence), which may result in a small number of offences being flagged as FDV-related that did not occur within an FDV relationship (see paragraph 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail).

In 2016–17, there were 2,672 offenders of FDV-related offences in the Northern Territory, which equated to 1,287 offenders per 100,000 persons. This represents a decrease of 128 offenders per 100,000 persons since 2014–15.

The majority of these offenders had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (76% or 2,020 offenders).

There were five times more male offenders (2,235) than female offenders (442) proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in 2016–17. (FDV Table 6)

The median age for total offenders was the same as that for offenders of FDV-related offences (32 years). The median age of offenders ranged from 26 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Property damage to 37 years amongst those with a principal FDV-related offence of Sexual assault and related offences. (Table 15 and FDV Table 6)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders accounted for almost nine out of ten offenders (89%) proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in the Northern Territory in 2016–17 (2,387 offenders). Similar to the previous two reference periods, in 2016–17 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offender rate (3,949 offenders per 100,000 persons) was 21 times higher than the non-Indigenous rate (189 offenders per 100,000 persons). (FDV Table 6)

In the Northern Territory, there were ten times more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders (1,834) than non-Indigenous offenders (185) with a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury. Similarly, in the total offender population, there were nearly seven times more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders than non-Indigenous offenders with a principal offence of Acts intended to cause injury (2,467 compared to 366). (Table 22 and FDV Table 6)

Three quarters (75%) of offenders were proceeded against only once in the Northern Territory for an FDV-related offence during the reference period (2,014 offenders). (FDV Table 6)

Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory, the FDV flag is recorded for each separate offence, which means that data only includes offences that have been specified as FDV-related by police (see paragraph 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail). The identification of FDV-related offences was further refined for the Australian Capital Territory by incorporating the relationship of offender to victim variable for all data available. This was applied to data from 2014–15 to 2016–17, maintaining comparability across the three year time series.

In 2016–17, there were 605 offenders proceeded against for FDV-related offences in the Australian Capital Territory; or 172 offenders per 100,000 persons. This represented an increase of 35 offenders per 100,000 persons since 2014–15.

Nearly two thirds of these offenders (65%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (391 offenders). The second most prevalent principal FDV-related offence in the Australian Capital Territory was Property damage (18% or 106 offenders). (FDV Table 7)

There were five times more male offenders (508) than female offenders (104) proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in the Australian Capital Territory during 2016–17. In the total offender population there were four times more male offenders (2,218) than female offenders (542).

The median age of offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence was 32 years, which was older than the median age of the total offender population (26 years). (Table 15 and FDV Table 7)

One in ten offenders (12%) proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in the Australian Capital Territory identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (72 offenders) and almost two thirds of these (65%) had a principal FDV-related offence of Acts intended to cause injury (47 offenders).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offender rate (1,262 offenders per 100,000 persons) was eight times higher than the non-Indigenous offender rate (154 offenders per 100,000 persons).

The offence profiles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous FDV offenders were similar, with Acts intended to cause injury the most common principal FDV-related offence for each population (both 65%).

The majority of offenders (90%) were proceeded against only once for an FDV-related offence during the reference period (546 offenders). (FDV Table 7)

Almost all (99%) of FDV-related proceedings were proceeded against via a court action. (FDV Table 12)

Footnotes
1. FDV-related offences refer to selected offences only (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 35 for inclusions).