The Crime and Safety Survey, a survey of households, will next be conducted nationally by the ABS in April 2002. The survey was conducted nationally in 1993 and 1998. It has been conducted annually since 1990 in New South Wales; in 1999 and 2000 in Western Australia; in 1999 in South Australia; and in 1995 in all States and Territories except Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
The survey provides data on selected household and personal crimes against persons aged 15 years and over for the 12 month period prior to the survey, and the risk factors associated with crime victimisation. The 2002 survey will collect data on sexual assault for males and females aged 18 years and over (from previous surveys data were only available concerning sexual assaults against females). The 2002 survey results are expected by June 2003.
Crimes affecting households and persons
Households and individuals in Australia experience a diverse range of crimes. The Crime and Safety Survey focuses on those categories of more serious crime that affect the largest number of people: household break-in, motor vehicle theft, assault (including sexual assault) and robbery.
In the 12 months prior to the 1998 Crime and Safety Survey, 8% of households in Australia were victims of either a break-in or an attempted break-in: 5% of households had at least one break-in to their home, garage or shed and 3% found signs of at least one attempted break-in (table 11.4).
An estimated 0.5% of persons aged 15 years and over were victims of robbery and 4% of persons aged 15 years and over were victims of assault in the 12 months prior to the survey. An estimated 0.4% of females aged 18 years and over were victims of sexual assault in the same time period.
11.4 VICTIMS OF CRIME - 12 Months Prior to April 1998
Reporting to police
Crime is not always reported to the police, with many factors influencing whether or not a crime is reported. In particular, rates of reporting to the police vary depending on the type of offence, as shown in graph 11.5. People are much more likely to report crimes against property to the police (a requirement for any associated insurance claim) than crimes against the person (i.e. assault or sexual assault). The five year period to 1998 saw an increased willingness for victims of sexual assault to report their assault to the police.
|Type of crime |
|Attempted break-in |
|Motor vehicle theft |
|Sexual assault |
(b) Persons aged 15 years and over.
(c) Females aged 18 years and over.
Source: Crime and Safety, Australia, April 1998 (4509.0).